Modern art 4

Terry praying. Beijing. Fall 2001
Gouache on paper. 55 x 80 cm.


My friend Terry is a fervent prayer. I wanted to catch her in a moment of enlightenment. I think praying is kind of bowing in the face of total harmony. Forms and colors, forms, colors.

The great harmony is something objective. The great harmony is what all great religions and philosophies of humankind pointed to. It just can't be deranged, whatever happens in the cosmos, in our personal lives or in our human societies harmony is always resulting... Religious rites have always a functionality, in the case of prayer (religions of the word) or meditation (Eastern approaches) the rite helps the follower having a glimpse of the great harmony.

Disharmony is an impossibility, it is a creation of our egos.
We fabricate disharmony through our desire for material possessions that instill greed, envy, jealousy
in our hearts. And thus, all great religions and traditional philosophical systems discourage the desire for material possessions.

As human creations, paintings are subjective renderings and in consequence they are not automatically harmonious. In a painting of whatever style some objective rules apply to reach harmony.
The harmonization of the artist's subjectivity with the objective rules of beauty governing our changing cosmos is what art is all about.


The first phase of my work is automaticism. This is still very visible in this painting. The blues of the sky have not been reworked, and give a feel of spontaneity. Lines have been added to accentuate the movements.

- The yellow below the sky is hiding what was more blue, only some parts of that blue have been kept to form the first elements of the content developing under the sky.
- Yellow was used to hide some parts further down to the bottom.
-- At that stage, I started to draw lines, taking the opportunity of forms that appeared in the colors and trying to discover a harmonious combination covering the whole page. The content of my work is designed in that stage that I call "making sense'.
- When I succeeded to make sense out of the chaos of colors, I tried to reach color
harmony of the complete page. To do so, I restarted working with colors in between the lines till I was satisfied with the harmonic of the page .
- In the last phase I rework the lines to have a clean finish.

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