in my bowl I carry spaciousness
from spaciousness to spaciousness

Every thing and every experience is a gate to spaciousness. Yet there remains the actual experience of being a human being on this planet. What/who I am is necessary as a conduit or expression of expansive potentiality. I have a form and limitations in order to exist. How to develop this form, these activities as “spaciousness in form”?


Janine Brown: Dinadi

painted acrylic collage on paper
26″ x 40″


This is a question to the voice that takes action, makes art. This is a question to the arm and the brush and the paper. This is a question about the energy, the gesture and the image. What makes the voice take form? How does energy embody? How does the gesture leave a trace? Where is the life force behind the image? What makes the image need to be born? Where is the father of the image? What is the mother of the image? Who are the partners in the dance? How to find the technique. How to find the energy in the technique. The technique seems passive – has no energy. The energy is too diffuse, has no form. Why aren’t they dancing? Where’s the music? Why should they dance? How to give it power? It needs to be confined in form. The image and technique are the partners. The energy is the music. The energy needs a rhythm. Confine the energy, give it shape.


Janine Brown: Haima

painted acrylic collage on paper
22″ x 30″


Each time I have shifted in technique or color palette it has been due to an interest in exploring another aspect of openness, luminosity and presence.  As I go too far in one direction, I am drawn back to a different approach–slowly filling out the circle from pattern to simplicity, rich color to monochrome, smooth to varied texture, spontaneity to restraint.  Aiming for emptiness and fullness. Time after time.  Repetition and variation.  Exploration of how paint on a flat surface can embody the energy of this moment.


Janine Brown: Hiranya

painted acrylic collage on paper
22″ x 30″


In Buddhist philosophy the word “gate” refers to an entry point into a deeper experience of reality.  This entry point, or gate, can be anywhere or anytime, but an obvious example would be the practice of meditation.  In one form of meditation, a person sits still and observes one’s inhalation and exhalation as a swinging door between our ordinary perception and another, more open, experience of reality.  Since the person is just sitting there, they have not gone anywhere or through any gate, thus it is a gateless gate.  I am thinking of these paintings as a gateless gate.  I experience the process of painting as an entry into a more expansive reality.  My intention is to create images that are a vessel for spaciousness.

– Janine Brown

Images © copyright Janine Brown

See An Excerpt from an Artist’s Journal
for more of Janine’s thoughts on art and life.


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