When I’m in my studio, music always helps me focus. I concentrate until I lose myself in the canvas before me. I study the shapes and colours and trust that my experience will help me translate what I feel. Where does the painting want to go? What does it want to say?
Many years ago when I first discovered the artists in the famous Canadian "Group of Seven", I was immediately drawn to the work of Frederick Horsman Varley. His use of colour, his wonderful portrait and figure work held me spellbound. And I wanted to read all I could about the man and his art.
That’s the first time I saw one of my favourite Varley paintings, the masterful “Dharana.” (above) Varley had an intense interest in spirituality and in his words, dharana is “… a Hindu term,” he explained. “It describes a state of meditation in which the mind looks into the soul.” Meditation. Yes! Now I had a word to describe what I did in my studio.
The next time I heard the word dharana was several years ago when I decided to study yoga. My teacher, Gail Fulop, explained dharana as one of the eight steps of classical yoga, the ability to hold the mind on one object for a specified time.
What’s the meaning behind my abstract art? I paint what I feel and that feeling comes from very personal meditation. Thanks to Mr. Varley and to Gail Fulop and her wonderful SpoonStudio, home of (believe it or not) … “Inspire Yoga”.
Try it! Meditation works when viewing abstract paintings as well. Relax, take time to study each of my paintings and appreciate your own personal interpretation.