The drawing is in dark brown (Van Dyke brown).
I invent as I go. The next line always suggests itself. It means that I am in a conversation and allowing the infinite-field draw through me. It always responds to my mood or feeling in the time. And if I allow a description of some energy, an expression of a feeling or any inner experience, come through as well, the energy of the feeling is released at the same time that it comes to be seen on the paper. It is released because it is being seen from the perspective of the flow, which is a higher energy. Higher energy dissolves lower energy.
Then, still in the process, relieved from what I felt before, a new, better feeling arises and is also expressed in its turn. And so on.
At some point I feel good about the way the drawing is now, and this is the sign to stop. It feels complete.
This feeling of completeness is miraculous. Where does it come from? I ask my inner guide and he says: This is your gift.
Do I understand this? Not really. I consider this not-knowing a gift too.
I can leave the drawing as it is.
And I can start playing with colors and additional textures or whatever feels good.
I wait for the lines that are done in watercolor to dry out. Then a thought comes to me, to photograph every step, so when I share this text with you, you will have in front of you what was in front of me when I wrote about each of the steps of making the painting. But I get so engrossed in the process that I do not want to stop, and I end up finishing the whole painting, without taking any photograph in the process. So you will have to imagine the steps that I wrote about, when the painting was in progress, while looking at the finished painting.
Now, with the finished drawing in front of me, I already feel so much better than before. Yes, just making these few lines made me feel so much better. All along the way, through the doing of the drawing, I released whatever emotions came up and became freer. Infinity matched my new feeling and brought new ideas for lines or effects that felt better than before.
I did the first color area, the dark green. The people at Prismacolor (I used Prismacolor pencils to color) call it Olive Green, but it is not olive green at all. It is more like what is called in other places Forest Green. It has a sense of depth and aliveness. I feel happy about how the drawing jumps above it. The softness of the green and what feels like a positive environment makes the brown of the drawing a bit scary and as if it has bad intentions.
Also, suddenly there is a feeling of depth. The green calls you to sink deeper into it and the brown line is jumping closer to us.
I had a feeling of what would come after this green spot. I saw in the imagination many colors. I saw a procession of them in the same kind of spots, developing into some jolly dance.
But now, that I see what is appearing, as I am working on the next color area, the ochre, another game suggests itself to me. I feel excitement about what I’ll do. Look at this: another improvement in the level of joy.
The second color, the reddish ochre, is in. It feels as if it is under the green, but if you ignore the area where this new color touches the green and look only at how it interacts with the brown lines, it feels to be closer to us than the green. It is under the lines just because I drew it as such. But it is jumping out a little and in other circumstances could be felt to be closer than the brown lines.
I look at what I have now and I feel it is almost enough, but not yet.
The color areas have some stability to them that makes the lines seem more active than before.
Does it feel good now? Yes, it does. But still I feel there is need for more.
There is strong pain in my left foot. The foot is hot. This is unpleasant and my automatic thoughts about it take my mood down a bit.
On the other hand, even though I can do something to reduce this pain, the interest in what is happening in the painting keeps me involved in the process.
I get tired suddenly and decide to stop and continue the next day.
I look at the picture in progress in the next day. The red added a stone like body that is suddenly turning down. The ochre and the green made an effort to go up and this red goes down. It is not a stone really, and the green and ochre aren’t that heavy. They float. They all are light and it is just a meandering of energy, depicted in this way.
Making the red go down is actually following what the drawing does. The following of the drawing is not like making a copy of its movement but a variation that is at play with it. Again, the colors add a sense of depth, a concrete depth. The white background that the drawing played on can represent the infinite space, the boundlessness. The colors come a little closer to the way we experience our reality (This shape is close to me and that one is a bit farther away).
