'One Eye Sees, The Other Feels'...Paul Klee

My first breath as an artist

Kay Song

9/15/20232 min read

As a child, I loved drawing, painting, and attending art classes. But something was missing. There was something I wanted to express, but I could not free it from my thoughts. So, throughout my formative years, I abandoned art and turned to fashion design. I could be more creative if I could hold a piece of material and transform it into wearable art. I also studied environmental art and ceramics as well. I felt myself growing as an artist and enjoyed learning from different teachers.

Then something unexpected happened.

I was invited to go to the Dallas Museum of Art to see an exhibit by Paul Klee. I had never heard of him and wasn't interested, but my friend talked me into going.

I didn't know much about German or European art, so to my surprise, I was entranced by the lines, the playfulness, geometric shapes, and light colors. Then, I turned a corner and faced a miniature painting that stopped my breath. It was different from his other works. This one was dark and had the intensity of a small death.

I was transfixed and could not utter a word. When my friend approached me to see what was wrong, I said, I want to be a painter. The painting was something I had never seen before. It was called The Man in Pain. The memory of wanting to express this emotion in High School came rushing back. The emotion on this man's face- the emotion I felt but could not express was staring back at me. I knew I had to learn how to do this. I knew I had found my umbilical cord to birth myself of all the emotions I had in me.

Right then and there, I had made up my mind to study painting.

I finished my semester, transferred to a small private university, and began studying painting.

When I began to paint, I thought to myself, this is what it feels like to truly breathe. To be myself. To be on this planet. To be one with the universe. For the next four years, I painted and studied other art forms, art history, literature, philosophy, etc.

When it came to the end of my studies, As my graduation exhibit, I did twelve 4x2 panels of abstract paintings to express my evolution in thinking and development as an artist. And I called it the Breath Series.

I have never felt so alive, in divine connection to God and nature, as when painting. It never occurred to me to be a famous painter or make money. I wanted to paint, and I did that for four glorious years.

Painting gave me life. It gave me access to an endless unfolding of creativity, the breath in each image, and a glimpse into contact with God's divine nature. When you create, you are playing in God's garden.

P.S. (Unfortunately, I could not find Paul Klee's 'Man in Pain' on the internet. The painting above is called 'Ad Parnassum.' It is one of his most famous and expensive paintings)