Takashi Murakami’s Art, and our Upcoming Trip to London, Paris, Berlin and Turkey
In a few short days, we fly to London to start our adventure..
It is hard to leave the quiet mountains with the incredible blue sky and my studio, but I am eager to be on the road again.
A few weeks ago we flew to Dallas/Fort Worth to see a major exhibition of Takashi Murakami’s recent artwork.
The Modern Art Museum, located in Fort Worth, was designed by Tadao Ando, a Japanese architect known for his use of concrete, glass and water to achieve minimalistic, clean lines.
The museum is cool, but the artwork took my breath away.
The exhibition, called “The octopus eats its own legs,” was a mini retrospective of Murakami’s work through the years.
To my delight and amazement, I found myself standing in a big room in front of several large silkscreens of his “Arhats” paintings.
I did not expect to see any Arhats paintings in this exhibition, even though it was my heartfelt wish to see them up close.
The Universe arranged it for me, and I was delighted.
I took my time in front of these paintings, examining them for my own inspiration.
By now, I have painted seven scrolls in preparation for my art project of the 500 Arhats, but I was not sure how to proceed.
Now, after seeing Murakami’s Arhats, I can feel what elements of his paintings are exciting and what I can adapt to my own project, and what I do not want to do again.
I think I have a clear idea of how to proceed, but the real direction will occur by itself in my own studio, after I put pencil to paper and start sketching.
The flow always takes me over, and I rarely feel that I am in control of the artistic process.
From now on, I want to paint the Arhats in different sizes, to add more color, more free and imaginative forms, and less like the photos of the Arhats that I took in Shikoku.
Back home in Colorado, we are preparing to spend the next three months in Europe.
We will spend some time in London, and then walk the first two weeks of the Via Francigena pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome.
In two weeks we will be able to walk from Canterbury to Reims in France.
We will continue walking the pilgrimage again in springtime, after the winter snow has melted in the Swiss Alps, and the famous Saint Bernard pass is open once again.
The reason we are walking two weeks now, in the cool and possibly rainy season, is that it is a long pilgrimage (2200-2500 Kilometers depending on the route you take) and due to the European Union Schengen Agreement, we are only allowed a total three months at a time.
If we take two weeks of walking off the total now, we will have plenty of time to finish our foot pilgrimage from Reims to Rome next spring.
I am looking forward to walking again.
After a long summer homebound because of our new roof installation and many hours in my studio, I am eager to walk again.
I almost have doubts if I can walk and climb mountains and hills after a long summer spent mostly sitting in my studio.
I feel stiff and not very fit.
But I know that fitness is not just a matter of exercising muscles, but much more about developing a mindset of determination and NOT taking cues from the body.
In other words, I must push through and walk, despite any little aches and pains.
If we take our cues from the body, or do things only when the body is in optimal condition, without any aches and pains and fully rested, we will do very little.
We must trust that if we walk with a mind focused on the unlimited nature of our spirit, we can do great things.
The body can be trained to be a faithful and willing friend, and not a foe or a heavy adversary that we struggle with or drag along with us.
It can learn to be lighter, more cooperative and be transformed to a body full of light, as it was actually designed to be.
But all of this is just idle talk, unless you put it into practice.
If you have not yet learnt to make your body into a sweet, willing and wonderful ally to your glorious Spirit, I urge you to start.
It is a rewarding journey of discovery.
I am not just looking forward to starting the pilgrimage, which will take us through small villages, farmland, quiet rural roads and the countryside of northern France, but also to walking around the many neighborhoods of London, and later around Paris and Berlin. I am also really excited about the six weeks we have allotted to roam around Turkey.
I am hoping to write and blog about our Europe Autumn trip and about the beginning of our Via Francigena pilgrimage.
I am adding some images of the fabulous Murakami’s whimsical stunning Arhats that Jules and I took in Fort Worth.
Deep Ellum is a funky neighborhood in Dallas full of music bars, cafes, and alternative restaurants.
It is also full of vibrant and colorful street art.
I have also included some of these mural images.
With warm blessings,