Wednesday, November 27, 2013
This is a recent commissioned painting for my friend, Lauren, to go in her office space at a wellness center. The painting is 24" by 24" and is entitled "Enso". It is inspired by the element of water. This is similar to the smaller 13" X 13" version of the "water element" painting that I created for a "Five-Element Series". This original series was inspired by the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water of Five-Element Acupuncture.
I am drawn to the "essence", "spirit", and qualities of the specific acupuncture points. In the Five-element acupuncture tradition, water is associated with the season of winter. The color associated with water is blue. The organs associated with the element water are the bladder and kidneys. When we have an abundant reserve of the water element we have strength, confidence, and will power. When we have a lack of reserve of water element within us we tend experience more fear rather than courage.
Water and the season of winter brings our energy inward to practices of meditation, stillness, and quietude. It is the most "yin" of all the elements. This storing of our energy throughout the winter months allows us to emerge with productive energy in the coming Spring.
In the Zen Buddhist tradition, the word "enso" means circle. It represents strength, elegance, the universe, and enlightenment. Traditionallly, an enso is created in Japanese calligraphy paintings using ink and a brush. It is both a disciplined and meditative practice.
For "Enso", I gathered organic materials from nature such as: dried pine needles and sticks. I combined them with acrylic and iridescent paints. The sticks resemble a raft floating on calm waters.
I am looking forward to the opportunity to research further into the characteristics of the five elements in acupuncture as they have inspired me so in my artwork. (image credit: photo by Lauren Going)