Sunday, December 7, 2008

Variations on the Surface of a Stump, Between Light and Shadow, Etched by Time

Etched by Time

Between Light and Shadow

Variations on the Surface of a Stump

I enjoy close views of nature's colors and patterns. These intimate views are like little secrets, waiting to reveal themselves to open eyes. I never realized until I read one of Robert Genn's articles at The Painters Keys site, on the art of Miksang, that this art form had a name . This is how the art of Miksang is defined by Wikipedia:

Miksang is a Tibetan word meaning "good eye" and represents a form of contemplative photography based on the Dharma Art teachings of Chögyam Trungpa, in which the eye is in synchronisation with the contemplative mind. The result of this particular perception of the world, combined with photography, produces a peculiar and open way of seeing the world. Miksang pictures tend to bring the observer back into the original contemplation state of the author of the picture. The pictures can bring one back to a purer perception of reality that is often neglected. Miksang involves nothing fancy, no special setup; only a visual capture, in the proper state of mind, of everyday's reality.[1]

I didn't know, until I read Mr. Genn's article, that I had been practicing Miksang for most of my life, even in my childhood days when I ran in the open fields and waded in the bubbling streams of rural Pennsylvania! It seems like I've always been fascinated by the textures of rocks, sea shells, flowing streams, snowflakes, weathered man-made surfaces, ropes and fibers, desert sands, etc. I could go on and on about the things that excite me visually. What are some of your favorites?

I dedicate this post to my fellow bloggers whose love of nature feeds my own, and gives me courage. You know who you are!

All images and text c Lynda Lehmann. If you would like to view more of my art or make a purchase, please visit Lynda Lehmann Painting and Photography or my gallery at Imagekind, where you can choose from several sizes and paper types or buy my prints plain or matted and framed.

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  1. Hi Lynda - I love these images here and I see that we share the same interests such as surfaces and natural patterns. Wonderful. Cannot wait to see more of these...
    A coincidence - lately I published some photos on my other blog "Magic Worlds...." under

  2. Wow...I never knew it had a name, either! Miksang is intriguing. I've taken some photos that would probably qualify, too.
    Wood is such a great subject (even trees, in whole or part.) So much texture, color, pattern. Wood's an amazing thing. Clouds & fire can be interesting as well, although they don't tend to be as intriguing as wood.

  3. I have never heard of Miksang before. Thank you for introducing me to a term that describes the way I like to look at the world--in person and in photography! WOW! Very cool to have a name for it. I always love your texture images. As a kid, I would just sit or stand in front of these kinds of surfaces and run my fingers of them, memorizing there touch as my eyes memorized their sight. Seeing your photos brings me back to being a kid.


  4. fascinating Lynda...
    I'm a great fan of Robert Genn's letters too...
    these images are really magnificent :))

  5. These are so interesting, nature never disappoints when you are a photographer!

  6. Nature's pattern is in deed intriguing and I love your images showing exactly that

  7. fantastic captures. excellent textures

  8. Lynda, I'm at a medical building that has high speed internet and was able to load on your page!!!

    The time-etched light and shadow pics are awesome!!! I've been practicing Miksang to without knowing it. :D

    Have a super day.

  9. Hey Lynda!

    Beautiful template - I like your blog's new look :D!

    My, my, my...such beautiful miksang art! I loved it *clap clap clap*! I wonder what your mind was contemplating when you were taking these pics!

    My favourites are the textures of sand, rocks, soil, and fire. I love watching the fire and its colours - its vitality encourages me to look at life with serenity (never tried to take a picture of it while I am contemplating its vitality and its symbolism; I may try it one day)!

    I hope all is well with you, darling :D!

    I wish you a happy week!


  10. Petra, isn't it great how blogging allows us to discover our common interests (as well as our commonality on deeper levels)!

    Will check out your site later today! Thanks for stopping by. You do beautiful work. :)

  11. Lana, I agree with you about clouds and fire, although I've never had a really successful fire shot. I HAVE tried....

