The Art Monk’s Gratitude

A more mindful practice to guard and listen to my soul in these dark times has lead me to seek the wisdom writing of other artists who have, or are dealing with the same.   In 2015, the French poet, Philippe Jaccottet published a meditation on the work of Italian artist Giorgio Morandi.  It was the title of the book;  The Pilgrim’s Bowl  that attracted me to the prose within its covers.  I think of my work as an artist. I am a wandering and wondering pilgrim.  Recently I read an interview with the writer, Justen Ahren talking about a “monastic approach to writing” which re-affirmed, and helped me renew my own discipline of art practice.  In ‘stripping away the assumptions and pressures’ of painting I make a begging bowl of my body, my self, so I may receive daily the mana the world offers me.  As I mindfully open to this awareness the writing of French philosopher Luce Irigaray resonates.   My woman body receives and experiences what the world offers.  My sensitivity to environment, the genius loci, the spirit of place is crucial to my way of being.  I am called to honor and guard it.  In particular I reflect on my recent artist’s residency at CAMAC in Marnay-sur-Seine, France this past September where I initiated my 2 year project; “Alchemy on the Seine”.

My daily studio practice began with silent walking by the Seine.  My begging bowl overflowed with offerings from the vegetal and non-human world.


These are gifts that are constantly coming.  I have come to realize that creating this exhibit; painting, creating installations and filming is making a gift, it is a giving back – ‘increasing the abundance,’  the gratitude,  the connection.  Creativity, is a transaction with the divine, the mystery, the ineffable.”  The derivation of the word ‘monk/monasticism’ is from  the Greek word meaning ‘alone’.  The word is not owned by any particular religion.  It refers to the submission of every aspect of one’s life to a particular purpose.  In my own private moments of renewal to myself as artist, I ask:  “What if I gave my life to painting, joyously, gratefully? Where would my painting take me?  Where would I take my painting?”

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *