Author Archives: admin

Exhibition 2015

Posted in Paintings, Uncategorized

Buddha paintings

Posted in Paintings

Figure in Landscape 2015

Posted in Paintings


Posted in Paintings


Posted in Paintings

Vision and Transformation

I write this to improve my own understanding-

I experience a gnawing dissatisfaction with what I try to cling to to find solace:  little experiences like buying things, watching a movie, having a coffee- hit, eating ice cream, winning an argument, to achievements like singing on stage, getting a good mark for an essay. As lovely as they are, none of these things work, none of them finish with that gnawing dissatisfaction.

A poem from Rumi on this topic of looking for solace:-
The core of masculinity does not derive from being male
Nor friendliness from those who console
Your old grandmother says
“Maybe you shouldn’t go to school, you look a little pale”
Run when you hear that
A fathers stern slaps are better
Your bodily soul wants comforting
The severe father wants clarity
He scolds but eventually leads you into the open
Pray for a tough instructor to hear and act and stay within you
We have been busy accumulating solace
Make us afraid of how we were.


Vision and Transformation is Bhante Sangharakshita’s take on the 8- fold noble path, a formulation of the Buddha’s teaching.

He likens the different aspects of the path- perfect vision, perfect action, perfect speech, perfect livelihood, perfect intention, perfect mindfulness, perfect concentration, perfect effort, to limbs, “angas” of the path, rather than progressive stages.

Vision is that first aspect, Perfect vision, where we have a glimpse of something else, another way to live our life- where the ice cream and films and shopping might still be present but are not clinged to for security and solace. Momentarily, on retreat or in moment of realisation, we are floating in the blue sky of reality- experiences flowing through us. Another image- we are a river, allowing the experiences- even our fixed sense of self, to pass through, not trying to hold back the water with our hands. This experience is wonderful- we are free, and sense a limitless potential that is more about wonder at life than achievement. But it is fleeting. The experiences have to be nurtured.

Transformation is the nurturing of this experience of vision in all aspects of our lives: action, intention, speech, effort, work, concentration, meditation. Ideas have very little power in my life if I don’t carry them through into action. I live in a ferment of ideas. Often ideas that I have been trying to action for years- an exhibition for example. Thats natural, I reflect, I can’t do everything. But I have always found it easier to live in my head, and my path has generally been a vision- heavy one, light on the other aspects. I think that this might be true for Western culture modern civilization as a whole- busier and busier, we preoccupy ourselves with ideas and forget to fulfill them. “Preoccupy” is the movement of the global consumerist market (which people have reacted to with the “occupy” movement, chaotically but heroically attempting to give some self- governance back to the people).

However, self- governance and freedom of mind only comes through transforming oneself in accordance with reality. I live as if everything were forever. I want to own experiences, fight to aggrandise other people’s views, claw at solace in small things. But it shifts- life moves, opinions are fleeting, my own and other’s goalposts move, my partner changes her expectation of me, for example. And others views and notions of happiness are  all so insubstantial anyway. I even have a changing relationship with the solid- seeming possessions of my life.  I might get a new place to live, a new mode of transport, new shoes, and there is a brief moment of joy; before long I am painting onto them the same old preoccupations. Then I want the next new thing.

So how do we start this work?- first of all, bringing that vision into our lives through meditation and reflection. Reflection isn’t just thinking but turning something over and over and waiting for a response from the core of my being. It is about the nuances between qualities, like noticing the difference between interest, enjoyment and commitment. It is about a slower, subtle and embodied form of thought- it crosses the boundary between thought and embodiment. On retreat it slows down so much that you can feel the thoughts almost emerging in your flesh- they aren’t really thoughts but knowings.  Not in a fixed way but a stillness from which emerges a thought, which is a temporary insight- return to the stillness and another insight might arise. The practice is returning to stillness, it isn’t the capturing of insights. Its like being that return to stillness, like a dolphin dipping in and out of the sea as it swims.

Its thinking that knows it is only thought- it knows its own insubstantiality… Only a thought- (depressed people ruminate.)

HANG ON, SLOW DOWN, one aspect of the truth at a time-

How does my disatisfaction impact on my practice of vision and transformation?

Posted in Uncategorized

Therapy using Art

Posted in Uncategorized

The Drawing School 2008- 2013

The Drawing School




Gillian Hughes

What a journey it has been!
For me it all started in the Hive Bar in Erskineville. With trepidation, I arrived with sketch pad and pencil and awaited further instruction. How naive of me to have expected ‘instruction’ from Enrique and Aaron!
Having been introduced to ‘the boys’, I sensed that this was not going to be a mainstream drawing course, but at the same time i was curious to see where it would all lead.  Following our initial brief, we were sent out into the night to produce our drawing. It quickly became evident that there were going to be many challenges. Drawing in public, in the murky darkness of the night and with all the vibrancy that is the Inner West, it soon taught me to surrender to the external factors and just immerse myself into the construction of the drawing.

It was here that i could make some sense, or not, as was often the case, of the different marks that were made in producing the drawing. It was also here that i could listen to my fellow drawing companions dissect their own drawings. It was quite reassuring to find that the doubts, frustrations, anxieties and aesthetic vacillations in composing something as simple as a drawing, were not unique to me.

Throughout the course, I was extremely grateful for the critical eyes of both Enrique and Aaron. They really did encourage a unique kind of creative freedom, which i believe was reflected in all the works. I am sure my fellow drawing friends would agree, this course was more than just learning to draw. It was a whole wonderful, ‘life experience’ which for me, added momentum to my growing engagement with the artistic process.

In discussions with Enrique and Aaron along with some other key individuals, I decided to make the shift back to full time study. I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the National Art School to study for a Bachelor of Fine Arts which i commenced early this year. I had included several drawings from this course in my portfolio – some of which are on display here. Whilst not always ‘pretty’ images, they are very special to me in the way that they reflect the personal process of drawing and I invite you to view them with that in mind.

I wish to acknowledge the huge contribution that Enrique and Aaron have made in my pursuit of art. They are both incredibly generous individuals and I believe that my association with them will continue to influence me through to my art practice – and for that, i have enormous gratitude.



I feel that you provide a really unique opportunity for people to get acquainted with the many technical and emotionally creative aspects of drawing.


Drawing in the City at Night Annual Exhibition

& Classes in Action



Drawing In the City Flier

Drawing In the City Flier

Drawing In the City Flier

Drawing In the City Flier



Posted in Community Projects

Small selection of drawings

Posted in Drawings

People Drawings


Posted in Drawings, Uncategorized | Tagged |