Meditation – Seek Spirituality
This painting is one of my very first creations. It is my first big-size painting, measuring 60cm by 80 cm. I painted it about three years ago. I had some struggles with the background, and I wasn’t pleased with the overall look, so I kept it aside.
When we moved house, it surfaced again. I decided that I’d put the final coat to it. It represents for me such huge personal value, and it is not just because I live together with the beautiful model that the painting depicts. All that struggling, hours to make it work. Witnessing that slow progress in how it turns into an art piece, figuring out how oil painting works, solving the arising problems, all made precious for me.
If I had started this painting now, it would look so very different. In just those three years, my painting technique has changed so much / I hope for the better.
Anyway let’s talk about the subject, Viktorija was so kind to pose for me for this painting. It is made from a photograph. We went out to Woburn Abbey Garden to take the reference photos. It was a wonderfully sunny, warm day, and we found this big flat grey rock. She got into the zen meditation pose, and I took a couple of photos. The reference picture was done.
Nothing else was so easy, but that is part of the progress.
I knew from the beginning that I didn’t want to just paint how the photograph was. I had plans. This painting I wanted to be spiritual, not just a pretty image. As a matter of fact, the whole idea started with that. But how can I express through painting what is meditation? That was the challenge.
The question of what meditation is is a hard one. To illustrate that is even more challenging. I decided that I would focus on the person and her act – that should tell the story, right? So the pose should already tell she is active in meditation in nature. I love nature, but in this case, I had to reduce it and leave just a tiny bit around the model. Why? To give space for the main subject/the Universe. So I cut the outside world around her, but I could not really get rid of it. This is one major thing I want to express – can you really ever get rid of the outside world? So she is going inside, but the outside world is still there, can you follow this? When she is reaching a thoughtless state in her meditation, the boundaries of the two worlds are disappearing. She becomes her experience of the world. Her mind is reflecting the Universe. The outside world and the inside world dilute, melt into ONE single experience. That is the experience of oneness, and this is what this painting wants to express.
I experimented with the background, first of all. I wanted to create texture with thick, rough paint to contrast her smooth finish. The colour is the colour of the Universe, the cosmic latte, according to the scientists, this is the average colour of the Universe.
When you put lots of sugar in hot water you can see how it melts and how the elements mix with each other, but how can you express that in painting? Combining the elements was my next challenge. Luckily my day job is being a tattoo artist, where we regularly dip the tip of the tattoo machine in a glass of water. The reason: to clean it or to achieve a softer shade. When you first do that the clear water and the ink start to mix with the water amazingly. Most importantly, there I found a great example of the mixing of elements. I just needed to paint it.
Now her trouser is not smoking, that is the liquefied ether, the substance of the Universe.
This is the story of this painting. What it wants to say in ONE short expression: Seek Spirituality. Thank you for your attention.