This new painting, a thin slice at 4″ by 24″ on paper, is called Samadhi and is part of my show, Observers, that opens Friday at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA. It was one of those pieces that I start then somehow lose its momentum during the process. The first movements come easily and a flow is developing and it seems as though it will soon reveal its true self. Then suddenly it’s gone. There is no obvious next move and the surface gives me no hints, has no voice for the time being. Even the marks that are made have lost all animation, seeming lifeless. All I can do is put it aside with the hope that at some point it would call out and want to emerge fully realized.
And that is how this piece evolved. It shined than dulled then suddenly became energized once more. The end result seems effortless and graceful but coming to this end was a struggle to clear the mind so that it might come through.
I suppose that is where the title, Samadhi, comes in. Samadhi is a Hindu/ Buddhist term that represents a meditative one-mindedness, a connection with the ultimate reality of things. A union with the divine.
Now, I am not a Buddhist or schooled in Eastern religion so I am not going into a long explanation here. It’s a word that describes a fragile, fleeting state of being, one that suddenly appears for those who have the ability to release the binders of self and enter a meditative state where they are not in the moment but are the moment, bound with everything around them and beyond.
It seems so easy but becomes impossible with too much effort, too much struggle.
And that is what I saw with this painting. I struggled with it and it became more and more distant and alien. But I set it aside and came back with a clear mind and no expectation. It would be what it would be. And what emerged reflected this attitude.
Calm. Accepting. Ethereal and always in the present, the continuum of the past and the future connected in the moment.