    Water textures are also among my favorites, as I've said. And the patterns in sand. Lucky us, that the visual world can be so exciting!

  12. Cindy, that's a good thing, to feel like a kid. Kids are not yet jaded by the world (most of them, at least). And anytime we as adults, can escape into a more contemplative and joyous state of mind, it's a good thing!

    I know YOU do it with your camera, regularly!

  13. Amazing images. Look close and you shall see.

    happy trails.

  14. Macro images have always been my favorite type of photography, and nature offers some of the most beautiful ones. Love the Between Light and Shadow - the colors and the pattern are unique and beautiful. You have a gift for finding them, Lynda!

  15. Kim, thank you! Hope to speak to you soon. :)

  16. Carrie, you're so right: Nature never disappoints! We always have beauty to turn to. Thanks for stopping by!

  17. roentarre and evlahos, thanks for commenting! :)

  18. JJ, see, we all learned something from Robert Genn about what we were already doing!

    I'm glad you got on a fast connection and were able to visit my page! Hope you can get a faster ISP at some point, so your internet life will be easier. :)

  19. Max, I've tried capturing images of fire but have not had any really good shots of it. Probably because I never have my tripod when I need it most!

    I agree with you that fire, with its elemental quality and "vitality," encourages us to look at life contemplatively. I could watch fire for a long time, as it's so comforting and seems to evoke an awareness of timelessness for me. Do you get that same feeling--of something both primordial and eternal at the same time, from fire?

  20. Swubird,

    You have the power of the succinct! "Look close and you shall see."

    Well said! As for me, I tend to say things the LONGGGGG way. :)

    It's always good to see you, Swu!

  21. Kathy, thank you for your kind words!

    You have a great eye for closeups too, which I've enjoyed so often in your posts!

  22. Lynda,

    "Do you get that same feeling--of something both primordial and eternal at the same time, from fire?"

    I do...I even go farther: fire transmits me the purity of existence (that is, the purity behind the reason why we exist, why we're here); and at the same time the warmth of being...

  23. So, Max, do you mean the fire symbolizes "pure being" and the power of Creation? (I wonder if somehow an incipient awareness of the "Big Bang" is programmed into our brain cells?)

    I guess fire IS the quintessential symbol of life force in the face of the dark emptiness of space (even though it's not really dark and empty but full of intense, dynamic energies)

  24. Lynda,

    "So, Max, do you mean the fire symbolizes "pure being" and the power of Creation? (I wonder if somehow an incipient awareness of the "Big Bang" is programmed into our brain cells?)"

    I mean exactly that (you read me well). Hmm, that is a great question...I never thought of it before, so I wouldn't know what to tell you...but I will give it some thought :)!

    "I guess fire IS the quintessential symbol of life force in the face of the dark emptiness of space (even though it's not really dark and empty but full of intense, dynamic energies)"

    I feel inclined to agree with you, darling! And yes, darkness and emptiness aren't really dark and empty...they just appear to be is like our reality, it only appears to be real.

    Have a great weekend, darling :D!


  25. Fantastic shots, Lynda! And thanks for sharing the info on miksang, I had never heard of it before! And that while working in a bookstore where a group of Tibetan artist is creating their beautiful paintings! ( I keep being amazed by their stunnning creations!
    Wishing you Happy Holidays and many blessings for the New Year!

  26. Thank you Anne!

    That sounds intriguing, to have the opportunity to watch Tibetan artists at work. Do they make art for the monasteries?

    I have a friend who makes sculptures for the Lamas, and has done so for the Dalai Lama himself! And she has studied with him extensively.

    Bookstores are ALWAYS fun! I usually want to buy an armful of new stuff to read, and have to restrain my impulse!

    You too, Anne, many blessings... :) xxx

  27. Magnificient shots!
    I particulary enjoy that too!
    I hope we keep in touch and all the best for 2009!
    XX Purple Cat

  28. Purple Cat, all the best to you, too!


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