Abstract painting by artist Susan Krieg
Abstract painting by Susan Krieg 30″x 30″ mixed media on canvas – July 2018

This is the second of three abstracts I’m posting today in August 2018. It is titled ‘ Time is of the Essence’.

In this painting I looked for symbolic imagery to represent my feelings about ‘time’. Now that I’m older and have pondered and experienced linear time first hand for an awfully long time, I wanted it to express the ominous feelings I sometimes have about it.  I hope someday through meditation I can appreciate or experience time as a quantum event – and afterwards still feel good about it.

Since time is certainly a thing to be pondered I decided the painting should be somewhat mandala like. So the first thing I placed on the canvas was a Zen ‘enso’ that filled the space, similar to this image:

enso-zen-circle-brush-black-ink-vector-15797056In Zenensō ( , “circle”) is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create.

Another one of my favorite symbols is the uroboros – the snake that eats its own tail. However, in this instance, I don’t have the tail in the snake’s mouth, suggesting that the event of time will be completed when the snake bites its tail or maybe a new dimension of time is unfolding because the snake has just let go of its tail…..

mb7zoqvy9vdyz907nij7_400x400   The alchemists used a circular symbol depicting a snake, or less commonly a dragon, swallowing its tail, as an emblem of wholeness or infinity.

After the image of the uroboros started to develop on the canvas, it became obvious that the clock face, marking linear time in small incremental tics, should have an overshadowing presence in my painting. I added numbers similar to an old fashioned clock face.


To me time has always been well represented by trees:

tree-roots-coloring-page-simple-tree-roots-coloring-coloring-pages-tattoos-pinterest-free   From images of the tree of life, images of tree rings that mark a tree’s years on this planet, and images of tree’s branching above ground its roots equally below, trees stand through time reaching to the heavens.

Lastly, it didn’t occur to me until well into the painting that the central circle, which I wanted to feel somewhat like a black hole pulling linear reality into another dimension, that it looks more like an eyeball. It looks very similar to the circular shapes that I internally see when I close my eyes to meditate.