Adding the colors and then more effects is like composing music. You have the leading voice in the drawing. If we do not add anything after this, we have an a-capella performance. Adding the color spots and other things is like adding harmony and maybe a base line and drums. This is the way it is for me. The added color shapes can go along, can highlight the drawing and can contradict it. This creates the composition, and the composition is the most important aspect of the way the whole piece feels. When you play music, it is because you love to hear it. And it is the same here. Everything is done in the painting because I love to experience the way it comes out on the paper.
Now I have just done the light, dust-in-the-desert like, cloud under the lines in the left region.
As I was finishing I felt a bit of an alarm. Maybe this is not the best color here? I saw it there before I made it. I always have this soft, trusting, question in me before I make the next step. What will come now? Aug., what do you think? Aug. is August Moon, my inner guide. He is always present for me so lovingly. And he paints with me. We are one, you can say. So I invite him to participate in all that I do here as a human being on this earth.
Usually, as soon as I ask, I see the next step in my imagination and I do it. When I say that I see it, it is still not final. It keeps changing as long as I make it keep changing throughout the process, and these changes are expressed all the time. This gives a wonderful feeling of wellbeing, of playing joyfully. You can say that it is a way to walk along with awareness. Awareness itself only looks and knows. But I like to express, so I invent ways to make effects in the art that express what awareness sees.
At this point I look at the painting again and I start seeing possibilities for a few steps ahead. But when the blue is done, all the other possible additions become unnecessary.
I needed to have blue there. It was something I felt very strongly in my body. So now I feel relieved. It is a good feeling, like: Everything is okay now.
But is it? Let me look again.
The addition of the colors has made the painting more dramatic. Especially the addition of the blue has a strong effect. Now the lines are like wind and the way it blows, and the color areas are like a thunder as it moves through the landscape.
The fact that the area with colors is in the middle and is surrounded by white makes the scene harsh. It is almost shocking. Such a drama is happening in the middle, that everything else in the world has become white. The central happening has sucked all the energy from the world.
And me? I feel excited. What a game! Look at what I made!
I could stop here. It is like a minimal statement. The string instruments, as I imagine the lines to be, have a meandering tune. They mix with each other to travel along a short musical sentence, from right to left. They go up, they go down like in a wave, they swell again and this is the whole sentence. And in the background you hear the thunder of other instruments rolling, making a big show, but it is a short and colorful one. It all happened quickly and now it has ended. You still tremble with the sound waves.
Something deep in me wants more. The picture is not totally true yet. Something is missing. To be satisfied I need to add something else. And I add the screens in several places.
Yes, this is better now. Something deeper wanted to be expressed. August moon is smiling now and this means that I am in a very good state.
The last addition of the screens softens the harshness of the event. It says that this was a little occurrence in infinity. There was a concentration, some contrast, some rumbling of a passing energy, and now it is dispersing and about to disappear into the infinite peace.
Time to sign
I can add or align my signature with the edge of the picture. But then it will be like saying that I add my power to the tendency to confine, to frame and limit the view. So instead I decide to be close to the movement and to align myself with the infinite ebb and flow in the ocean of energy. Not to feel protected by holding on to a defined place. Not to say that my power comes from having a point of view. Instead, I am everything. Everything happens within me, is made of me and disappears in me.
This turned out to have been a meditation about the nature of our reality. It lead me from expressing feelings as they were detected by the awareness, which is the background to all of our excitements, going along with the experiences of how the feelings kept changing from involvement to detachment and from the narrow view of: Oh, what is happening to me, to awe.
It is a healing trip, like a pilgrimage that sends you walking in the mud step after step to disentanglement and to the bigger view of the truth that opens up.
It is based on listening to one’s heart and doing what comes from there.
This is one possibility of becoming free. There are innumerable ways and this one is my favorite.
I used to be a graphic designer and an illustrator. I became involved with the Chan Meditation Center and studied meditation and Buddhist knowledge with the late Master Sheng-yen from Taiwan. For twelve years I was in a process of deepening my meditation. I had many more experiences and insights and my life changed. After having illustrated more than 40 children’s books and writing two of them, I left this career too and went to New York University to study art therapy.