soul and purpose

"Through my paintings I hope to communicate a personal enthusiasm and respect for the natural world, thus encourage in others an active stewardship of same." -- JEANNE ILLENYE

My painting process - Q&A on painting - On painting in zen and other good stuff

Question & Answer
So often over the years I've received questions pertaining to my painting process, whether it be technically, emotionally or even spiritually.  While I've attempted to answer in my sidebar commentaries, folks can easily miss it with so much to read. Therefore, I'll periodically post some responses here in my blog section which you can find quickly in the search bar on the left.
So keep those questions coming as I love hearing from you!
On Painting in Zen
 "For me it most noticeably occurred about 15 years ago with the creation of the most challenging paintings of my life, my huge, elaborate florals. The process was so intense and required so much mental energy it was peculiarly more work than studying differential equations or chemistry. Those paintings took months to complete as I taught myself how to grow to a new level. What is that Zen feeling for me? Where time is incalculable...observation and skill merge into a spiritual experience. Hurdles are long forgotten and I seem to be in a comfortable plateau in terms of color mixing, composition, balance, etc. The tea kettle boils dry...the promise of only a few minutes at my easel soon brings the realization six hours later that it's 3AM...the insatiable desire to keep recording ideas on panels that stack up by the dozens in my studio before I can find time to get back to them...the meditative state that occurs every time I sit at my easel...I call it auto pilot...the ability to tune out...the familiarity of spending so much solitary time in deep concentration. Only the jarring sound of a phone or the undeniable sweetness of birdsong or fluttering wings splashing in the birdbath can pull me away momentarily from my easel...before my work once again beckons. It's a spiritual experience which I hope my work someday lives up to. Right now I'd say the richness of the process actually exceeds the results...but I'm working on that...." Jeanne Illenye (c) 2010


Nora Kasten said...

Jeanne, do you think your "auto pilot" is the same as my "gut feeling" or The Power Of Now? I do . . . Nora


Hi Nora, Yes I think it must all be connected into the same "thing"...meaning instinct, gift, inner voice, etc. We're all connected so much more than we realize, not only to one another but also to our earth and all her beautiful inhabitants. Some are simply more "in tune" with that sixth sense than others. Like you, I'm a firm believer in "gut feelings". It can even be sort of like a preminition. I think women generally are more easily tapped into that sensitivity. My "auto pilot" at the easel is like painting without consciously thinking -- like I'm somewhere else -- very spiritual. Thank you Nora, for sharing your wonderful comments! Jeanne

Diana Moses Botkin said...

It's comforting to know that another artist is working alone late into the night, lost in thought and prayer and oblivious to the passing of time. Keep up the wonderful work.


Thank you so much, Diana! Yes, I'm equally glad to hear that I'm not the only one. Apparently there are many of us who seem to relish the peace and quiet of painting into the wee hours. It's meditative and really gratifying to awaken the next morning with the knowledge of having a head start on the day! Last night I finished two more pet portraits which relieved some stress about my heavy schedule today. There are lots of benefits to being a night owl. ;o) Always great to hear from you! Jeanne

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I was published in Visual Language Magazine


Blessed are those who see beautiful things in humble places where others see nothing.

names of colors A-Z