Impressionistic photography of Byodo-In Temple

Buddhist wall art created from Byodo-In Temple is called “Solitude,” and for good reason.

Tucked into the foothills of the Koolau mountains on the windward side of Oahu, Hawaii, is the Buddhist Byodo-In Temple. Mist and clouds drift down towards the temple from cooling tradewinds. Someone sets off the Buddhist standing bell, and you feel the reverberation deep in your soul. Peace envelopes you with soundwaves gently fading into the mountains like a plume of smoke carried in the breeze, dissipating as it mixes with the atmosphere. The smell of distant rain mixed with moist volcanic soil and thick tropical plants connects you to the earth.

Need an escape from the everyday? “Solitude” focuses your attention on the present in a holistic way. This Buddhist wall art is a subtle reminder to harmonize with all that is. So settle in for a moment of solitude. You deserve it.

Impressionist Photography

In creating “Solitude,” I wanted to try a new photographic technique to me called “in the round” or the “Pep Ventosa technique.” Pep created this impressionist photography technique, and while it involves many steps, the outcome, when done well, produces beautiful impressionist photography. Quite literally, you walk around your subject taking almost the same pictures multiple times but stepping around the object by a short distance for each shot. The intent then is to merge them into one impressionistic photo. The method is not simple to achieve, and I had no idea if I could make it work with this image. But I had a burning desire to try. And the beauty of the temple was a tempting subject for creating Buddhist wall art.

This impressionist photography style culminated in taking 13 photos from slightly different positions. I focused on the temple and moved about a foot or two to my right to shoot again. The trick was to keep the building in the same place each time. And finish before the rain clouds opened up, which they certainly did for about 45 minutes after this session.

Once I had those, I combined the 13 photos, aligned them as best as possible to keep the integrity of the temple, and blended each photo into one. Finally, I changed the opacity and light on each image to make some more prominent and others fade into the background. The result is wispy and dreamlike. While rooted in realism, the result is Buddhist wall art that is impressionistic.

“Rain retreat.” Right after I finished taking the photos for this impressionistic photo of Byodo-In Temple, the clouds opened and a soft but steady rainfall continued for 45 minutes. For Buddhist monks, “Rain Retreat” is a time during the monsoons when they refrain from travel to engage in deep meditations and further studies. This time is called Vassa. My rain retreat with the standing bell sound in the distance was refreshing and allowed me more contemplative time at the temple.

Spiritual art: a broad and abstract concept

Perfect for abstract photography art

I selected this “in the round” impressionist photography technique because the outcome produces an abstract vagueness. Symbolically I wanted my temple photo to be a contemplative, individual experience embracing the enigma of what spirituality represents.

Whether spirituality means transcendence or aliveness or something in that spectrum, the focus is on self-reflection, personal study, and connection with something greater than yourself. Hence, the meaning is tough to nail down because it is personal. Therefore, an abstract photo seemed like the way to embrace this scene.

Purposefully, the structure of the temple softens. There is a bit of vagueness to the roofline, the pillars, and the railings. The trees on the mountainside become visual echoes. Some trees are prominent; others dissolve into the distance, which gives a sense of depth and texture. People are recognizable but without details, just abstract figures. A soft garden foreground eventually dissolves into the fountain and pond.

Contemplative art and symbolism in Buddhist wall art.

Contemplative art invites insights by remaining open and curious. As you relax into the emotion of this impressionistic perspective, imagine a Buddhist monk walking on the way to prayers giving you a sense of reverence and awe. Sense the clouds drifting along the trees, just as time moves forward minute by minute. Listen to the almost subliminal splatter of water from the fountain punctuating the still pond.

Your eye follows the horizontal form that sweeps up at the corners into flying eaves. Are they curved to prevent the wooden columns and walls from rotting from rain? Or do they ward off evil spirits who prefer straight lines according to elders?  The Asian architecture is symmetrical. We seek out balance in our lives and to exist with nature. Can we, like this temple, not overwhelm our environment? What else do you sense in this image?

Can you give me some tips for decorating my wall with “Solitude?”

11 ideas for decorating with spiritual art

Artwork for daily reflection is a relaxing way to unwind and add beauty to your interior space. Using spiritual art in your home, office, or yoga studio boosts your mood and adds a touch of the sacred to your personal journey. Take a look at how a dreamy Hawaiian landscape can awaken your walls with this Buddhist wall art.

Five aesthetic color combinations for abstract art.

Color palettes for “Solitude” to harmonize with your home, office, or yoga studio.

When considering living with art, your choice of mood for your room is influenced heavily by the color palette. So I’ve pulled out five beautiful color palettes from this impressionist photography to give you a sense of how you can use color in paints, fabrics, and accessories that will complement the choice of “Solitude” as abstract wall art.

Hawaiian landscape and temple art.

Rituals remind you to appreciate the qualities of awareness, tranquility, and insight. Settling your mind of thoughts and observing your emotions assists your inner journey to well-being. The ritual of coming to the temple is like setting aside time to meditate or journal. Thoughts settle. Focus turns towards the profound. Inner stillness replaces outer chaos. Let “Solitude” guide you to experience your spiritual life.

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