Let’s focus on some recent colourful artwork, and afterwards discuss some graphite artwork.
Who does not feel enchanted by koi carps? The way that they gracefully slide through their watery world makes us believe that they represent our thoughts and feelings. These large, but ever so elegant, soft-finned koi carps swim in freshwater; they appear and disappear, come and go from all directions, like our thoughts during meditation. The more the koi carps feel relaxed whilst being watched by you, so our thoughts slow down during meditation as we do not engage with our thoughts, but observe them manifesting and disappearing. Koi carps stand for prosperity and success. Their hardy nature has also led to koi being associated with longevity.
Graphite Artwork in Progress
I have been working on large graphite drawings. Whilst the world around me bursts into colour (it is spring here), I find myself turning to graphite artwork more and more. Somehow Dutch 17th century artists, working with graphite, ink and chalk, have me under their spell. I can not get enough of their soulful art. The funny thing is, I love colours! If the world would fade before my eyes and represent itself as monochromatic, I would cry my heart out. Yet, when I study graphite artworks by 17-18th century landscape artists, one has to admire their beautiful artwork. We see a drawing more clearly when it is reduced to its essential lines, textures, light and shadows. Like a philosophical essay: one selects a subject (like a scene or scenery in drawing), adds perspective (like an architectural artist), focuses on an essential aspect or subject (as an artist does), and makes it clear what part of our complex world should receive our moral (in art, our aesthetic) attention.
I am also working on an In Memoriam drawing for my late brother. I like to share a few observations. First, this is a self-assigned task which I haven’t done before. I had to let the first weeks of grief pass because I needed a calm mind to assemble a composition that celebrates my brother’s life. As soon as I had worked out a composition, I noticed that I had postponed working on it. To my surprise, I found myself somewhat deliberately delaying working on this large drawing that will eventually become a prayer-card, a remembrance card, and an Ex Libris. Why, I asked myself? I am a far stretch from being a procrastinator; procrastinating is not me. Then I knew. I do not want this drawing to be finished, at least not any time soon. I want to stay with the drawing, as if sharing -in mind and in spirit- moments with my late brother.
I know myself well enough; this drawing shall get finished as I will offer it to those who want to have a remembrance card or Ex Libris with my brother’s name on it because this is not about me, but about remembering my kindhearted brother. Yet, I now understand more profoundly why artists add ‘unfinished’ symbols to their artwork: an open book, a broken off branch of a tree, or an open door, to name a few. As long as I am transforming my grief into artwork, I feel less grief, and delaying only shows that one needs time. This is not the kind of art-making that should be hurried.
*Note later added: the In Memoriam- Remembrance drawing can be viewed here.
More updates shall follow soon. For now, may peace prevail on Earth, may my fellow artist friends feel a steady flow of inspiration, and wishing all others the very best.
Portfolio at Instagram
Commissions and Freehand drawings at Etsy
- Visiting Lebuïnus’s Well (Deventer, Netherlands)
- Order your Mandarin Duck Art Card (frame-able)
- Why Should you Write a Spiritual Resume (Curriculum Vitae)?
- How to Write your Spiritual Resume, or Curriculum Vitae?
- Inspiring Artist Studios II