By Lynnda Pollio
In the chaos of today’s unstable world, Nicholas Kirsten Honshin speaks to the wisdom of the heart, anchoring us in the present moment. His poetry and art merge with science and nature to reflect his life experience with eastern spiritual practices, along with philosophies of Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism, and ancient Mesoamerica.
Honshin believes we live in a world of interdependence, that all living things on the planet and in the realms of spirit are connected. Caring for the planet rises from understanding this interconnectedness.
“I plant lots of trees, flowers, and medicinal herbs. I love putting my hands into the earth, working with the energy of the soil. Wherever I live, I transform the property into a garden,” Honshin states. “The inspiration for my art comes from nature.”
Honshin began painting in Japan alongside his father, Richard Kirsten Daiensai, an artist and Zen Buddhist monk. It was from the temple monks that he received the name Honshin, which means “the original mind is the heart.”
With a passionate belief in the healing power of art, Honshin views it as a universal language.
His relationship with the natural world is reflected in his work featuring owls, ravens, hummingbirds, flowers, and butterflies. He has a special affection for cats and has published a celebrated calendar of Zen Cats for thirteen years.
By engaging his distinctive swirling technique of “the dancing brush,” Honshin brings alive the unseen secret of what we can become. He aims to invoke feelings of an inner awakening toward a more holistic life through the application of 24K gold-leaf in a technique he calls “golden moments of illumination.”
Honshin renders in acrylics and often uses temple washi paper from Japan. His art is available as original art, mixed media originals, and limited-edition signed canvas and paper prints. An expert colorist, he and his partner, Krystal, create all of his finely detailed prints in their home studio.
Also a sculptor, Honshin strives to evoke feelings of interconnectivity, compassion, and love in his one-of-a-kind pieces. His collection, Compassionate Community of O-Jizos and Dosojins, features O-Jizos as Bodhisattvas, enlightened beings who gave up their awakening to be born to Earth to help the suffering. They are guardians of women, children, and travelers. Dosojins promise eternal love through the visual of two hearts coming together as one.
When asked what he most wanted people to experience with his art, Honshin said, “I want them to feel my art touched their heart, that a deep part of them resonated with something in the art. When you connect to art, you connect with yourself, and when you experience that connection, you organically want to care for the planet; you realize that this is the
highest form of self-love.”
Honshin and Krystal have owned and operated Honshin Fine Art since arriving in Sedona from Seattle in 2007. Their two galleries, The Gallery of the Ascending Spirit and The Gallery of Wholeness, Harmony, and Radiance are located in Tlaquepaque Village. Both of their galleries are also home to other talented Arizona artists.
Visitors to the Gallery of the Ascending Spirit can see Honshin paint every Sunday afternoon for Art in Motion. On the first Friday of every month, visitors can join Honshin and Krystal for Words Falling from the Sky, a creative journey into nature’s art and poetry.
Readers of this article who visit either gallery and mention Green Living will be presented with a Zen Cat or Meditations and Healing Art calendar.
Visit www.honshinfineartgalleries.com to sign up for Bloom, his monthly newsletter of art, poetry and special events.
Read more Design articles from Green Living Magazine.