Painting as play and meditation

Art Gallery

Roshani, unexpectedly, in our online art gallery!

020 DSCN3196
040 IMG_0275
045 DSCN3191
060 IMG_0277
070 DSCN3194
120 Lone-Leaf

My life until five years ago was always about my left brain. I was a Professor of Political Science for nearly half of my life, and before that, another seven years in university to earn a Ph.D. I did express some creativity in my work life, managing to keep students engaged in the classroom, and in my writing. For example, my dissertation is titled, The Transmutation of Alchemy into Science and Social Thought, not a mainstream topic, even in the early 1970s. However, I doubted that I had access to real right-brain creativity at all.

I am now 77 years old, retired and able to expand my creative life. Several years ago, my dear husband gave me a birthday gift of a watercolor retreat. I had often thought I would like to try painting and here was my chance. Since that workshop, I have produced more than 125 pieces. But most important, what I discovered was access to a new form of meditation and play.

200 IMG_0286-(5)
210 IMG_0279-(2)
215 DSCN1323
215 DSCN1325
220 DSCN0631
240 DSCN0069

When I am painting, I am totally present, relaxed, aware of what every brushstroke yields on the paper. There is a sense of joy and wonder that arises as I play with the paints. And, most amazing to me, I am non-judgmental as the process unfolds. Osho speaks of meditation as consisting of awareness, relaxation, nonjudgment. Painting, for me, fits that definition.

Of course, over the past five years I have learned and practiced technical aspects of painting, such as color theory, design, composition and the like. But it is the joyful play and meditative immersion that keep me painting.

100 Anemones
110 ris-Blue
130 DSCN3236
140 Roshi-Ele-2
150 Rooster-final

It is difficult to express my sense of surprise and wonder at the pieces that have been created. My beloved continues to participate in this beautiful becoming by helping to select colored mats and frames. That is a two-person play with its own quality and it brings him joy to join in what he started.

If you have never picked up a brush full of paint, I recommend it to everyone. If a left-brained former political scientist can explore creativity, play and meditation through watercolors, so can anyone!

Related articles

Roshani is a retired Professor of Political Science at Western Oregon University, and is a regular contributor to Osho News.

Comments are closed.