I've gradually arrived at the belief that the images given to me
in my art embody states of being. They are representatives of a world where
body, mind and spirit are one entity. They are sometimes difficult to get,
but I'm rewarded when I return quietly and openly to invite their radiance to
flow through me.
To quote Rumi, "Do you
think I know what I am doing? . . . As much as a pen knows what it is writing".
I'm an instrument in the hand of cosmic forces. I try to minimize my own control
over my art to allow transcendent concepts to find expression. I open up the
window of creative energy by letting artistic determinations be made outside my
conscious direction. This service to the world gives me happiness, focus,
clarity and peace. I am filled with a reverence for the universe and every
person in it. The full-spectrum color and variety of styles in my work is an
expression of the equal value of each individual.
Abstract art allows me to enter more surely
into a field of energy which is a spiritual arena. Kandinski and Mondrian were
drawn to abstraction to express their spirit more fully than traditional art
encourages. By avoiding pictures of things and the stories that inevitably grow
out of them, spirit may be directly embodied in art, not added to what is mainly
a narrative. Instead of illustrating spiritual ideas they made art that, in
itself, is a direct manifestation of spiritual energy; clear, splendid and
Our culture values material things. The public
tends to be impatient with abstract art and prefers to sit back and be amused
and distracted, not challenged. Young children, less indoctrinated by society,
often understand art when adults don't. They feel its energy directly without
prejudging it or intellectualizing about it. They sense people's energies in the
In the new millennium we are experiencing a
spiritual revolution. Most people are not aware of this and ignore the evidence
all around them. The collapse of dictatorships, the growth of democracy, peace
on a global scale if not yet everywhere, increased sensitivity to our problems
of the ecology, a gradual ebbing of intolerance, a growing awareness that our
health is our personal responsibility and an increased recognition that we need
to accept responsibility for our own spiritual lives.
I am a part of this spiritual revolution, as
we all are. I am a transmitter of visual/poetic energy through my painting. I
feel an obligation to help these images move on into the world where they will
be seen and may find acceptance by those ready to 'hear' their music.
Years ago in a period of difficulty I began
using the I Ching, the Chinese book of changes, and have followed its spiritual
advice since in my life and art. Many works are thoroughly guided by it and rise
to levels I have not achieved alone.
In 1978 a new form appeared
in my paintings representing a particular life-force and called the 'eef' for
its combination of E and F forms. Surrounding it is a field of energy that
infuses it with influences. The flow of energy goes both ways. The summation of
every individual life-force in the universe results in the formation of this
field. This interrelation of the eef form and the field, mutually interactive,
formed the central theme of my work. My work became a concrete, vivid
celebration of our complex universe, expressing the idea that each of us is
connected to the universal field and, through it, to each other.
In January 2000 in print P10, white areas began
to open the space and lighten the atmosphere. On an intermittent basis the
whites continued to grow and began to break up the outer rectangle of the
picture plane so the white space outside entered and flowed through the image
area. The white became a larger field for the image to operate in.
Metaphorically more 'universal' than previously. I broke out of 'the box' and
got a wider perspective. Instead of feeling an inhabitant of the box, the viewer
is suddenly rocketed to a place where the box is seen as one world among many.
Like looking back at the Earth from space, one has new thoughts about it. It's
sort of like finding oneself as 'the observer' who can look at one's
'personality' in meditation, and so find that what one has identified so
completely with is not the real me, or at least not the whole me.
In this new, open space, objects began to take
on more individual shapes since they are no longer pressed against one another
like cells in a honeycomb. And they become clearly seen as separate from the
background. The whole concept of the eef and the field seems to have transmuted
into a new concept that I have now no clear description of. The eef is
disappearing, despite my wanting to hang onto it (because of my identification
with it and out of nostalgia too I guess). But I do know that I have gone
through a major transformation this year.
For at least nine months now I have been able
to sustain a higher state of being that before was only occasional. Any slipping
back into my old self is immediately noticed by my observer and I take steps to
raise my sights. I know any unhappiness is coming from inside, not from anyone
or anything outside. Since I have no denial about this, I can deal with the real
problem and resolve it quickly in a few hours.
Ted Knerr, © 2000 - 2002