"The other day, when walking the beautiful Stanley Park seawall here in Vancouver, British Columbia, I was acutely aware of the constant thought-clutter running amok through my mind. I had worries of both past and future, complaints about others, long standing opinions, certainties, doubts, and expectations which seem to repeat themselves over and over. In short, the same old thoughts floating and flashing about in a never-stilled mind.
It was then it struck me that, when I paint or draw, this does not occur. Painting stills the mind. No thoughts. The mood is one of "active" peace. Inner and outer engagement brought to equal balance. At most only intuitions of qualities enter the mind: heavy/light, cool/warm, above/below, near/far, light/dark, rough/smooth, solid or transparent, for example. Or, that a mood of daring is required of the brush here, one of withdrawing there. Or, perhaps, confusion and non-clarity here with absolute clearness and certainty there.
In the watercolors, for instance, I know beforehand that "mountain forest" will be the motif, but really little else. A different kind of knowing moves the hand here, then there. The stronger the ability to achieve this state of silencing the mind the stronger the painting or drawing. It's not that there is never any thinking about the painting, for, indeed, there is a lot of thinking. Thinking involving what I call "The Basics", which includes such natural laws as The Golden Section, Rhythm, Surface, Contrast and Echo. It is just that this thinking consciously with the head occurs before and/or after the act of painting, not during.
This painting process develops in me an ability to listen and to trust. I often think of it as painting out of hope. To hope means that the desired results will come about, it's just that I'm not exactly sure when or how. The successful painting will convey to the viewer this journey, this process of seeking with hope. The painting needs to convey that it has found its own way and is, in the end, for the viewer spontaneous, mysterious, and resolved."
--Daniel Koppersmith - December, 1999