A series of new paintings by Mark White, on both copper and aluminum panels, exemplify the artist's mastery of the engraved and patina-dyed metal surface.
Featuring shimmering surfaces of brilliant jewel tones and contrasting warm gold and red, the paintings range in size from 8" x 8" to 16" x 48" - all of them share an uncanny trait, which is the downward angle. This makes it seem for the viewer that he is looking down into a vibrant, glassy-surfaced pond.
Inspired in part by Taoist practice, White has included the following brief text to accompany these unusual, mesmerizing paintings:
Heron stands in the blue estuary,
Solitary, white, unmoving for hours.
A fish! Quick avian darting;
The prey captured.
People always ask how to follow Tao. It is easy and natural as the heron standing in the water. The bird moves when it must; it does not move when stillness is appropriate.
The secret of its serenity is a type of vigilance, a contemplative state. The heron is not in mere dumbness or sleep. It knows a lucid stillness. It stands unmoving in the flow of the water. It gazes unperturbed and is aware. When Tao brings it something that it needs, it seized the opportunity without hesitation or deliberation. Then it goes back to its quiescence without disturbing itself or its surroundings. Unless it found the right position in the water’s flow and remained patient, it would not have succeeded.
Actions in life can be reduced to two factors: positioning and timing. If we are not able to be in the right place at the right time, we cannot possibly take advantage of what life has to offer us. Almost anything is appropriate if an action is in accord with the time and the place. But we must be vigilant and prepared. Even if the time and the place are right, we can still miss our opportunity if we do not notice the moment, if we act inadequately, or if we hamper ourselves with doubts and second thoughts. When life presents an opportunity, we must be ready to seize it without hesitation or inhibition. Position is useless without awareness. If we have both, we make no mistakes.
Taken from: 365 Tao Daily Meditations by Deng Ming-Dao