I was originally inspired to do these works after visiting my friends, Peter Cunningham and Ara Fitzgerald on the island of Grand Manan, in Canada just north of Maine at the end of June 2013. An island in the Bay of Fundy, Grand Manan is subject to extreme tidal movements several times a day. I spent many hours walking on the beaches at low tide. Since then, I have been exploring tides as a visual metaphor. Like the seasons, tides are reassuring to me. They are like the way the earth breathes.
These works are digital images, done on a wacom tablet connected to an iMac using a software porgram called Corel Painter 3x. I work from my own photographs, mostly from Grand Manan, and occasionally from photographs taken by Peter Cunningham. I enjoy studying the relationship of water, light, sand, rhythms, waves, rocks, texture, form and space. I have a deep need to integrate form and space in my work. My guide is often the teachings from the Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra of “form is emptiness, emptiness is form.”
Sometimes my images can be busy and chaotic. So sometimes the form gets lost. I am trying to realize in these works some balance where the form is present but not solidified or frozen. The form is in the space, and the space is in the form. They co-create each other.
I worked as a professional painter for about 13 years, working with oil and canvas. I was a figurative and landscape painter. I stopped painting altogether when I co-founded the Zen Center of Hawaii in 1992 with my wife, June Tanoue.
Last year, on a retreat in Wisconsin, I was inspired by the beauty of nature and the Hay River where we spent our time in deep silence and reflection. So I picked up my iPad and began doodling and painting. And I just kept painting because this creative process is a source of great joy and happiness for me. I’m grateful to be able to actualize some creative vision again in my life and look forward to sharing this with others through my web site (www.althouseart.com) and the show I am having at the Zen Life & Meditation Center of Chicago from October to Novermber 2013.