Perception drawing

Imagine the usual drawing action. The artist look at the subject/object, and the space on the canvas, control the pencil with their hand. Eyes move back and forth on the subject and the canvas.

But if when we are in the state of form where there is joy in perceiving the subject (in this case the flower). Our eyes don’t really move away from the subject.

In this case, that is the methodology used to document the lotus at this stage.

With that method, drawing is just an action of moving our arm. If we put the drawing action into the context of Buddhism in the World of form, we then do not desire to draw perfectly, nor hoping to place part of the flower logically on the paper.¬†Immersed in the world of form, this perception of drawing can explain as an documentation of joy… probably.


Awaiting the rebirth of lotus, the outer petals of the lotus sound like paper. It reminded me of some weird thrill when I get from stepping on dried leaves. The crisp sound. A sense of satisfaction.

The petals are a little brown and its core with spots of oxidation. The lotus seeds giving off a layer of oil when my fingers rub on it. The flower smell a little green.
At first I thought I could split the process of recording into equal parts. Yet I realized in nature and law of Buddhism, there isn’t a clear line of separation. Everything undergo transformation and changes. There are overlaps and recurrence. If I were to split the process into world of forms and desire or into mindset of suffering and impermanence like how I read on theory books, nothing will work. Like how all objects and living things live, they rely on each other, they exist upon the existence of one another. For example, vases exist because flowers exist. Flowers can have their value extended because a vase held them high up. This interrelationship can never be broken.
So the idea in the world of form teaches us that form and materials co-exist.

Initially I thought this concept can be included into the final outcome of the whole rebirth process. Sadly, in the end it didn’t quite fit in.

In denial

Flowers are like us. They are expressive and often show emotions if we look closely enough.

Besides the cross section of the stem that really turn the project into a whole new direction, this denial petal was also quite remarkable (I think…) I have this weird habit of viewing objects or things with faces or expressions, and smile to myself when I saw it. And with that perception, I accidentally spotted a denial face on the petal.

(btw, wordpress love to disfigure my photos. the petal suppose to be longer like the above sketch. Not fat like the photograph you see up there =( )

Below are some writing during that day of recording:

It laid flat on my table. Disfigured. As if gasping for air. I could barely make out things at the core of the flower. It is in total darkness. The top portion of the stem is charcoal black. I plucked down a piece of dried petal and rub the texture onto paper, hoping to record traces of the lotus, but failed.

But wait a second. This piece of crumpled dried petal has a facial expression. Pouting with wide lips and closed eyes, slightly showing an expression of denial. I photographed it and shall use detail pencil sketch to record.


Investigation of the lotus’ form by using lines. In fact, its a meditative doodling activity. Will post the final outcome once they are scanned.
It’s like a complete one hour course of meditation, a retreat from the outside world. And finding that calmness in the late night.

The stalk and the eightfold path

Initially I was thinking the stalk is too long and is bothering me because it caused some limitation to my photo documentation. So I decided to cut it shorter.
Being a city kid (still), I realized the wonderful works of nature. 7 circles surrounded a center circle in the middle. I immediately recalled about the eightfold path in buddhism.

The Noble Eightfold Path describes the way to the end of suffering, as it was laid out by Siddhartha Gautama. It is a practical guideline to ethical and mental development with the goal of freeing the individual from attachments and delusions; and it finally leads to understanding the truth about all things. Together with the Four Noble Truths it constitutes the gist of Buddhism. Great emphasis is put on the practical aspect, because it is only through practice that one can attain a higher level of existence and finally reach Nirvana. The eight aspects of the path are not to be understood as a sequence of single steps, instead they are highly interdependent principles that have to be seen in relationship with each other.

1. Right View
2. Right Intention
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration

For detailed description, click here

And did some experiments with the stalk and chinese ink.

Here is my diary record of the first day in contact with the lotus.
What stood in front of me is the lotus in off white and tints of light green that reflect under the light. I am aware of the sense of joy and achievement in perceiving the full bloom lotus. And accepting that all things are impermanence, this type of joy is transformed into motivation. A motivation to embrace nature, to embrace transformation as part of life. The coming rebirth of the last flower may be seen as enlightenment, but personally, it is a step forward towards imagination.
I experimented with cutting the stalk and fiddled with it. The freshness of the process of rebirth, the scent resemble a freshly cut cucumber, or a sweet apple. Surprisingly, the flower gives no scent. Maybe at this moment before enlightenment, the flower makes one aware of our own senses and perception. Expect the unexpected. Accept the law of impermanence. The cross section from a portion of the stalk reveals what might seemingly be the one-pointed joy in Buddhism. Like the surprised smell it brings, the cross section consists of 7 holes arranged into a circular shape. I recall my biology lessons; they are the xylem and the phloem. In actual fact, rebirth is only made possible by them, which I see them as the core of the lotus flower. This shape that forms a cycle again reminded us about the cycle of life and death. What we always perceive to be the center of attraction for enlightenment is strip down to its basic form of circles.


While recording the process of the lotus, I find a similarities between what I ponder earlier on in my first few post.
(its a very tiny thing actually)
On how the water warps when the stalk touches the surface of the water. I guess it look like what I randomly drew below.

So in fact, nature IS the source of many many philosophy we can derive and learn from….