SHRINES – Transparency
It’s been a while since my last post. Thankyou to everyone who made it to the opening of my ‘Off the Shelf’ exhibition last year. Since then I’ve taken time to gather myself, have a little break and discover new images that are emerging. I’ve started painting what I call ‘Shrines’.
The Oxford dictionary defines a shrine as ‘a niche or enclosure containing a religious statue or other object’. To arrive at my shrines I’ve been noticing objects that catch my attention. I put the object in a semi-enclosed box and wonder what else it needs? I find other objects that may want to be placed with it. I look . . .for hours. . . perhaps days and wonder, ‘what is trying to emerge here? What is this about? What else is needed for this shrine to be complete?’. I’m very careful not to be in a hurry and rush to know something. It’s like relishing a good mystery and trusting it will reveal itself in time.
In the shrine above, I found the rectangular jar in my neighbours yard. It took a few days for the next jar to arrive in my awareness. When I considered the colouring of the jars and the lid, I realised I needed to paint a watercolour to go behind them. I remembered a bedraggled feather I had found on a walk a few weeks ago. The feather told me to tear the edges off the watercolour.
Once this shrine was arranged, I could begin to sense what it was about. This painting is not about the objects present. I thought very abstractly as I closely observed colour, shape, soft edges and sharper lines. I meditated on transparency. I noticed how light shines through glass, giving rise to subtle variations and reflected light; how the watercolour appeared muted and smudged through the glass. I observed and felt these qualities in my body. As I painted I thought about my own transparency. Transparency as an aspiration of my spirit to be as present as I can to myself and real with others. I fail often in this aspiration, but I have enough self-compassion to return and have another go. We are all made of the same stuff – stardust. My life is so short and I realise I have little to loose, only my self limitation.
These shrines are aspirations to qualities or states of being that I’m welcoming into myself. The process is one of observation and self-reflection while befriending not knowing. Painting is helping me to be patient and love this place of not knowing. I’m in a meditative mystery that is full of revelation. Thankyou for looking and reading.
This painting is called ‘Shrine 3 – Transparency’.
Oil paint on linen, 30cm X 30cm. It’s available on my website here. Send me an email if you would like to make a purchase.
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