I constantly complain to myself about how long it has been taking me to complete work called, I Ching Meditations.
The reason it is taking me so long is because not only is this a huge task to make seven images and words for sixty-four hexagrams, I have started from the beginning several times as my medium changed over the years. I began this work before there was such a thing as a personal computer and Internet. My original I Ching inspired images were drawings, etching and paintings. I am also frequently side tracked with what I feel are other seductive tasks such as, The SketchBook Project sponsored by The Brooklyn Art Library.
My confession is that I have a new addition to my I Ching obsession.
All my illustrations that are seen here for I Ching Meditations were created on a computer with digital programs. I love making images using computer technology and my mantra is that the Internet is the greatest invention since the discovery of fire. Creating in this way is fun and rewarding and a very different experience from using any tactile medium. Every once in a while I am over come with a fit of wanting to use real paint. The feeling is physical, sort of like when I am very thirsty and need a drink of water.
Recently I suddenly felt that nagging urge to use the hands-on medium of paint again. There wasn’t any particular image I wanted to paint. I just wanted to “play” and enjoy the experience. I thought of the book Henry Miller wrote after he left Paris and was living in California, called, “To Paint is to Love Again.” That’s a good way to describe it.
In order not to get side-tracked from my work on I Ching Meditations I decided to paint something simple and fairly small while staying connected to the I Ching. I began by using the Chinese glyph for hexagram one, as the basic starting point for an abstract design. I enjoyed the process so much I am compelled to complete all sixty-four glyph paintings and will gradually scan and post them here. The originals are each nine by twelve inches, painted with acrylics. I have had to make two promises to myself for this paint series. I limit the time I spend each day working on these paintings and do it as a treat, like having desert. I often work on them while I watch my two favorite television shows, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, combining two pleasures at once. The second promise to myself is that I will not start over on any painting until I finish all sixty-four.
The act of making these glyph paintings may be like taking vitamins to keep my system in good health. They become a meditation themselves as I focus on shapes of the Chinese calligraphy that signifies the meaning of the hexagrams. I think of them like the manuscript illuminations from those early days of books when works were hand painted with elaborate initials.
I begin here with the glyph painting for hexagram one, The Creative.
I recently posted the image and line one for Hexagram 14 in a Page. The rest of the lines and hexagrams to follow there.