Monday, September 28

The Many Arms of Humanity

Much of the art that I end up creating is
inspired by the words that I am reading.

This image arrived immediately after reading the following paragraph:

"So what is wrong with you? Are you a freak? No. You are just human. And you suffer from the same malady that infects every human being. It is a monster inside all of us, and it has many arms: chronic tension, lack of genuine compassion for others, including the people closest to you, blocked up feelings and emotional deadness - many many arms..."

from the very first few pages of Bhante Henepola Gunaratana's book Mindfulness in Plain English, (it is now available as a free download here, if you are interested!) The first chapter is titled Meditation: Why Bother?

I don't really need any convincing,
when it comes to why I should bother -
though follow through, in a formal manner,
isn't always consistent!
It helps free me

taking me deeply within
to better know myself,
past my self;

into the world,
past the world;

into a universe

the arms of humanity have no hold

beyond the beyond...

The Many Arms of Humanity
12" x 10.5" / 30.5cm x 26.5cm

When you meditate, invite yourself to feel the self-esteem,
the dignity, and strong humility of the Buddha that you are.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

On a separate topic, that I'm excited about but keep forgetting to share, last week I still hadn't fully gone through my Sunday NY Times, but I had been blog catching up, and while visiting Debra Eck's blog I was alerted to The Holy Grail of the Unconscious - a feature from last Sunday's the NY Times Magazine.
It's all about Carl Jung's Red Book:

The most exciting thing to me is that the original book will be displayed October 7th -January 15th at The Rubin Musem of Art, which is always worth a trip - but for this? A special one, or maybe even more!! In the mean time, you can pre-order the reproduction of this book will be available in December - my wish list has been updated :)


  1. oh, this is just so, so beautiful, karin... the stitching is for me (still) the cherry on top (the way the hands are stitched together with the legs!), but the colors (that green next to the blue!) and the image are Pure Joy... xo

  2. Great artwork, and thanks for all the other interesting information.

    Bob Weisenberg

  3. Oh my God Karin, this is so intense. It is amazing, beautiful, strong, freeing, real.

    It is the most amazing piece I have ever seen.

    That book looks incredible.

    Love Renee xoxo

  4. amico italiano!
    I think this is such an incredible piece, the arms seem to move and the stitching gives it such chewy texture!
    the show will be amazing!!!xo

  5. Marvellous, Karin! This piece is so vibrant and beautiful, just like you :)

  6. The colors are vibrant and the message profound: Be open to expansion, however the soul deep within comes to understand it. The process may defy words, yet the feeling is timeless. Thanks for the tips and insights on the book.

  7. Thank you Lynne! yeah, I find the stitching is helpful for adding that extra something to what i'm trying to say -'tying' it all together?!

    thanks Bob, and you're welcome!

    wow Renee, thank you! I'm touched that it's moved you so... and yes - that book!! xox

    hee! it's funny that you say that Cat, I coulda sworn I saw them move while I was painting it!! thanks :)

    awww, thank you Svasti :)

    Hi Liara, thank you - and you're welcome!!

  8. Hey K
    Brilliant and glorious and simply amazing to see what materializes when you say that you're taking a break from art making to allow your hands a rest :-)
    We win.
    And I trust that your body is enriched by what you grand. so grand. so grand indeed.

  9. the first thing i thought when i looked at the book was that those paintings could be a "karin bartimole" originals - no kiddin

  10. Karin how my words can crack you open, well this painting cracks me open.

    Beautiful and painful all at the same time.

    Love Renee xoxo

  11. Ok Ms, Karin, this one completely undoes me- every aspect of it- The gessoed thread so effective, the binding, physically, visually, the freedom afforded in the center- wow, I am catatonic over this one piece!Really stikes me where I live as well as the quote- so welcomed on this day of dark sky and chilly rain...Awesome, girl!

  12. hmmm, today I have too many arms, and too many things to do and I am feeling sorry for myself, I am so glad I made the time to stop here, and just stop for a moment. I know wouldn't it be fun if we all planned to go to NYC at the same time to see the book, a blogger's holiday??

  13. Hi Lovely Karin,
    I love this piece so much - from the inspiration to the execution to the explanation. So beautiful and so true. I heard words that have stuck with me, that I am trying to make a true part of myself and those words are "You are not broken."...ahhhh...that means you don't have to be fixed either !:) I so agree with you about meditation and now that it has become a practice in my life, I too get those moments of perfect surrender to the beyond beyond.
    Love the inspiration you are.

  14. Karin ... You've outdone yourself *again* ... ;-D

    What a beautiful image for contemplation. Those six pairs of arms tell the whole story of a human life ...


  15. Karin,
    You are so talented in ways I can not even explain..Your work teaches me there is a reason for everything. I have gotten away from my yoga and mediataion. So I think I have gotten away from my self and my inner journeys..I must get back. Thank you for always sharing and the book looks wonderful.. Katelen

  16. Gorgeous stuff...the book is dowloading as I write this comment. Also, I read the article in the NY Times magazine but, while I got that it was gonna be published soon, I didn't know about the Rubin Museum of Art...just when I was looking for an excuse for a trip up to NYC...

  17. Just thought I would stop by to stare.

    Love Renee xoxo

  18. Look into my eyes Karin. I know you understand what the meaning in that reflection is.

    It does make it easier that they are together.

    Love Renee xoxo

  19. i love this one, but so interesting that her hands are bound and that the light only exists within her bubble... i can relate to it, but don't know why... just love it. xopeace,j

  20. I saw this item in the Times as well, and you were the first person I thought of!

  21. How did I miss this lovely post? Such beautiful work you do Karin. Just beautiful!


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