Renga with poet, Connee Pike


Japan has a history of poets writing Renga for many centuries. These consist of many interlinked poems of numerous different formats. Tibetan Buddhist poet, Connee Pike, and I jointly chose a number of her short poems. I then painted an ekphrastic response to each poem.

Initially, I envisioned this as eight paintings within the shadow series, “Inner/Outer.” They would comprise the 4th largest sized sub-series, 18” by 13-1/2”. These were painted as an ekphrastic response to eight different poems, rather than an illustration. Ekphrastic in its broadest sense means creating a work of art in response to any other kind of work of art. In keeping with our general approaches to life, we use the words, renga and ekphrastic in their broadest senses. The eight pieces were duly painted.

However, our vision continued to grow as I started painting. “Renga” came into its own as both the sub-series, “Renga/Song,” a part of the Jungian shadow-inspired series (8 paintings) and also “Renga,” a series of its own that also includes the paintings in “Renga/Song.”    We envisioned 27 paintings total. In addition to shows of the painting

s and poems, we hope to transform them into books and also into cards.

Connee L. Pike, M.S. is the author of Song to the Dakini and Standing on the Edge of Magic.  In January 2013, she entered long-term meditation retreat after twenty-five years of practice in the Lakota dream, mystical Christianity, and Tibetan Buddhist traditions.

Below are three samples of Connee’s poem with my associated painting. These 27 poems/paintings will eventually be published in book form.