Drawing Daruma in amethyst

This bullet is from my About page:

  • The favicon, the image preceding the URL (Web address) at the top of your browser window, is a tiny version of my digital drawing to the right. This mimics Jiun Onko’s
    18th-century brush paintings of Daruma (Bodhidharma), the monk traditionally acknowledged for bringing Zen to China some 13 centuries earlier. As Kenneth Baker, art critic of the San Francisco Chronicle, put it in a 2001 review of a show at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Onko’s images are generally “a simple outline, barely suggestive of a seated figure,” cross-legged in meditation. Just so. Here is a link to the one that I used as a model. If you have a copy of Tanchu Terayama’s Zen Brushwork, go to Exercise 19, where you can see him draw Daruma in Onko’s style.

    This fall I moved to a new office. Imagine my surprise as I walked past the open door of a colleague’s office and saw this silhouette (right) against the far wall on the side of her desk. As another colleague said, the resemblance is “uncanny.” The rock is a geode, a natural nodule with a mineral-filled interior cavity. This particular sample is from Brazil and is partially filled with amethyst (purple quartz). The interior void — in this case, a not-so-vast emptiness — is a fairly common occurrence. In fact, a collector, or a finder intent on selling it, would generally saw it down the middle on the longest axis in the hope of getting two for the price of one. That means that somewhere in the world this “silicon Daruma” may have a chiral twin.

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