Enlightenment . 24x30 inches . 2008

1. natural lighting
2. artificial lighting
3. artificial and UV lighting combined
4. UV lighting only
5. no light (glow in the dark)
(sidenote: the glow is so bright that it lights up our entire living room.) :o)

Ingredients: acrylic, beach sand, finely ground glass, phosphorescent pigments, varnish, water & light on canvas.

It's taken a long time to get here, and I can't honestly say that I'm satisfied to call it done. On the other hand, I think it takes a maturity (that I don't really have) to know when to let it go. This in itself intrigues me, and I've decided that I'm willing to try. Anything more would be too much.

The good news is, I have the freedom to explore this concept again in the future, if it seems important to me to do so at the time. What I would be painting would be "Enlightenment," not a particular color or shape. I have no idea what enlightenment will look like to me in a few years.

This is what it looks like to me right now.

It's based off of a Zen Teaching that I read years ago in a book on Japanese Gardens. It struck me at the time, and made sense to me in a way that I can only describe as profound.

Enlightenment is like
The reflection of the moon
on water
The moon does not get wet
The water is not separated.

It's difficult for me to say much more than that.

One of the happy accidents that I love most about this painting is the subtle "aged" look that occurred naturally and that I enhanced because it was the right thing to do. I had initially wanted a smooth, glassy, water-like feel to the piece, but as time progressed, so did my intentions for the finished painting. I wanted to add "time" to it, painted time, painted to show the slow, constantly winding path we all take throughout our lives, inching ever closer to enlightenment.

The most interesting lesson I learned from this painting is that I don't think I'll ever be finished with it. :o)

Either way, here's the official listing in my Etsy shop.

I'm super excited about this particular "version" though. Perhaps I say that about most of my paintings, because the entire reason I make them is because *I* enjoy it. If I wasn't personally excited about it, you probably wouldn't ever see it, because I wouldn't really want to show you. The truth is, I'm painting for me.

P.S. So, I've been thinking of doing another walk-through installation piece..................