The yoga of painting.

  • It’s been about a year since my last post. Thanks for your patience. I have been immersed in the process of painting and it has been marvelous.

For a time in Baltimore I had to give up my oil painting practice for the yoga studios. I was happy to do it, working in watercolor and collage between teaching and running a community; it was plenty. Now without the pressure of business, I have built an art studio and taken time in relative quiet to mix colors, practice drawing, and sit in the stillness of a daily painting practice.

I paint about 6 hours a day. My mornings begin early, just like my yoga days, with a bicycle ride. During the group ride with awesome friends, I connect and get all my socializing in. Home by nine, I paint all day. I find these long periods of solitude allow me to remember my imagined world and its inhabitants. My artworks are basically pictures of this world.

 As a result of my yoga practice, I recognize that long periods of sustained concentration are possible. The years of daily practice on the mat and the months spent on retreat in India have given me tools to ride the discoveries found in painting.

Like the saboteur in yoga, I notice inner commentary on the works I make. Judgment and fear could paralyze my painting but after years of bearing strong sensations from trying to put my leg behind my head or sitting in meditation, I can paint even when I feel insecure.

I also paint when I feel triumphant. I often recall the yoga aphorism:

before enlightenment chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment chop wood, carry water.

Success in a yoga pose is temporary and I find success in painting is temporary too. There is always another problem to solve or a new path to follow in the next work of art.  This is what keeps me going. 

I will be exhibiting Polka Dot Jersey at the Palm Springs Art Museum in October. I hope you enjoy looking at the work and I hope it inspires you to do your practice everyday, no matter what the form. All forms of love take us home.

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