selfieI love the little Zen art I’ve experienced. It gels, it rings my bell; and any damned poseur trying to explain it obviously doesn’t understand. He misses the bus—at best he is a simpleton or at worst he’s out to impress others. (Yes … I do realise what I’ve just said …)

Zen art … simply is.

Good. That done, let’s get on with the post. Bess posted a shot of a work-in-progress which from my perspective seems most excellent just as it is. Without having gained permission and knowing what artists can be like (I married one! Boom boom~!) I shan’t purloin what I saw on her blog (lovely poppies, Bess~). But—

—it certainly seems in the zen mood.

Zen artists, we’re told, capture the spirit of the moment. And in as few brushstrokes as it takes. The greatest swordsman that old Japan ever produced was one Miyamoto Musashi (in WW2 Japan named a truly fearsome battleship after him) and he was also a most excellent Zen artist—

Screen Shot 2019-05-15 at 20.18.35.png

—capturing his subject with little fuss (Audubon, eat your heart out).

Like these, for example (above and below):

Screen Shot 2019-05-15 at 20.19.14.png

Screen Shot 2019-05-15 at 20.18.08.pngI could wax lyrical here, and babble and burble, which would NOT be in keeping with the theme of—

—unpretentious honesty with as few brush-strokes as it takes.

Capture the moment … and

Bess’s poppies certainly seem to do that.





10 thoughts on “FOR BESS

    1. In the navy I fired a few anonymous cartoons around that blended the ridiculous with humour whilst making a point. My ‘style’ was simplistic, but not (I’m afraid) Zen.

      1. Interesting. So you are sayin’ that farcical, Monty Python-esque humour (clearly with a simple purpose) is not conducive, can never marry Zen? 🤔

        No! Say it isn’t so! I want my bourgeois cake, the sinful icing, AND I’ll eat it damn well as I please wearing my wig, crown, sexy gaudy King Louis XIV silk-jacquard with lace frills, AND throw some tidbits to the peasantry and delightful cleavages perched atop the “dirty” corsets! Marie would be proud I think. Now THAT’S just Zenful, yes!? 😈

      2. Shakespeare said it … “To thine own self be true …”

        If the Python humour is contrived (isn’t most?) then it’s not Zen. If they sneak in an effective ad lib … that is Zen.

  1. Bless you, Argus! I’m so very glad you liked my poppies. You are possibly the only other person I know who appreciates this lovely flower as much as I do.

    People are funny with pastel sketches. There are some who don’t consider them to be proper art – those who advocate for the mastery of oils in particular. But, I’ve always liked pastels. They are immediate and vibrant enough to make an impression, and are certainly a more than worthy medium for capturing fleeting inspiration.

    Mr. Musashi’s paintings are something else, aren’t they? Just beautiful. I haven’t played with ink too much. I was bought a set of acrylic inks some time ago, but never got around to using them. Perhaps I should. 🙂

    1. Zen style is a whole field in itself, Bess. To capture the essence in as few movements as possible, and transmit that through the ages. To try to explain, or interpret, a true Zen work is a mistake—you either see it or you don’t. Think Yoda—”Do not try! Do! Or not do, but do not try!”

    2. As for art, I believe that if it needs explaining it’s probably all very clever … but …

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