This tactile series is called “White Blindness.” This is a reference to the pain and vision loss when encountering bright light. At this time of social isolation, my reaction was to seek refuge in the great teachers and leaders of history. So I created the “Isolation Icons” as part of the “White Blindness” series.
I chose a large square shape of 36 inches by 36 inches. It’s large enough for a portrait, and I can still hold it in my arms.
The titles of these stretched canvas tactile paintings start with the name of the principal colored paint, and then I match that color with an iconic image. The under paintings are primarily pure saturated color. I use stencils, tape, or string to make simple shapes that are outlined in thick paint, and then use fingers or brushes to help me feel the edges of the image. Then I use collage or textured paint for the images. After that, I follow those colored texture areas with many multiple transparent white glazes. The only pure color is left at the edges or in small details of the canvas’s image. The perspective is flat like old religious icons. I use symbols, letters, words and numbers. Sometimes these are upside down to denote ignorance of information, mystery, or even danger.
Since I am a certified insight meditation teacher, I also embed meditation directions in Braille using transparent plastic sheets.
It is not unusual for me to also use multi-cultural or multi-racial imagery, as that is my experience of life and art.
Ultimately, everyone seeks safety, health and respect. I am doing the same through these paintings. I do them as an act of simplicity, contemplation and even devotion. May others find rest with these paintings.