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The Meaning is not in the Words, 2018

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The Meaning is not in the Words, 2018

Price: $350.00

Size: 11x7.5"

Media: Ink on Yupo

I made this piece at Marin Headlands Center for the Arts, February 2018. 

I prepared my materials and then began as I always do: I lit a candle, offered incense, invoked the muse & Qwan Yin: bodhisattva of compassion, the mother of all buddhas, the divine feminine who I consider to be the trans bodhisattva (she manifests as different genders at will). I sat with paper and ink ready and waited, in connection with my body and the larger world, aware of the Connecticut River meandering just outside, connecting my flow with that flow. Eventually some impulse arose and compelled me to move. I poured one color at a time, sometimes leaning in close and moving the ink with my breath.

About the title

The title comes from sacred poetry, a Buddhist sutra called the Song of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi, which I learned & chanted when I was living at Green Gulch Farm / Green Dragon Zen Temple on and off from 2014 to 2018.

About the signature

This piece was photographed before I signed it, but you may be curious to learn that it is signed "Betsy McCall 2018" in the lower right hand corner. I made the original before I received my dharma name and started going by Suiko. Because this was before my name change, it is additionally unique! For more about my name change, take a look at my blog posts.


In concordance with my heartfelt wish to honor the earth and be living with increasing ecological sustainability, I use frames have been reclaimed! These are high quality frames that once hung in a hotel in Vermont. The frame is made of wood and painted silver and gold. They do show signs of wear with rich character. I cut the matte myself to make sure it is the perfect size to show off the original painting and look great in the frame. I use archival-quality acid-free matte. A piece of reclaimed backing material (foamboard, chipboard, or matting) is added in the back to secure the original and the matting inside. That backing is then taped to the frame using eco-friendly tape. I use tape so that it would be possible in the future to remove the painting from the frame. The hanging apparatus is extremely sturdy and will work with a simple nail.

This original painting is available with a window matting, bevel cut. The matte is acid-free archival quality. Color is as pictured. The finished dimensions of the matte are 18x20". If you'd like a different color, different size, or an additional matte, it is possible! Just send me an email and we can work it out: You can also contact me through the online form.

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