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Meditation
posted: November 15, 2012
Hat's Off...

In the late 70's, my 3 best friends (who happened to be my band) and I took a hint from The Beatles and The Beach Boys and plunked down our $75 to learn Transcendental Meditation. At that time it was very difficult to lay off beer and doobs for a two week period so we could go into our first session with the required clear heads. But we made the sacrifice and learned how to meditate.
In the ensuing years I meditated on and off depending on the need and the time constraints of family and career. Over the past several years, however, the kids are clearing out, and in an effort to keep the creative fires burning brightly I have worked meditation into my daily routine. I get to my studio early and do computer foolishness for about an hour while having my morning coffee. That done, I turn everything off and sit quietly for 20-25 minutes. I then have my oj and draw for an hour in my sketchbooks. I have found that meditation has made my daily drawing more focused and measured. By clearing my mind, often the good stuff comes in. Sometimes it doesn't, but that's ok. I have been drawing in my sketchbooks long enough to understand that there are cycles. Sometimes it's happening and sometimes it's not. The important thing is to keep doing it because you never know when lightning will strike in the form of a killer idea. I don't mean to proselytize here. I have no illusions of world peace or the ability to levitate. I just know that it works for me.
Lately while meditating ( when I was supposed to be purging my thoughts) I have found myself thinking about how to graphically represent what meditation feels like and what it looks like behind closed eyes. I started making small thumbnails in my sketchbooks exploring these ideas. Then I started painting watercolors of those thoughts. All, of course, with an eye on the extremely lucrative counter culture market!
Black Drift...

Raptus - This title is ripped from one of my favorite Marsden Hartley paintings which hangs in the Currier Museum in Manchester, NH....

Float...

Pinnacle...

Clear...

Here/Now...

Concentric...

Kaleidoscope...

Revelation...

Good For What Ails You - Of course there are some that will argue that the accordion is the quickest way to Nirvana....

9 comments
Bill Carman November 15, 2012
I thought doobs were essential to meditation. Still that wonderful charm to your work. Maybe you can share some tips on how to break in to that lucrative counter-culture market.
Mark Fisher November 15, 2012
Enlightened stuff Hal. I admit to doing EST in the late 70's and all I got out of it is the realization that I was a fool to spend $350 on it.
Joe Ciardiello November 15, 2012
Beautiful watercolors, Hal. I admire your ability and discipline when it comes to meditation. I keep falling off the wagon.
Rob Dunlavey November 16, 2012
These are so confident and easy looking; they come from a good place — presumably. Posting about meditation is a sort of brave thing to do, I think… It's good to let folks in a bit to see what makes you tick, or not. Tangentially, I'm reminded of George Herriman who was an ardent animal lover and (maybe) vegetarian. There was that side of him (the other side being, of course, a certain Kat). From the other end of the spectrum, I think of Jean Michel Basquiat being pressured to get his shows together, strung out on all kinds of junk his dealers or handlers provided him with… just getting through the process of turning our insides out. Such is the life of an artist! Keep up the healthy routines Hal.
Fisher November 26, 2012
Hal send these to David Lynch the director, he has a TM foundation and maybe a sense of humor.
Michael Sloan December 4, 2012
These are great, Hal. I love the watercolor washes.
howard davies June 4, 2013
thanks for this, Hal - you've inspired me to start keeping a sketchbook and meditating again. And your work continues to make me LOL!
Jeffery Lindholm January 10, 2014
Hal, what a great confluence. I have resolved to restart my meditating this new year after a long layoff and needing to ease some worries, and just yesterday a friend sent me an article about the resurgence of the accordion (it's what I hope is a healthy obsession, but not sure my wife wants me to learn how to play), so I was delighted to see the final one. Thanks for the inspiration! Nice work.
Sarah Gordon April 19, 2016
Hal, Any update about what became of these drawings ? Were they utilised by the David Lynch Foundation ? Or another organisation ? I would be interested to know the outcome. Nice work.
All images copyright Hal Mayforth and may not be used without permission | 802-229-2716