Behind the painting - Sleeping Buddha

The idea for this series of blog posts is to shine the spotlight on a selected painting - to tell the story of how it came to be, the transformations it went through, the reasons why I felt called to create it. Find all of the “Behind the painting” posts HERE.


When I made this painting in 2011, I was deeply in the process of exploring intuitive painting. This means that I started playing with colours and different ways to apply paint to canvas, without a lot of thinking or any kind of plan or expectation.

At some point while building layers of acrylic paint, I had the idea to add a cowering nude. Only that…that move did not quite work out the way I wanted it to!

The painting  "Sleeping Buddha"  in early progress stages, by Tanja Zinkl

The painting "Sleeping Buddha" in early progress stages, by Tanja Zinkl

I remember feeling the frustration with this outcome. I did not like it at all. 


So, after looking at it long enough, I decided to just let it go and randomly painted over it, just so that it vanished - and thus starting to morph it into something else entirely.

"Sleeping Buddha"  painting in progress, by Tanja Zinkl

"Sleeping Buddha" painting in progress, by Tanja Zinkl

And suddenly, before I covered the nude up completely, I saw how that shape of a figure could turn into a sleeping one. The remaining knee looked like a shoulder and an arm. I turned the canvas and continued painting with this new idea in mind.


I kept this orientation of the canvas, and added more details: the face, the splattering of colour, and the watery, fluid part of the head, the little ponds on the top right corner. 


Eventually, it turned into this serene, sleeping buddha. 


The painting has a matte finish and measures 30cm x 60cm (or ca. 11,8 x 23,6 inches) and has a thick side of 3,5cm (or 1,2 inches), painted in black. The serene feeling of this painting will add a touch of colour and spirituality to any room. It is available to purchase HERE