“I’ll keep to any teacher of Zen, alive between 1950 and today,” writes Mark T Morse of his new art project, a series of brush-and-ink portraits of modern dharma teachers, each married with a short teaching/quote by its subject. “My primary goal,” Morse says, “is to visually explore the rich and diverse world of individuals shaping what is presently called Zen, to explore modern Zen lineages via portrait drawings.” Here you see Morse’s rendering of Roshi and Zen Peacemaker Bernie Glassman, featured in our May issue last year. (Glassman is also the subject of another art project, the new book A Thousand Arms, which gathers some 230 pages’ worth of images, by the master photographer Peter Cunningham, of Glassman in action throughout his career as a Buddhist and social activist and entrepreneur.)
We at the Shambhala Sun have enjoyed watching Morse’s work unfold, and are happy to say that his friendly and absolutely striking approach has now appeared in the magazine twice — first, illustrating Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara’s “The Work of the Moment,” from our March issue, and now in our current, May 2014 magazine, in which he illustrated John Tarrant’s “The World Catches Us Every Time” (part of the issue’s special section on The Real Problem with Distraction.)
You can see more of Morse’s “Masters” series, along with other work, on his website — and, we hope, in future issues of the Shambhala Sun. Click here to visit Morse online.