Oil on canvas, various dimensions
As the kid in kindergarten who wanted to be a painter when she grew up, I have always practiced art making. Long before I developed a meditation practice, the quiet of making things was a source of grounding, allowing me to work alone with the connections between mind, heart, eyes, and hands. Art practice from an early age made things feel familiar when I finally arrived on the cushion: a place to slow down, to concentrate and to notice more in both the interior and exterior worlds.
For these reasons I feel a certain seamlessness between sitting and off-the cushion art making, while I also acknowledge that meditation practice & study have made me more conscious as I work, more focused and aware. I remain interested in the beauty of this precious human life, and seek to make paintings and prints that have a sense of resonance and meaning. To my surprise, sangha—a form of meditative community—has also developed with people who have related to what I’ve made over the years.
Retreat practice especially serves as a deep well of inspiration, and I’ve learned to build a mental shelf to hold these ideas for afterwards in the studio. I am currently at work on an illustrated book/graphic primer about sitting silent retreats, grown from an idea that arose while sitting a month-long retreat.