Landscapes of life
Because living is just utterly, extremely, amazingly beautiful!
My first website was about ‘A Quest for Stillness’, because I used to look for a stillness in a world of chaos around me.
Do you know the song ‘I of the Storm’ by Of Monsters and Men? I so love that title. It sums it up exactly.
About one and a half year ago I changed my artist statement to Powerful Stillness. I still like that, but it’s not covering it completely anymore. I did indeed have found a Stillness and it isn’t exactly a quest anymore. (Though I still have to remind myself to actively engage with it.)
A stillness I find more easily in powerful moments. Moments of intense, majestic nature and also in the vicinity of the beautiful creatures we call horses.
But very recently I learned something new. Something much, much deeper than the powerful stillness on its own. I realised that life, true life, can be most fully experienced in that silent place.
And what’s even more amazing is that we can experience so much! Our senses are just incredible. Maybe there is much more, but what we are already able to sense is just… Mind blowing.
Just try it. Go sit for a moment and, for example, close your eyes and just feel an object near you with your fingertips. There is so much to feel! Warmth, cold, texture… and in so many incredible ways! We actually don’t have words for it! And then you are only using one sense! There are four, well actually five, more!
Isn’t that amazing? That we can all process that? That we can all sense that? That we can all enjoy that?
But you need to find some place of stillness to get there. Apparently I always knew that, because why else was I looking for it?
The problem with language is that it takes us away from the true feeling of things: The tree is suddenly composed out of just four characters. And we leave out all smell, sense, feeling and even true sight of the tree.
Now I can just ask you, or myself, to try and just see (and sense) the tree. But that’s really difficult. The mind will wander (again with more abstract words) and we will sense even less of the tree.
But when I will ask you to paint or draw the tree, your mind will have an assignment and it wil be easier to leave the thoughts for what they are. This way we can sort of trick our busy language-focused mind to stop abstracting the world around us and truly engage with our senses.
As you can see I don’t really paint trees, or any other realistic objects. That’s because I don’t only use my visual sense when I start to paint. I’ve always, subconsciously, known that there is more to sense and I started to incorporate that in my paintings for a long time already. Resulting in more and more ‘abstract’ paintings.
Hmm come to think of it, abstract is so not the right word! Because I’m not abstracting, meaning, leaving things out, no, I’m actually adding the other senses as well!
I’m not painting the stillness. Nor am I painting the chaos in which I’m looking for stillness…