Contentment Being Oneself

Stockholm, Sweden, Dec. 24, 1998

Giclee print: 33 cm x 91.5 cm

Black open shadow boxframe: 38.1 cm x 91.5 cm

In ’98 when I first started on my “aimless pilgrimage” of going around the world to paint, I found myself in Sweden. On the bright sunny morning before Christmas, in my friend Lina’s flat overlooking the beautiful Stockholm harbor, I painted calligraphic portraits for two new clients. Then, still feeling the energy to paint, I looked within. This is the painting that came forth. 

The graphic designer for PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES, the journal of the Jungian Institute of Los Angeles, was laying out the image of this painting for the cover of issue #44. He thought the three little dots below the soaring stroke were dust specks and removed them. I smiled and said, “No, no, they are important!” He asked me what they represented. “Well,” I said, “They could be ‘vulnerable, helpless, and not-knowing.’ When we have embraced these virtues in ourselves, we can have contentment!” 

As you would notice, this is the only painting in this series that is placed in a western frame, rather than mounted on a Chinese scroll. The original of this painting hangs as a scroll in a psychotherapist’s office in Stockholm, and it’s quite tall and narrow. To show the whole scroll in the frame of a webpage, the painting image to me would look a bit small, so I decided to break form and show a larger image in its giclee version. In doing so, you would also get a sense of how these paintings might look mounted in a western frame.