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We are our ancestors

Zen painting

A drawing inspired by...."If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people." ~Thich Nhat Hanh

There is a connection between us and all our ancestors. There is a connection between their actions, however long ago, and the way we are today.

I have been influence by the Fauve artists like Chagall but also the mesmerising work of Mark Rothko. The emotional qualities in his work, by placing colour upon colour resonates with the feelings I get when I read some of the quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh.

Some of the drawings below were completed using ink on paper. I kept the materials simple and restricted to black and white so that the subject matter was not cluttered. My drawing process is fluid and bold, working quickly and directly. This enables me to just use the ink as an extension of my thoughts, rather than worrying about 'picture making'. This loose style of drawing, combined with not worrying about how the end product will look, I think produces a piece with genuine integrity. The sketch image below was a vehicle for me to explore the subject, developing new ideas as I work. A feeling of the thought process, through the continual rubbing out and restarting, enters the drawing. I enjoyed the way the charcoal drawing began to speak back to me, with areas of unpremeditated marks presenting new lines of thought. - Mike Heseltine

Zen drawing

Zen picture

Zen painting

Zen sketch

Zen painting

Drawing using charcoal pencil.

Zen painting

Study of Zen saying by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Study using acrylic ink.

Study on handmade paper.

Study using acrylic ink on coloured paper.

Zen Sketch using acrylic ink on paper.

Sketch of the quote from Thich Nhat Hanh


Sketch. Charcoal and ink on paper.