2010-10-14 / Entertainment

Ronda Stoll to show her East Asian brush painting at CVMC Gallery this Fall

The Northfield News

Ronda Stoll in her studio. Ronda Stoll in her studio. Ronda Stoll’s work is the fourth in a series of exhibits in the gallery space at Central Vermont Medical Center.

“The exhibits provide an opportunity to connect local artists with the hospital and better humanize the hospital atmosphere,” stated CVMC President and CEO Judy Tarr. “The serene and peaceful sense a person experiences when viewing Ronda’s work is particularly appropriate for the medical center lobby,” she added.?

“I began painting bamboo 13 years ago as part of my meditation practice,” stated Ronda Stoll. “I had been attracted to Japanese aesthetics and had been reading Alan Watts’ book, ‘Uncarved Block, Unbleached Silk.’ There he elucidated the Zen aesthetical spirit of Wabi - elemental simplicity, and Sabi – solitude, impermanence. This spirit is in many Zen art practices, such as painting, poetry and flower arranging. I have also been inspired by John Daido Loori’s book, ‘The Zen of Creativity.’

“Painting bamboo is a way to express this meditative awareness. It is the paradoxical union of assertion and stillness. From grinding the ink stick on the ink stone to putting the brush to the rice paper, it is the manifestation of stillness in the breath,” continued the artist. With each exhale the bamboo comes to life on the paper and what emerges is accepted with no retouching. The simplicity of black ink on white paper and the emergent form is a source of peace and joy for me,” she concluded.

“From painting bamboo I began painting the other Four Gentlemen: Orchid, Chrysanthemum, and Plum Blossom. Experimenting with colors and textures of the various rice papers have lent more expressionism to my paintings and reflect the beauty of nature that surrounds me. The flowers and birds in different seasons have inspired me to paint more vibrantly and inspired me to write haiku. Some of these have been translated by my Chinese Painting teacher, Yinglei Zhang, and accompany my paintings.”

“Living in the country in Vermont,” said Ronda, “I am often struck by the forms and textures of the landscape. Surrounded by hemlock and balsam, hearing the nearby waterfall, seeing the mist rise over the green mountains, I am inspired to paint these images. Like bamboo, painting the mountains and mist captures the “emptiness” that is at the ground of fullness. In Buddhist understanding, Emptiness is the Absolute ‘field’ on which all manifested things are emergent. Landscape painting expresses this dynamic movement of empty and full.”

Ronda Stoll has studied landscape painting with Frederica Marshall, Jo Steinhurst, and Henry Wo. Her work has been exhibited in many galleries in Vermont and Massachusetts, including the Wood Gallery in Montpelier and the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe. Her painting “Snowy Dusk” appeared on the cover of the Winter 2010 edition of Sumi-e, the quarterly of the Sumi-e Society of America, whose purpose is to foster and encourage the appreciation of East Asian Brush Painting.

The show will be open to the public when the lobby area is open at CVMC, 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.

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