In my art-making practice and mixed media paintings, I try to create a sense of openness, space and depth. Whether it’s the illusion that a flat painted surface is folding or a primordial ocean is expanding into infinity, I am honing my techniques to “fool the eye” (trompe l’oeil) into perceiving what is not there.
Similarly, yoga and meditation are ways to create space within myself. The mind can get claustrophobic with its ceaseless patterns of repetitive thought, which was the inspiration for the work pictured here. Much like swirling clouds that continuously dissipate into one another, it takes effort to access the ocean of boundless calm that lies beneath.
For me, yoga and art are disciplines that grow incrementally over time, breath by breath and brushstroke by brushstroke. The Buddha teaches that even the tiniest drops of water will eventually fill the water jar. Once the gears start turning, the body responds (“Wow! I can touch my toes!”), and the picture gets painted. I sometimes wonder how I will begin to create a work of art. It usually starts by being grounded in what is happening right now, putting one foot in front of the other and trusting that the accumulated marks will create the visual sense of expansion that I receive internally through yoga and meditation.
Jason Brammer is a Chicago-based painter, muralist and visual artist. See more of his work at jasonbrammer.com.