Kaethe Kauffman

The Mother Tree

The top half of the drawing, The Mother Tree, depicts an expansive tree that spreads beyond the picture plane. Autumn colors bless her leaves. When I contemplate this drawing, I can see several possible interpretations of the drawing’s meaning.  The large tree appears steadfast. In the lower half of the drawing, four small trees blow …

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Buddha Floating

Using ink and acrylic, I drew a meditating figure floating atop a void. The darkened ovoid space below the figure reminded me of an apple-shape. I grew up in Seattle and we had several apple trees on our land, perfect places of refuge. On many a spring, summer and autumn day, I climbed a tree …

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Clouds Low

Clouds Low is an ink drawing that depicts people meditating in nature. The left figure sits among boulders. She consists of multiple layers: the white outline, an off-white area inside the outline and an inner space with tightly drawn ink lines. When I meditate, I feel an outer level, symbolized by the outline, that is …

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A Unity of Three

When I meditate, I feel as though I drift through various mental levels. Closest to ordinary experience, I observe thoughts that arise and fall away. When I’m more relaxed, I perceive colors moving in interior space and I delight in watching them with my inner eye. In a deeper calm, I feel a tingly electric …

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Squid Kiss

I love cephalopods. One million years ago, Octopi and Homo sapiens shared an ancestor which bequeathed both species with similar eyes. The cephalopods are the most intelligent of the invertebrates. The largest eyeball on Earth, one very much like ours with a round pupil, belongs to the Giant Squid. When I gaze at a cephalopod, …

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Butterfly Arising

With this ink drawing, I celebrate our precious pollinating insect world. In the middle of the composition, the butterfly drifts aloft amidst an energetic environment created by hundreds of small ink lines.  As it flutters, I imagine the insect senses smells, temperature changes, airborne particles, visual indicators, sound vibrations, tastes, wind sensations, magnetic field resonances, …

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Desert Mirage

In Desert Mirage, two shapes are positioned near each other. I create a highly textured surface with many tiny ink lines to maximize a sense of energy in the shimmering air around them, similar to the visual movement inherent in a mirage in an arid land. The top form seems stationary, while the object below …

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Planted

In my studio, while working on my ink drawings series, Land and Water Meditations, I spontaneously drew a large tree that I titled Planted. With hundreds of ink lines, I created the vitality and energy of thousands of leaves in this enormous tree that extended to the top and side borders of the picture. The …

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Buddha in a Stream at Sunset

The other day, I spontaneously drew a meditating figure sitting in a stream. Looking at it later, I wondered why I’d placed a contemplating person in the water. Suddenly, it made sense to me because Buddha-consciousness constantly adjusted to the ever-changing flow of life. No matter what circumstances might drift along and engulf a person, …

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Pattern/Map Meditation

In my ink drawings about meditation, I attempt to depict what I feel when I meditate. In Pattern/Map Meditation, I illustrate both my inner and outer realities. The lighter ochre and lavender ink swirls in the outermost areas depict the gentle dynamics I perceive in my larger environment, vibrant with a hint of order in …

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