Author Topic: Painting and Life  (Read 4627 times)

Mungo

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Painting and Life
« on: November 01, 2010, 04:38:49 AM »
Hi Everybody,

  Just wanted to share something I thought of on the weekend. One of my "outlets" is painting (the arty kind) Im not particularly great but I practice and have found it is similar to meditation as far as concentrating and being in the moment - time becomes irrelevant. I have had a inspirational block for the last couple of months but started a new painting on the weekend. One of the most important lessons I have learned in the technique/theory is to not look too carefully at the entire picture to paint as it becomes overwhelming as far as how much detail there can be. Instead you look at the relationship of shape and form (circles squares spheres cylinders etc) and break it up into pieces. There is also a little "mantra" that is applied - just paint the shapes and let the picture take care of itself. In a way you can apply this type of logic to meditation and life I think.

BestWishes...
You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep

Morning Dew

Re: Painting and Life
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2010, 07:52:02 AM »
Let me hijack your thread please. Thanks! :)

I too have a same issue. I blocked emotionaly approx 4 years ago when my best friend died of a brain stroke. He was only in his early 30-es. Not just a friend but the one which changed me from simply being a street nacker into an artist, into someone able to express the deep sadness i was made of.
He was like my menthor, my father figure, my cousin too, more like a brother to me.

When he died something in me died too and from that day on i fear from going close to the easel. Once i could see colors in the whiteness of the canvas, now that same whiteness is so terifying to stare at.

When i remember back in time ... I would set the canvas onto the easel and sit across it and look into the whiteness of the canvas for very long time. Just simply look ... Like when fishing, just looking and being ready for the wave of colors to rise out of it (while writing this tears appeared in my eyes) being ready to strike that whiteness with the brush stroke like with a sword..... And the play starts, colors mix them selves, the painting paints it self , my body dancing some sacred dance until yang transforms back into yin and nature comes to rest once again.

The painting is made.

I feel terifyed of that whiteness today!
« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 07:54:12 AM by Morning Dew »

Mungo

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Re: Painting and Life
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2010, 12:55:33 AM »
Dear Morning dew,

Whilst I am nowhere near qualified to offer my thoughts to what you have written I can, however, offer my true empathy to what you have described. Compassion - however - I am still working on - partly due to similar reasons you have described, in that I dealt with loss by crawling inward and cutting myself off - I took the non attachment idea to the other extreme and even became quite misanthropic. I was only ever truly happy if I was completely alone or painting and drawing while the rest of the time I was pretty much indifferent or raging with anger and hate. The only fear I have had about dying is what effect it will have for everyone still left here that loved me so I tried just pushing everything away. Turns out it didnt work well at all so I took the more "middle" approach which after many years has led me to this practice and - today - here. Some scars are carved in rock but a scupltor sees the statue within and has to chip away at the useless bits to reveal it.

While we are (vaguely) on the subject of painting here are a couple more art theories to relate to.

Light and dark tones - Light brings things closer - dark pushes things back.
Method over result - If it takes chopping off a monkeys tail and beating the bloody stump against the canvas to get the result you need - do it.

Take Care MD...
You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep

Mungo

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Re: Painting and Life
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2010, 03:56:18 AM »
I feel terifyed of that whiteness today!

P.S - Maybe that is why I start with a solid black background most times.
You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep

kidnovice

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    • Theravada: with nuts and bolts from Goenka-ji, and fine tuning from Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Re: Painting and Life
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2010, 09:38:18 PM »
Hey MD, Even though you may need to take a break from painting, I sincerely hope you don't wait too long. I hope you don't mind me saying this, but after seeing your work, I have to say that you have a wonderful gift. And I don't mean, "Oh, you have a talent, and it shouldn't be wasted." That's crap. What I mean is that you have a wonderful gift to yourself.

I am willing to bet that when you paint, you find a real flourishing and joy inside. So, don't let your painting become too closely associated with your mourning. I fear that every time you choose NOT to paint, the association between your art and your sadness will become deeper. Taken too far, the prospect of painting will become impossible. That's exactly what happened to my mother.

