Enso Inspired II

18 x 24 in.

Acrylic on Paper


Decoding the 'My Kinda Enso' Series

What is Enso?

Traditionally, Enso is a sacred symbol in Zen Buddhism meaning circle. Drawing a Japanese calligraphic circle without stroke interruption is a manifestation of the artist at the moment of creation and the acceptance of our innermost self. The act of repeatedly creating enso circle paintings symbolizes strength, elegance, and one-mindedness.My interpretation:

This Enso series differentiates from Traditional Japanese Enso Painting in two ways: color and composition. The color is a bronze paint that when diluted turns turquoise; such the painting is treated almost as a watercolor. The composition is sometimes circular, but breaks the traditional composition and is more of a direct interpretation and reaction after 20 minutes of meditation.


This series was born as a way to stay connected to my art practice as I travel. The papers are small enough to transport with me, and brush + paint easy enough to carry along. Every morning before presenting an art history lecture for Smithsonian when I'm abroad in Europe, I meditate and finish my internal session with a "closure" ceremony. Thus carrying my artist practice with me as well as further connecting it to my meditation practice, as they are one. You can read more here.