My art is strongly influenced by a long-term study and teaching of meditation. Before painting, I meditate in front of the canvas and immerse myself in the Here and Now'' and the energy field around me. In the state of awareness of energy, the state of No-Thinking, I wait for the impulse to paint. When that moment arrives, my hand and brush move unpremeditated and the strokes capture the energy on canvas. In spirit, I follow in the tradition of Zen calligraphers and painters who empty their minds to open up to a larger or higher mindless awareness that exceeds the level of ego or self.
On a personal note, my journey started in the Netherlands with careers in law and project management. I moved to Texas a little more than 10 years ago for love. Throughout my life, I have enjoyed art, drawing, painting and sculpture. We now live near Austin in Dripping Springs with a menagerie of rescue pets.
When Buddhism arrived in China in the 6th century, it merged with the Taoist traditions there and became Zen Buddhism before it travelled to Japan, centuries later.
Zen adopted the tradition of calligraphy and painting existing in the Taoist monasteries and Chinese culture at large. Zen masters and monks alike became masters in the art of calligraphy and painting by expressing their art directly from the realm of just awareness, by-passing the mind.
Their directness, perfection of the imperfection, spaciousness and energy became their hallmark.
A most important aspect of Zen painting, in particular in Japan, became the Enso, Zen-circle painting. Enso represents:
- Permanent Change
- Perfection of Imperfection
Some Zen masters would paint a particular Enso for a particular student for him or her to meditate on and so absorb the teaching, wisdom and insight of the master.
Painting of Ensos for many Zen students became a daily meditative exercise and Zen masters are said to grasp the spiritual level of a student by seeing one of his or her Ensos.