This Moment: As Quiet & Still as the Moon

About Stillness & Waiting Series

Volumes have been written about Buddhist art and Zen art.  I'm not interested in adding to that conversation, nor am I qualified to do so. 

In these works on paper, I start from Zen artforms that have moved me for many years.  But instead of recreating culturally foreign forms, I am exploring them on my own terms... with visual elements outside any one culture and close to my (perhaps everyone's) heart and mind:  The moon, our other planets, my own human heartbeat. 

The red seals/chops in this work were made for me.  One is my name-image and the others were carved for me by a young poet/seal carver in China.  These reference the titles and related imagery.

This Moment: Quiet & Spacious as the Moon (I through VI)

“Ensō” is a particular kind of Zen practice/art practice. It is a painted circle that is said to symbolize the infinite universe and manifest the mind of the practitioner at the moment of making. The most prized Ensō scroll paintings are made by accomplished monks, but the practice is open to us all. Or at least to anyone brazen enough to tackle a universal circle, drawn in a single breath, manifesting the soul. Ha.

These Ensō were painted by me. But then they were scanned and the sumi-e ink is replaced by moon terrain from NASA’s exhaustive catalog of satellite photographs of the solar system. Somehow, dragging a brush around a circle, leaving behind a barren surface of craters, light and shadow seems less daunting than marking a page with my perfected spirit.

Series of 6. Hahnemühle paper, 13 x 19 inches. Also printed on Onkawara paper and scroll mounted.