I have been busy in the studio of late. With the assistance of my beautiful wife I recently migrated from my old drafty and leaky studio to one in my old office. Complete with air conditioning and without leaks! With better lighting and more warmth I now manage to paint into the night…
Another big step I took was to start putting my paintings up for sale online through the Daily Paintworks site. The paintings shown in this blog post all sold recently and it was with happy sadness that I sent them off. They are selling dirt cheap but I am so glad that others can share the joy I get from creating these paintings.
Juggling life between work and painting, stress and friction builds up quite quickly without a discipline of a tempered pace and self-awareness. There is also the potential to lose the golden thread of creativity and spirituality completely. The Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki warned against this:
When we are too involved in the idea of time, or taking care of the material world, we will lose our way. A disciple will not be a disciple when he is completely involved in dualistic practice, involved in a busy life in the busy, mundane world.
Shunryu Suzuki, in Zen Mind, Beginners Mind
I find when things hum along, waking up to the fact of my existence as often as I can provides a source of energy, joy even. These are the moments of awareness that constitute a full, appreciated life not spent in forgetfulness.
From an old post of mine: “Lying awake at 2 am, I think again of Pessoa and his wonderful prose. He wrote:”
To shrug off all duties, even those not assigned to us, to repudiate all homes, even those that weren’t ours, to live off vestiges and the ill-defined, in grand purple robes of madness and in imitation laces of dreamed majesties … To be something, anything, that doesn’t feel the weight of the rain outside, nor the anguish of inner emptiness … To wander without thought or soul – sensation without sensation – along mountain roads and through valleys hidden between steep slopes, into the far distance, irrevocably immersed … To be lost in landscapes that are like paintings … A colourful non-being in the distance …
Pessoa, Fernando. The Book of Disquiet (Penguin Modern Classics)
Summer has come to New Zealand! I hope you enjoy this excerpt from a poem by Shinkichi Takahashi:
The Position of the Sparrow (last verse) ... Because the whole is part, there's not a whole, Anywhere, that is not part. And all those happenings a billion years ago, Are happening now, all around us: time. Indeed this morning the sparrow hopped about In that nebulous whirlpool A million light years hence. And since the morning is void, Anything can be. Since mornings A billion years from now are nothingness, We can behold them. The sparrow stirs, The universe moves slightly. Shinkichi Takahashi, translated by Lucien Stryk in Zen Poetry: Let the Spring Breezes Enter
Thanks to all who have encouraged me with likes and comments. A special thanks to those who follow my blog . I wish you happiness and contentment.
If you are interested to see more of my work, follow me on instagram (@fritzjoosteartist), or to view or buy my work, please visit my gallery on Daily Paintworks.