Painting as Meditation


My paintings grew from a place where I was spiritually seeking relief. Naturally, I was drawn to the meditative aspect of art. I took a painting course at a local community center in the evenings. It was Chinese Brush painting.

The teacher asserted that painters tended to be long lived because painting gave an outlet for their emotions. While we dutifully painted pages and pages of flowers, bamboo, and trees, she shared that while we are painting to imagine the quality of the subject. If you are painting bamboo, what quality of the bamboo would you like to see in yourself. Bamboo is very, very strong yet is flexible enough to bend in the worst storm. Two stalks of bamboo are stronger than just one. Using teamwork and asking others to help you makes you even stronger -not weaker.

I took her words to heart and through my work- I seek to be a better person and to show others how as well.

There are some people you meet in your life. You feel their impact years and years later through simple words and actions. Thank you- though now I don't even remember your name. I still hear your voice in my mind's eye.

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Ailan

Olsen