My Theory of Painting

Rather than play with form as an end in itself, each form has an integral meaning in the development of the work, and each brush stroke, splatter, wash or mark, however small, is a necessary part of the pictorial fabric. Images are constructed by painting for subtle nuances, by relying on the brushes for spontaneous swift gestures and strokes, by carefully adding lines, or by aligning strokes and gold leaf in patterns decided upon at the moment.

I want to allow the possibilities of unpremeditated approaches, unforeseen directions, or surprising connections of color and form. Besides being an opportunity to experiment with new forms in painting, my personal interpretation of Buddhist experiences require a more fluid and free painterly expression than might be provided by conventional representation or Buddhist iconography. Rather than being paintings that originate in my mind, I feel that they are, instead, a confirmation of existent forms within, or a part of a universal language that all people share.

In both traditional and modern nihonga, delicately or dramatically painted subjects, whether birds, flowers, people, insects or landscapes, appear cherished equally as remarkable and ordinary. Showing the Buddhist influence in the culture, artists often paint the ephemeral nature of existence. “Everything as it is,” “the suchness of things,” or “everything changes” are phrases often heard in Buddhism. Life and death are brought together in one moment as a theme, not for an expression of sorrow, but as one for celebration. I work to express feelings of momentary uniqueness and endless change. Every painting is in motion and also still.