This past weekend I was working on a commissioned silk tie, and while the art was drying, I started cleaning up the studio. I picked up an unfinished painting left over by a student who became disillusioned at her inability to “create what was in [her] head” and I thought…There is so much ink here, why not play with it?
Alcohol based inks are easy to reconstitute, simply by re-wetting all or portions of a painting with clear alcohol and, since I had nothing in my head, I began by rubbing off areas of what looked like stones on the shores of a pond.
Gently pouring more alcohol I encouraged some of the middle portions of the former pond to drip and expand. When I turned the image, I decided that what was intended to be the sky looked better at the bottom.
When I gingerly edged the darker shapes with a cotton tip, a beautiful yellow strip appeared among the clearest of blue tints. And by carefully spraying alcohol, the original edges of the “pond” were erased. The resulting jewel-like shapes were truly pleasing. I added purple dots with a stubby marker, and played with the rose colored tip of another.
With fascination I observed how five drops of Magenta ink “bloomed” into the typical spread when colored dyes land on the Yupo paper and an almost dry brush helped me mimic blossoms seeming to appear from nowhere.
It wasn’t until today, and after experiencing a powerful solar eclipse, that I understood the significance of what I had created and how it all reflected the celestial event.
Gazing at the art I instantly relived the physical, emotional and spiritual journey when I was, more or less in alignment with 2 significant forces; the yang sun and the yin moon.
Illumination and introspection collided at the moment when the moon covered much of the sun’s light; and even though just 69% of the moon blocked the sun’s glare, its power was profound.
The normally busy and noisy park where I was became quiet near and during the 2 minutes when the two celestial bodies reached the near totality.
In silence we beheld the sight of the waning black gibbous moon acquiring the brilliant orange headpiece formed by the sun.
The light turned a cool gray with green overtones, casting dusk-like shadows beneath the trees, and little jewel-like duplicates of what was seen above, showed up on the ground among the trees’ foliage.
As the moon began to move away from the sun, children and adults, many perfect strangers to one another, slowly started moving about, smiling and embracing each other.
There was magic as we witnessed darkness disappearing and the sun shining once again. Showers of light poured down and turned into bright pink spots on the vegetation and on people’s faces.
It was like Love was raining upon the earth.
Solar eclipses are magical gifts surprising us with a rare moment of darkness when it should be light. It makes us stop and observe our role in a constantly moving planet, orbiting around the sun, while the moon orbits around the earth. And it is the moon’s travel around the earth that impacts tides, flora and fauna and causes eclipses when it aligns in a certain way with the earth and the sun.
The moon also affects our emotional life, and solar eclipses offer a cosmic experience of introspection’s value and importance. It tells that we must honor the darkness within with gravitas, loving-kindness and perspective; trusting that whatever at a moment is shadowing our inner light, it will soon pass. In time, we will once again feel as if Love was Raining to heal the wounds and flowers may appear, as if from nowhere to add joy and breathe new life into the day.
Original art is available here, to be a constant reminder of the wonderful eclipse of the sun on August 21, 2017. Who knows? Beholding it may cause you to always walk around with a smile etched on your face!
A final thought,
Never insist on painting what’s in your head. Take up a brush, or whatever, and let your heart guide you to what needs to be created through you.