New Works at SFZC January 2019
I am very pleased to announce that I’ll be installing a solo show at San Francisco Zen Center, a place that is near and dear to my heart.
Come and see what I’ve been making in Vermont at the Art Monastery!
Friday, Jan 4 at 7:30pm
Works on view at
San Francisco Zen Center
300 Page Street
through January 30.
Practice. Studio practice. Contemplative practice. The dedication and rigorous rhythms demanded by both disciplines inspire my work, which explores repetition, breath, and liquid movement as a space of transformation.
In 2008 I moved to Italy to lay the foundation for a monumental life-as-artwork: the Art Monastery. The vision of the project was to establish a long-term community of contemplative artists that applies the collaborative and intentional “social sculpture” of monastic life to art-making. We practiced intimately with intention, intensity and devotion. With a team of collaborators, I reanimated historic monasteries throughout Italy (near Rome, Pescara, and Lecce) into international arts production centers. In 2016, we made the transition to the US and today the Art Monastery is located on seven farm-and-barn acres along the Connecticut River in Vermont.
My time dedicated to the Art Monastery social sculpture has affirmed the daily link between meditation and studio art-making practices. Practice is a commitment, repetitive and prolonged, a disciplined and sustained effort that yields perspectives that are undiscoverable any other way. Regardless of the stated goal, practice in itself reshapes the practitioner over time, whether gradually or through bursts of inspiration and insight. By engaging the repetitive rhythms of practice, my work also aims to reshape my life as an artist.
Almost all of the paintings in this show use Yupo paper. Yupo is a Japanese “treeless” paper that is basically waterproof. Because it is waterproof, the ink puddles and floats on the surface, as opposed to sinking into the fibers the way it would on normal paper. The ink continues to move until it dries, creating movement and maintaining brilliance of color.
I begin my studio sessions by lighting a candle and offering incense, invoking the muse, the divine mother, Naga Kanya, and Avalokiteshvara. I work intuitively, in connection with my breath. Each line, drawn with tiny paintbrushes or fine-point pens, is made in intimate relationship with the breath.
Sometimes I chant before I begin my markmaking or while I am painting. I recite the Jewel Mirror Samadhi, the Harmony of Difference and Equality, the Fukanzazengi, the Hymn to Prajna Paramita, and other sacred texts. The titles of many of these works come from that sacred poetry.