I have learned so much. I have painted so many paintings and read them. But I’m going to skip all of that and be current. I don’t like going back.
The last two paintings are about being fascinated by things that block the mind, the imagination and the openness. I am showing one of them here .
They tried hard to teach us this kind of attention in the meditation retreats. They would say: If you experience being blocked (which is what the subconscious does sometimes, to protect itself against change), do not fight it. Instead, become interested in what is in front of you. Look at that blockage. See what it is made of. Examine. Touch, smell, and experience without language.
It is not easy to do, when you feel being blocked. All you want is to break through and this cloud is in your way, obscuring everything.
But how about using art?
In this painting I described a vague anger that I felt. I was taking some medication against the pain, so I could meditate (so I could sleep too). It was not a first solution. I meditated and worked with the pain without medications for many years until it became too strong to bear. The medication made me dull and vague. I could not dive deep. I did not feel the subtleties of the energies. And I was frustrated in this vague way, as everything was vague. Painting this anger became my way of coming out of vagueness. It is not that it is important to know exactly how the anger is experienced. It is the state of being interested itself that made the difference. To be interested, to be curious, is to participate in a characteristic of the true self, and this is what made me feel better and this is what opened a window in that inner blocking cloud, to let some fresh air blow in. Now I became aware of the space. I had a chance to make it my home again and what was in front of me became beautiful to me.
What is important in the painting is how the movement goes. It is slow and sticky. It does not burst out but bends and loses power by having parts fall off it.
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.