Individual prints free to download
I have spent the last few years fascinated by
Koans, Zen Buddhism and collecting Buddhist books. Many Koans and Zen
quotations seem, at first, pointless. However, they have a habit of
drifting back into your mind and forcing you to think in a new way. I
have learnt to stop trying to make sense of them and now allow them to
be formless and not deeply analytical. I just meditate upon them without
engaging logic. This has led me to start using them as a starting point
for painting. My response is now a form of non representational
thinking. The paintings are a simple emotional response, and like the
Koan, do not demand an explanation. They are what they are. I realise I
should not be influencing anyones response to a Koan, but maybe my
paintings show that their influence need only be a mood or feeling,
captured in my case by a colour. Koans that inspired the
Koans that inspired the
Mike Heseltine has been a professional artist for 30 years with paintings in collections worldwide. He currently lives in Scotland and is focused upon illustrating Zen Buddhist Koans, stories and proverbs. This has taken him into pure abstract work, in an attempt to create images that capture sensations and emotions that we feel when our minds our still and without thoughts.
This book was begun with the intention of producing one copy for his children as a guide to his spiritual interests, for them to follow if they wished to do so. Friends and family encouraged him to make the book more widely available. The contemplation of Koans and Zen Proverbs through abstract painting is a useful one, as it steers away from attempts to have analytical discussions or logical conclusions. Instead, it enters the world of non representational thought and echoes the Koans own paradoxical nature. The paintings have no specific meaning, no profound message or ability to provide spiritual answers. Instead they are just a personal response to the feelings and sensations experienced whilst having a still mind. Their subsequent value to the viewer may be in the way they capture a glimpse of having no thoughts. There is nothing to write about them, no description required, they are just what they are. If this is accepted, they can help the viewer enter a state of being totally present in the moment, without thoughts to distract one. Acceptance of what is, without the need for analytical thoughts, conflict or explanations, is a path towards deeper happiness.
If you wish to contact Mike Heseltine, please write an email address.... . Thank you.