One day, having sat for a length of time in our garden, I became aware that I was sitting in and was a field of timeless energy. Everywhere I looked I could see tremulous, horizontal lines of pulsing energy. The trees, the air, the grass, the birdbath, my shoes, my body, the chair in which I sat were all interconnected lines of life. The lines were impartial, neither cruel nor benevolent. They were, what writer and poet David Hinton, calls the “generative tissue of the Cosmos.”

This tissue expresses itself as a continuous flow of absence into presence, presence into absence, a constant state of flux shifting from emptiness into form only later to shift back into emptiness. After this experience I felt compelled to create a contemporary, visual language depicting the vision that occurred in the garden that afternoon.

Interested in the subjects of impermanence, qi or breath-energy, absence and presence, I turned to Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu’s ancient text Tao te Ching. Each of my bodies of work is an opportunity to express its wisdom visually.

Using line and grid, ink, water, pen, and paint, the goal of my paintings and works on paper is to engender a quieting of the hyperactive mind. Through prolonged viewing, internal and external chatter is quieted. Functioning as objects of contemplation, they remind us of that which we are, what we come from and will return to. Think of them as modern mandalas holding talismanic, meditative power – a form of practical magic helping to place us in harmony with the energies of the Cosmos.

Lisa Espenmiller Resume