Fine Artist Blog

Seeing Abstract Sumi e from Heart and Soul

Want to take a personal journey into seeing more deeply?

Do you know that seeing abstract sumi e from heart and soul can take you to a deeper level of insight, intuition, and understanding? It’s really a form of “sacred seeing”,

“When I Share With You”

like the ancient monastic tradition of lectio divina*, except lectio has to do with divine reading, as of scriptures or spiritual texts of many kinds. We can call this divine seeing.

I began this painting from a poem of Mary Oliver, one of my current and will-be-always favorite poets.

“I have just said


ridiculous to you

    and in response,

your glorious laughter.”

    – M.O. “I Have Just Said”

I have a heartfelt sense of the quote before I paint the image. I feel the quote in my body before I lift the brush and spontaneously let the chí, or life energy force, flow through the brush. I reflect on it afterwards, still in silence.

Now Use this Image to take a Reflective or Meditative Journey Yourself

Here’s how. Look deeply at the painting. Now go into your own heart, listening as you gaze at the painting for a few moments. Now read the quote. Go again into your heart silence and again listen. Wait quietly with the quote. Once more, look deeply at the painting, listening. Where does this image resonate in your own experience? What comes up for you? What is this image about now for you? Does it bring a new meaning?

If you like, change the title of the painting to your own title, to make it yours, to honor your own experience here. Write something down in your journal or on anything you have. You may be surprised how it comes back to you even later with deeper meaning and satisfying insight.

We each have a deep reservoir or untapped wisdom within us. “…if we go inwards, we can oftentimes see more clearly what is on the outside of our life…see far below the surface of life.”  When you connect this inner seeing with your outer seeing, your world takes on a different meaning for you.”**

This is what is new for me:

I had not previously gone back and worked with my own images as a creation outside myself, as I have suggested you do, until now. Since actually working this way with my own paintings, my own insights have been astonishing to me.

As an outcome, I have renamed almost all my paintings! Check to see this is so!

I began doing this exercise at the prompting of my mentor and friend, Charlotte Tomaino, author of Awakening the Brain. Thanks again, Charlotte! 🙂

Reminder of upcoming workshops — Find Your Heart and Soul in Sumi e Brushwork 

October 12, Foothills Art Center, filling up fast, and we’re trying to keep the enrollment down to 15!

November 30, Mayu Meditation Sanctuary, being scheduled soon.

*Lectio Divina, literally meaning “divine reading,” is an ancient practice of praying the Scriptures. During Lectio Divina, the practitioner listens to the text … with the “ear of the heart,” definition from Contemplative Outreach.

**Joyce Rupp, “The Star in My Heart”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to my  newsletter here


Type your email address in the box below and click the “Submit” button.

Thank you!

Your message has been sent. We'll contact you shortly

Contact  me

Fine art
by Marilyn wells

Denver COlorado

Marilyn Wells - Fine Artist