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Linework >
1,090 Breaths, 2020

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1,090 Breaths, 2020

Price: $250.00

Size: 12x9"

Media: Archival acrylic ink on paper

I made this piece at Art Monastery Vermont, February 2020, during the Artmonk Practice Period, a 3-week silent retreat. We were meditating many hours each day, eating our meals oryoki style (Zen-style ceremonial eating form), and lifting silence only to sing & chant in the morning and evening. I was in deep connection with my breath. 

While all my paintings are made in connection with the breath, this one I took to the next level. Each pen stroke is the length of one exhale, following the flow of the natural breath as opposed to elongating the breath because I wanted a longer line. To ramp up my precision, I counted the number of strokes. To simplify the counting, I counted 10 breaths and then made 1 tally mark on a piece of scrap paper. I was well into the piece before it dawned on me that one of the most basic meditation instructions is to count your breath, up to 10 and then start over again. As with the meditation, so the painting: the process of counting clarifies the moment the mind wanders. This piece was made with 1,090 lines and 1,090 breaths.

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