But I will pull back from the brink of the metaphorical. This mixed media piece is a continued exploration of a matte textured background in shades of grey combined with a shiny, drippy enso. This enso has a hint of ultramarine blue with some chartreuse and black. The line drawing of the Buddha still needs work, some refining (as do I, which is part of what always makes us a work in progress!). As I say this I am conscious of that Zen idea of holding 2 seemingly contradictory possibilities in our minds at once. We are fine just the way we are AND we can do better. Is that confusing? Only if we want to carve the world into opposites.
There is so much at play in creating a painting that parallels our everyday life. We are always exploring the background, don't you think? Feeling and creating and responding to the texture of life around us, to what life brings to us, to what we encounter. We move from dark to light and back again (like the little yin/yang amoebas). And like this line drawing of the Buddha we are continually inventing ourselves, drawing some aspects of our character with deeper and more definite lines, erasing and lightening the traces of what doesn't work for us, if we are attentive and skillful enough.
And the recycled pattern pieces in this work open a conversation as we might expect words to do. The dart to the heart... I liked that idea for a variety of reasons I don't need to explain, the piercing of the heart, that tender, vulnerable part of us. But the idea of the "dart" is used in Buddhist thought. The first dart is regarded as the event or instance of suffering. The second dart is the mental anguish we create or "add on" to what happens to us. The idea here being that pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. The other pattern pieces that found their way into this work are the little cutting line scissors that the Buddha holds and the words "back facing" which can speak to us in different ways.
So while life and art talk back and forth to each other, sometimes whispering, sometimes shouting, I never start a piece with an intention to "say" something. I become aware of some hinted at meaning as if I was an independent observer. Life imitates art. Who said that? And there is the natural synchronicity of things if we are willing to just look. It is happening all around us, all the time, the conversation between what goes on in our lives and the small things that pop up; our thoughts, our dreams, how the colour of our shoes matches the scarf of someone that we are drawn to, how a line in a poem that we read in the morning, somehow fits perfectly with something that happens to us later in the day.... It is about being open and aware and receptive to life with a capital L. It is after all the season of presents (presence). And as with all presents, they require opening.