"Contemplation is always a revolutionary act."
--Beverly Lanzetta, from Radical Wisdom
Anything, visible or invisible, may be contemplated. However, some things tend to draw the contemplative eye more closely than others. My artwork, and this website, are created with this in mind, out of a meditative intention for all viewers, to foster and encourage a calm vitality, an energy of peace.
My new book of contemplative poetry is featured here. I have called it, I Take Your Poems to the Mountains. It is a volume of my translations of ancient Chinese poetry, coupled with my own verses.
It may be seen more closely and purchased here:
Also found on this site:
Under "Blogs" you will find two threads. The first is a discussion of visual work. It serves as an artist statement in progress. I invite anyone who wishes, to share their thoughts here in response to what you see on this site, and/or anything about contemplative art. The second blog is all about poetry. On it I will post favorite contemplative poems as I come across them, along with occasional original work. I welcome your comments and additions.
Under "My Artwork" you will find a variety of projects, from various times in my life. First is the most recent, a selection from my new line of cards which I am calling One Brush Cards, some 5 x 7 inches, others smaller, 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches. All are walnut ink on fine quality paper.
Next is my rock stacking work. These are small, temporary still life sculptures that I call Stone Poems. In each of these pictures you will see balanced rocks such as have been created in various cultures for thousands of years. I used stones found on location to create delicately arranged structures in the landscape. I have self-published a book of images from this series, paired with contemplative quotes. You may view the first 15 pages, as well as purchase it, at cost at:
These images are followed by the Disappearing Journal, a series of gesture paintings of bouquets of cut flowers, similar to the One Brush Cards. They are also similar to the Stone Poems in their strongly vertical forms, each emerging from a solid central base. Created over the course of a year, one per evening, they served as my drawing journal that year, however each entry was as ephemeral as a Stone Poem. Painted with brush and water on a special paper that makes the marks look like ink, each image, once finished, would immediately begin to evaporate. The images you see here are the photographs I took in various stages of their inevitable disintegration. I have also created bound portfolios of these images, also available at blurb.com.
Following these are other books I have recently designed, also through Blurb. The first two volumes, as well as the most recent, the fifth on the page, feature the poetry of my brother, David, who is an amazing poet. The third is a book of my translations of short poems from ancient China, paired with my own verses. In each, I designed and created the cover art as well as all incidental imagery. The fourth design is for my mother Clare's book of poems. It features work from her long life of writing. Once again I used one of my own paintings for a cover image.
Next, still under My Artwork, is "Early Still Life Work," an archive of drawings, paintings and constructions, dating from 1983 (before I went to school at the University of Minnesota) to the late 1990s, after I graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree. It is my hope that these images will create a context for the more recent work.
Under the third heading above is a work of contemplative music, called, "Epiphanies." The music was written by our friend, David Thomas, and sung on this recording by another friend, the soprano, Karen Clift. The lyrics are a poem, written by yet another friend, Sister Kate Martin. This past year David has also composed a five part work for soprano and guitar using five of my poems from Bamboo Cottage, two translations and three original poems. I hope to be able to share that with you soon.
The next section is devoted to the wood carving that my father has done. He has created many relief carvings over the last dozen or so years, and these are a few of my favorites. They include three which I worked on with him, especially his most recent one, The Call, a quilt carved from basswood. This piece recently won second place in a juried show in Grand Rapids, Michigan, called "Celebration of the Arts," an annual exhibition of Spiritual Art.
After this is student work from my Color and Design classes at The Art Institutes, Minnesota. I am very proud of the beautiful designs that come out of every class and hope you take a few minutes to look them over. You will be able to click on three different projects there. Last, under this heading, you may see a link to a youtube video of me painting. It is something I do each quarter as a demonstration in my color class. On this page you will also see a description of the project. Scrolling to the bottom will bring you to the two-part video, where you can see me demonstrate a structural use of color.
Finally, I have added a page of links to artists mentioned in my blog and my resume with contact information. You will also find there an interview with me that a couple of my students at AI did for their video editing class. I hope you will enjoy what you see on this site.
All content on this website is copyrighted 2012 by Doug Westendorp, unless otherwise noted.