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Painting

Video: Art as Metaverbal Communication

An excerpt from opening lecture of Dr. Diamond's exhibit at the Katonah Village Library in Katonah, NY, July 2011.
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“From Kensho to Satori”

The Japanese word kensho is used in Zen in the sense of “seeing one’s own true nature,” the Buddha-Nature. Coming to the realization that one is a Buddha, and that all are Buddhas: Buddhas, Buddhas – everywhere!

It is always my hope that a sufferer looking at my painting or photograph will suddenly have this epiphany, this enlightenment.

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“Free Association”

Of course, I can be spontaneous, un-thinking, un-editing, when I paint. After all, I spent more than six years in daily psychoanalysis saying whatever came into my head: free association.

And I learned from this experience to trust my inner self, to give it its freedom. I came to Know that there was a Power that could heal me if I could just remove my ego restraints on It.

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“Zuihitsu: Following the Brush”

I don’t write books, but essays which are sometimes later collected into book form. The Japanese call essays zuihitsu, literally, “following the brush.” And it often seems to me that this is the way I write – the words just coming out of my pen, as if automatic. Or at least how I would freely talk.

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“Artists Often Declare”

Artists often declare that their work comes from their unconscious. That’s an ego-proclamation, of which they are proud.

But, unlike them, there are painters – never artists – who are led to believe that the work seemingly by them is really merely through them. And they bow before it in humility, in homage.

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“Empty and Full”

I do some drippings and flingings which vaguely – very vaguely – resemble Jackson Pollock’s.

One of our many differences is that I leave considerable space, whereas he fills every inch of his canvas. Too much, I think. No plains, all mountains. Nowhere to relax and breathe.

Every inch is filled – is wondrously full, but there is no emptiness.

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“I Read Blake and Feel the Spirit”

Of all the paintings and poetry I have ever examined, Blake’s have by far the highest Life Energy, because of his devotion to the realm of the Spirit. As Catherine, his wife, said of him: “I have very little of Mr. Blake’s company; for he is always in Paradise.”

He was an emissary of the Spirit World.

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“Why Did I Paint That?”

“There are reasons of the heart of which Reason knows nothing.” 

— Pascal

Why did I paint just that, just there, just then? I don’t know. (And the less representational a painting is, the less superficial the explanation for it.)

There are reasons of the Soul of which my mind knows nothing.

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“Jackson Pollock Dances”

You might think that Jackson Pollock’s movements when flinging the paint would be awkward – even violent. But look at the films of him in action: he’s dancing! There is rhythm and flow; there is grace.

My canvas is much, much smaller – no room for my body to dance – but when I look at it, my hand always is.

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“Every Painting Is Alive!”

Yes, I am pantheistic. Everything is Spirit – is its own unique individual manifestation of The Spirit. Everything is Alive! And the more we Know this Truth, the stronger can be our relationship with It.

Every painting is Alive! Every painting projects, emanates, This into the space before it, into us in that space.

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