“As both a visual artist and a meditation practitioner, I have long been intrigued by the profound connections between contemplative practice and creativity. Currently, mindfulness principles are embraced on a global level. Museums are now using the basic principles of meditation–slowing down, trusting our senses, opening to our experience in the moment–as ways to deepen our connections to the richness of the visual arts, and thereby the inherent richness of our own world.
In the quiet of my studio, as I prepared for this exhibition, I became aware of the strong need to have these mixed-media paintings carry a clear and powerful statement, both when read from a distance, and, in a more tactile way, when viewed close up. This imperative played out in my studio as a sort of daily visual dance, whereby my compositional decisions were made from some 20 to 30 feet away, and the actual markings were tactile, personal, and immediate. It seemed that it was not until these different vantage points reached a certain harmony that I could feel a sense of closure or complete statement. This painting process, manifesting from a very intuitive source, was the enactment of these two complementary threads of creative action and contemplative knowing.
This manner of painting allowed the felt sense of the richness of the world to be intimately available to me, and to come through in this active engagement. The question can still be asked: “What is the value of personal creativity, in any of the arts, in terms of our daily life?” The great meditation master and artist Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, said it like this: “When we change the way people see their world (through artistic expression and contemplation), then they can change the way they live in the world.”