Helen and Harry Kottler

Long time meditation practitioners from Southern California are bringing their vibrant folklore inspired art to the Firehouse Gallery north in the Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto.



Harry Chitrakar Kottler

Artist statement:

From seventeen to nineteen I painted watercolors on the kitchen table by the window. It was a meditative experience. All of these paintings were autobiographical. Many were about love. I painted a giraffe who was like me, his head was apart from his body. The last painting I painted was of a Christ rising in a red sky. I knew this would mean that I would stop painting this way for a while, and go through a difficult period
and then resurrect. That is what happened.
During my first year of my Master of Fine Arts Degree at Pratt Institute, I was criticized for painting a symbolic painting, so I immediately switched to making hard edged paintings, the style of the time. Although I would have been successful with this style, I stopped. I felt it was pointless. For a few years I didn't paint, but then I went to the Art Students League in New York City and studied realistic painting. In January 1973, a year before I met my master, I began to draw ink drawings similar to the ones I had drawn at seventeen to nineteen. One of them, depicted me with the giraffe fading while I approached a master who held all the cards of life. I spent four of the eight years that my master lived in his company. For the next several years, I didn't paint. I looked after my father for six months after he had a stoke. We lived the South Fallsburg and the Miami Beach ashrams. A few months after my father died in the Miami Beach ashram in January 1980, I began to paint. I painted thousands of paintings. In a dream I was told, I had worked through many lifetimes of karma through painting. My paintings are now about experiences of transcendance, ecstasy, peace, and universal love. I sign my paintings Chitrakar because that was the name my master gave me. It means God as the artist.

Helen Savitri Kottler

Arists statement:

I always wanted to paint, but I feared the revelation art always is to the artist and the world at large. Every art piece is in someways a self portrait. I could not bring myself to do anything which might reveal my inner turmoil. After meditating for some years under the guidance of a master, the desire arose in me to express the essence of the spiritual teachings of the Indian scriptures in paintings. I met Harry and watched him paint for a few months. I then realized how much I envied his absorption in self expression; he poured his inner world out onto canvass. I now had the couage to do art. Harry taught me to paint from inside. My paintings, at first away to witness and resolve inner issues, have now become the leaves of a spiritual diary which celebrate and reverberate with my experience of ecstasy. I paint symbols of profound experiences and the intuitive moves to complete the paintings develop my understanding of the experiences' significance. The paintings are joyful with a ground of silent energy. I sign my paintings Savitri. Savitri is the spiritual name given to me by my master. It is another name for the goddess Parvati, the wife of Shiva. The Indian goddesses represent the creative energy of the Lord.

For more information and directions please go to the facbook event page here.
Posted by: Julia Lazar
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