Viriditas: healed greenness, vital fullness

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A comforting insight: that the animating life forces that connect all life are omnipresent and…do not have to be searched, rather have to be conceded by listening. Hildegard von Bingen named these life forces ‘Viriditas’, an idea that literally points to lush greenness and vitality, as well as to the unseen divine aspect of nature and all being. She must have been a rare and open soul that knew no separation between heaven and earth.

(Photo above: Still from the documentairy portrait Maja Hanssen made in 2021)

Entangled web; pencil, charcoal, water color on paper, 70×100 cm, Februari 2021

December 8, 2020:
Last year I was faced with two types of cancer, with fear and uncertainty, and I had to pass through several surgeries. In between these periods of fear, uncertainty and hospitalisation I worked at foregoing drawing. Out off the symbiotic exchange of nutritious substances between mycorrhizal fungi and plant roots (the capricious shapes in the lowest half) grows new life (the waves of growth and light in the upper half).

Viriditas 1, Life force, the source out off which human beings can create in unity with nature; tempera on wood, 70×50 cm, December 2020

After a long period of recovering I experience at first hand how this life force and creative power flows inside me again one night, and translates itself into the inevitable urgency to express it in a painting. The next painting I made can be characterised by the lack of fenced off shapes, by color spots that seem to tremble as butterfly wings in the sunlight. Everything is sprouting and resonating with one another in a circular space.

Standing silent for a while at the oldest oak, asking what I can do for the forest; Still from the documentairy portrait ‘Listening’ of Maja Hanssen

Circular growth

January 2, 2021: I’m the only object that is moving in the mids of motionless oaks, birches and rowans. More than ever the gleaming of many rowans in the dusk catches my eye. For a while I stand still beside the oldest oak and ask him, and through him all trees of the forest, what I can contribute to the well-being of the forest, and if they can give me a sign. That night I have a short dream of which I remember two things: the intense and radiating brightness, and a more or less circular branche.

Viriditas 2, Circular branche; oil on canvas, 80×100 cm, February 2021

I was in the presupposition that I had painted more than enough trees and branches until then. But indeed, I did not paint a powerful branche as a circle yet. Among the big amount of pictures I made of trees with notable growth I could only find one tree with circular growth. In the background I paint a radiating cicle/oval that expresses unity from which all growth originates…Viriditas.

This journal was also published in Vruchtbare Aarde, Edition 3, Autumn 2021.