Australian painter Suzanne Moss is a welcome addition to our artisans’ gallery. The title of this post, painting light, touching space, is also the title of her beautiful book, which is available from her website. Please visit her page to read her insights about her practice and view her ethereal paintings.
Inspired by Fra Angelico and the ancient mariners navigating their way across the oceans,
I find my way when engaged in making.
Creativity for me is the way to listen profoundly,
and live from that.
– Suzanne Moss
it is me you are seeing everywhere
Suzanne Moss is an artist who works with light. She is a former Visual Arts Lecturer at the Australian National University School of Art, and has been researching creativity for over 20 years in theory and in practice.
Suzanne’s doctoral research on the painting of light began by asking impossible questions, such as: “What might love look like?” As a result of her questioning, she envisioned inspirational, luminous, natural phenomena.
Her compositions are informed by the symmetry, concentricity and meditative intent of mandalas, as well as that of artists such as Agnes Martin and Josef Albers.
Suzanne has developed a curriculum of courses and coaching which offers a unique blend of mentoring and introspection. She teaches a form of ‘meditative art’ which focuses on mindfulness. The simple visual art practices used in these courses facilitate the creation of beauty – something most people believe they are not capable of expressing. Find more information about these courses on her website.
Sourced from Suzanne’s website.
it is me you are seeing everywhere
Amanda Robins: Dyad 2, 2009
pencil on Arches watercolor paper, 115 x 95 cm
I examine the object as if it was a lover, a book, a document. It is willing to offer everything to me, passively. I am moving closer to the object, as close as I can, and it covers me benignly. Warming me to the world of things.
I layer the pencil marks over one another in light strokes, building up the tones carefully. Light glints softly off the graphite surface. The paper colours and imprints like asphalt, a well-worn pavement with pockmarks and incisions. The paper stump forces the graphite into the craters and valleys of the paper – sliding over the surface – burnishing, embossing. I am entranced by this silvery surface – the powder creates a film, grey and silver clouds forming, the lines of pencil changing and perfecting them. Away from the amorphous, I push the image into my favoured safety net … [t]his is the boundary, the structure which allows me to feel held and absorbed, contained and subsumed.
– Amanda Robins
SECOND/SKINS Exhibition Catalogue
Amanda Robins at the artisans’ gallery
meditative process made visible
New at the artisans’ gallery – Canadian artist Robert Sinclair
watercolor 11 x 7 inches
[My] approach has always involved
what is called
A state where you know you are
unknowing and open to what is being
presented to you
– Robert Sinclair
Source: ‘A Visual Haiku’ by Robert Sinclair © 2009
To read the complete text from ‘A Visual Haiku,’ and view more paintings by Robert Sinclair:
robert sinclair at the artisans’ gallery
New at the artisans’ gallery – Joan Miró
Joan Miró: Paysage [Landscape] 1927
oil on canvas 129.9 x 195.5
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
What really counts is to strip the soul naked.
Painting is made as we make love;
a total embrace, prudence thrown to the wind,
nothing held back.
– Joan Miró
joan miró at the artisans’ gallery
How does one define meditative process or practice? In the context of this website, meditative artisanship (drawing, painting, crafting, sculpting etc) is taken to mean working in way that stills the mind and disappears the self. The artisan-identity melts into a creative rhythm referred to as ‘flow‘.
For some, this occurs almost automatically when they begin work – in this case it would seem that they are creating from an already-still mind. For other artisans however, intention and application are required, hence the term ‘practice’.
For some artisans their work/practice becomes obsessive and addictive – with or without negative implications. (Yayoi Kusama, for example.) For others ‘flow’ is quickly recognized as one’s natural state – the “way things are meant to be,” to quote Rollo May.
Meditative process and engagement with ‘flow’ is a common experience among artisans, although they might not refer to the experience in those terms. Yet many artists who practice meditation proceed to create ‘visionary’ or ‘mystical’ artworks – creating illustrations of something experienced, known, rather than expressions from the unknown. In the context of this site these artists are not included. The reason for this is simple: true meditation is a journey which leaves the self, its thoughts, ideas and opinions behind. The ego-self doesn’t like this at first, and when anthropomorphic images arise in the imagination, it very quickly recognizes them and is comforted. The next step is an incredibly subtle projection of one’s identity into the image.
This is where the meditative artisan’s practice departs quite radically from that of the visionary artist – they don’t settle for the infinite array of images the brain is capable of generating. They wait for the end of thought. They wait for the silent mind. It takes a certain complex combination of personal experience and disposition – coupled with curiosity and courage – to enter into this ‘no-thing-ness’ and await the clarity of action that inevitably emerges. Action, not idea or design.
This is not to say that all meditative art will be non-figurative or entirely abstract. (Still Life can open a window onto the infinite: see Amanda Robins.) What it does imply is that there will seldom be an accompanying narrative. The meditative artist doesn’t have things to say. He or she simply has things to make – things that are exquisitely capable of speaking for themselves.
– From the introduction to the artisans page
slow art | flow