What Is

These Zen Brush paintings are a physical representation of a spiritual experience.

What happens when we leave the familiar world behind and venture through the Gateless Gate?

What happens when we let go of all our ideas, beliefs and knowledge, especially our sense of who we are, and surrender completely to the universal energy?

That is Zen Brush.

This state of being is not easily accomplished.
And yet anyone can do it.
It is nothing special.
And yet very special indeed.

For those willing to venture forth, you will find all your artistic skill, knowledge and experience useless here. In fact, they are barriers to your entry. Please leave your artistic ego at the door.

What you will find is complete freedom from the incessant inner critic ... and from yourself. The paintings happen, but you do not paint them. You'll see in the About The Artist section my reluctance to sign them and questioning of who the real artist is.

The Process
My personal process is simple. I've had a Zen meditation practice for a little over 20 years. So I begin with that. I empty the cup to the best of my abilities. I then do some Tai Chi to free my body from any blockages or tension that might interfere. Then I use a Buddha Board to further free myself from any attachment to what I'm painting. After preparing the "vehicle", I prepare the ink, brushes and paper on the floor in front of my meditation cushion. Then I sit in meditation again. At some point the paintings begin. The brush moves extremely quickly. Each painting is created within the span of a single breath. The speed helps to eliminate any attachments that might crop up.

The paintings emerge as if completely on their own. The artist is merely an empty shell, a vehicle for the expression of something else, something beyond human concepts and limitations.

But at some point human nature reasserts itself. The ego emerges again and wants to exert some control over the process. Add some paint here or there. Make an "improvement". When that happens I stop painting. Those paintings are never as fresh, real or surprising as the paintings that emerge spontaneously and free of the "artist". They lack the universal life energy.

At that point I either return to meditation to empty the cup again or I stop painting for the day and clean up.

The process is incredibly liberating. The following day when I wander among the paintings drying on the floor, I feel as if I'm discovering a pure gift of the universe. I know my ego-self could never paint with this energy and freedom. But somehow here the paintings are. And I'm grateful for the gift. The energy of those moments remains in the paintings. You can see and feel it for yourself.

Here's a link to the Gallery. Enjoy.






Just This