I would suggest that at some point, you may need to just make yourself paint. Do it even if it sucks. Do it even if it hurts, even if you have to force yourself. Do it until you're just painting, and not thinking about how sad or happy you are.

Those are my thoughts. With metta,
KN
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Morning Dew

Re: Painting and Life
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2010, 06:28:17 AM »
Hi KN

I am keeping the painting sadness in meditation. One day i feel to go streight into the shop and get back with lots of oil colors and start, one day i fall back into procrastinating. This time i do not take this procrastnating sensation too seriously knowing it is just an emotion made of past and therefore already dead. I calm my body each time such ego feeling arise and the concious mind calms too.

I am already talking to my wife about moving the dinning room table and chairs into the living room and creating a studio out of it. The puppy still has his baby gates in the living room but will try to work arround this little fluffy issue :)

I feel crippled when thinking aboit starting a painting, making these first few strokes. I know this is all ego trip and i keep calming the body since esch time i feel crippled i start breathing shallow and i tense my sholders and lips.
I also started incorporating "may i be happy may i be free from suffering". It seems to melt me down a little bit more.

There is so much freedom in painting unlesd you get cought up in trying to become famous. This is the part which leads to mental prison.

The same way we sit, just to sit, so is the painting. Paint just to paint, trust in the moment and start ridding the waves when the rise :)

Thank you all for reminding me.

Friendly


Mungo

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Re: Painting and Life
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2010, 06:51:22 AM »

There is so much freedom in painting unlesd you get cought up in trying to become famous. This is the part which leads to mental prison.


 I agree totally. That old saying about if you do as a job what you love then you wont work a day in your life is crap - It just becomes work. I was pondering some of the points in one of the earlier replies last night - long stories - but while doing this I remembered one time as a teen I went along to the city hall to see some monks doing a sand mandala. It took a week or so as far as i remember but I only went about half way through even though I had no idea what buddhism was (and wasnt interested at that stage). The thing was quite big and incredibly detailed. The most important part and the one I could relate to without understanding why at the time was the end ceremony when they do some sort of blessing, sweep it all up into a neat pile and then dump the sand into the river. The transience of all phenomena however beautiful. I wanted in  a way to do this with all my paintings - to put in effortless effort, emotion and concentration sit back and have a look and then let it go. No one would let me though so I just give everything away now which makes everyone else happy I guess.
You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep

dragoneye

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Re: Painting and Life
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2010, 05:33:04 PM »
This thread is a great discussion of an example of the relationship(s) of our ego and our heart. The most magical of painters, separates the two. Foreshortened shapes, or shapes in the foreground that are white in reality; but dark color in our perception (and then in our painting,) are all battles our ego has with our heart. The heart knows that these illusions require us to ignore our ego. Ego is telling us to do it differently and in our heart the painter works his magic. Like coming back to our breath (and heart.)
Thank you for putting this out there (here.)
DE
Dragoneye

ivana

Re: Painting and Life
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2010, 01:53:13 PM »
Hi
About painting and me, I started meditation. Now sometimes I make a picture or write a poem for myself. Before I think I was not enjoying this type of things.  It is how I can show how I feel. How I feel I can not describe without using this way of expression.
Ivana

Namaste

Re: Painting and Life
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2011, 08:45:56 PM »
Suffering sometimes can seem so real, and clarity so far away, and while art may only give us clarity within the concepts that it's bound, it's a light in the dark either way.  Let's welcome all art as our stepping stones.  :)

Anyway, I don't paint, but color-penciling is an almost-occasional thing..  hopefully it doesn't also fall into the procastination abyss  :P

I would suggest that at some point, you may need to just make yourself paint. Do it even if it sucks. Do it even if it hurts, even if you have to force yourself. Do it until you're just painting, and not thinking about how sad or happy you are.

x10
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 09:00:04 PM by Namaste »

 

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