Artist Trust Benefit Auction Feb. 7th!

oil on canvas 24"x36" 2007
buddha2 oil on canvas 24"x36" Zalman Berkowitz 2007

Sometimes a painting will just fall together easily and thats what happenned with this one. I was playing with thinner underpainting, thinning the oil out so as to show more of the tooth, the gritty texture of the canvas. Originally it was a friend and patron who wanted me to “paint him a buddha”. Of course you are the only one that can paint yourself a buddha, right? so it didn’t work out quite how we may have planned, but nonetheless, the inspiration came from a friend, thanks Ty!

some ideas behind the composition:

I repeated a symbol for the buddha three times, illustrating mind/body/spirit or Id/Ego/superEgo or Whatever (point is there are three regions, three aspects (at least) to one’s experience of life and the journey…). Lots of experimentation, dry brushing, playing with surface, scumbling, dragging the paint over the peaks of the canvas, etc. Sensually, it was a joy to paint. Colors were initially limited to modulations of yellow/violet like the earlier painting “Hear.Now” but this time I just could not want to stay away from a touch of blue green! so the sometime distraction of spontaneity, and its revitalizing gifts! Which seems to highlight the ever present possibility: to return to the clarity of the Center, which can be thought of as a unification of the various aspects of Being… Or something like that. There is also an unfinished quality to the image, which seems appropriate for this theme. We are never quite finished with our journey of becoming the buddha within ourselves, it seems to me… so far!

Anyhew, thank you for your interest. If you can make it to the Auction, please do. AT has put together quite an amazing number of artists. More information on their website to the right of this post. Artist Trust is an excellent and necessary organization, and they deserve our support!

Peace On Earth,

Zal.