Wednesday, August 7, 2013

29 Nights: Change & Constancy

night 27

night 28
I've been working on an artist's book with a working title of "29 Nights: A Journal of Moon Meditations."  It started this spring, when I decided to get more tactile work into my routine and use a brush, at the suggestion of a friend. I'd used sumi ink a bit before, including in the development of the Full Spring Studio logo. I decided I wanted something simple to work on - calming. So I decided to paint one moon every night for one moon cycle, starting on a new moon. 

I painted a traditional "enso" (meditation circle) and then used white crayon for the portion of the moon that was lit. Then I washed sumi ink over the whole page, revealing the white crayon, retaining the enso, and filling the page with a watery gray that created its own patterns as it pooled and dried.These images show the last three paintings in the moon cycle.

I started playing with a moon journal layout and poetry and research on how the phases of the moon actually work (as opposed to my initial misconceptions in my first draft of the poem.) Then I got busy and set it aside for a while to let it incubate. The theme that had been emerging as I worked on the paintings, poetry and learned more about the moon phases is that of Change & Constancy.

night 29
Change: In addition to the tides responding to moon phases, it seems like my friends and I rise and fall with the moon as well. I don't know if there is any science behind this seeming pattern, but I often feel low and slow near the new moon, and full of energy and ideas near the full moon. My whole perspective can change on what is interesting, advisable, and possible. Near the recent new moon on  August 6th, I was low again -- exhausted and overwhelmed, and noticing it was the new moon reminded me of this project and the other half of its theme.

Constancy: It is easy to cycle bright and dark like the moon apparently does. Before I looked into it, I used to think the moon was in the earth's shadow when it was a new moon, deprived of light, entering its dark phase. But in reality, the moon, (except during an eclipse) is always in the sun's light, it is just our perspective - our view of the moon that changes as the moon revolves around the earth. Behind all the apparent changes is something constant and reliable. The moon remains a solid sphere, bathed in light no matter what portion of its illumination we see at the time. I find this reassuring and a good metaphor for appreciating what is whole and constant in my life throughout the changing perspectives I have over time.

1 comment:

  1. The sense of time passing in this series is great. It makes me curious what the full moon looked like - I also appreciated hearing about your artistic process.