In the beginning there was water. According to the creation myths of many cultures, the world began with water. "Darkness was there, all wrapped around by darkness, and all was Water indiscriminate," says the Rig Veda (3700 B.C.) According to Genesis 1, "....Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." In the Taoist-based Qigong routine that I practice, several movements include "water": Picking Up Water; Row the Boat at Lakes Center; Scoop the Ocean/Look at the Sky; Pushing the Waves. The Tao Te Ching teaches us to emulate the qualities of water in our daily lives. Sensitive Chaos by anthroposophist, engineer and water researcher Theodore Schwenk teaches that "cosmic consciousness" is symbolized by water and that water movement, by its very essence, signifies change.
Water is also the matrix of biological organisms. In his book Life's Matrix: A Biography of Water, science writer Philip Ball calls water "the real elixer." He writes "....Biological structures and processes can only be understood in terms of the physical and chemical properties of water. Biology starts with water — historically, ontologically, pedagogically." No water, no life.
As for my paintings, I naturally paint flowing shapes. This has more to do with the way my body wants to move than with my mind trying to convey a particular concept. A good example of pure flowing forms is "Shimmer on Water".
How beautiful and varied are the shapes and colors of creatures who live under water. There are far more species in oceans and seas and rivers than are found on land. Add to jellyfish, goldfish, and anemones the imaginary creatures of my imagination and you get "Important Conversation" (shown above), an underwater scene that started out as two people sitting on yoga mats and ended up as two "mermen" (male version of mermaids) who are holding a conversation while seated on a living “magic carpet” that is actually a nudibranch hovering above a large oyster shell. An enormous fish overhears the conversation of the mermen, while lovely river sprites (Hindu “nagas”) collect the fruits of tree-like creatures, unaware of the secrets being told below.
My gratitude to Lezlie Green for inviting me to show my water-themed paintings at her Waterstone Salon. The artist's reception is Friday, September 14, from 5:30-7:30 pm. at 14 South First Street in Ashland. If you are in town please come by to enjoy the artwork paintings and to say hello.