Watercolor Meditation: The Artist is Universe

Watercolor Meditation: The Artist is Universe
Watercolor and Egg Tempera on paper
56” x 56”
This work was featured in an art exhibition at Florida State University.  I created this artwork and wrote the following as part of my art education doctoral coursework:

Marina Abramovic’s Art 21 videos really struck a chord with me.  She spoke of repetitive actions which made me think of how we repeat our way of being in the world and are transformed slowly.  There are many boundaries we must face, within ourselves, our communities, the larger society. Slowly, over time, our ways of understanding and being change.  Slowly, society is recognizing the many ways women have been continually subjugated and there is movement towards a better way.

Abramovic spoke of silence.  I have a strong need for silence and peace because of my
nature/personality, temperament as well as my history.  Students today are living and learning in
a cacophonous world and art making can create a space for silence in their mind.  Through this
silence and meditation on their life they can move toward a more heightened awareness of
themselves and the world.  I use myself for art, as Abramovic does, but this is expressed very
differently from her, which reflects who I am. My artwork is meditative.  Through repetition of
shape, color, brushstroke, the mind can enter a place just beyond consciousness where deeper
experience and meaning can be found.  Abramovic explains that through repetition one can
enter a charismatic state of mind, a mental state when focusing, meditating, repeating. This is
how I have worked and continue to work over an extended period of time, beginning in
graduate school in the 90’s.  Over time the art making experience is transformative. Abramovic
explains this experience as a door to something completely else to elevate the human spirit.
This is what my work does for me and it is reflected in my art teaching practices. I work to
create a space where students can enter and be awakened to themselves, and move toward a
positive experience of life.  Through my teaching, I am contributing to all students, especially
women, moving toward a deeper understanding of themselves in the world. For women, I think
that through practicing personal freedom within the art making process and meditating on this,
they are moved toward realizing how society has created artificial boundaries that inhibit their
personal freedoms and begin to work out solutions on how to break down these barriers in their life.  

Abramovic talks about how the artist should look deep inside themselves for inspiration and that
the deeper one looks, the more universal their experience becomes:  “The artist is universe.”
The art making experience becomes a metaphor for the student’s life and can become a metaphor
that solidifies understanding.

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