Oddly Even – 7 Days of Zen V

watercolor collage abstract in green, Bamboo Zen, wabi sabi, debiriley.com

“Old pond – frog jumps – the sound of water”       Matsuo Basho

This wonderful Haiku has a cadence and balance to it that is so Zen!   Its very unevenness, asymmetrical syllables create a finely tuned, oddly perfect beauty.

oddly even Zen, wabi sabi, debiriley.com
Oddly Even Zen


Zen and its branches

The master Japanese poet Matsuo Basho (1644 – 1694)  wandered, observed and wrote many such lovely Haiku poems.


The difficulty in distilling, in capturing a single movement, moment or experience in 3 lines, under 17 syllables, and (roughly, but not critical)   in the 5-7-5 pattern,  takes years.

Years of observing and contemplating and practicing to fine tune these frozen time flashes.   Haiku really represents the beauty of and in simplicity; the bare bones.


I can see and relate, how the Zen in the Haiku relates to the Zen in Wabi Sabi and my art. The correlation between the two, so clear.


zen wabi sabi, fukinsei, debiriley.com
Floral Notes Shadows

Continuing with  The 7 Days of Zen

The Wabi Sabi element of asymmetry is Fukinsei.

This is simply things in uneven and odd patterns rather than symmetrical and evenly spaced, or even numbers to create a more pleasing composition.


By virtue of those elements being in odd, uneven, asymmetrical patterns – we can achieve a more spontaneous result.

Less contrived.   More rambling organic growing garden than a tightly manicured, rigidly edged lawn.


This asymmetrical appearance helps to give the viewer a nudge, a welcome, an Invite into image or poem or place.

It Relaxes  the eye.


Whether you’re a writer, sculptor, painter, musician….  Fukinsei, the oddly balanced asymmetrical elements you create in your work can help the viewers engage.


odd uneven trees, wabi sabi, debiriley.com
Odd Uneven Trees



So far, I’ve shared tidbits on 5 of the 7 Wabi Sabi elements.

Koko – Weather and Aged

Datsuzoku – Free and Unbounded

Shizen  –   Natural and Authentic

Seijaku –   Serenity    

Fukinsei –  Asymmetrical  and Odd







Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at society6.com/debiriley and, redbubble.com/people/debijriley/shop

27 thoughts on “Oddly Even – 7 Days of Zen V

  1. very beautiful post again, dear Debi. I love this Haiku, it’s so vivid that I can see the frog jump and hear the little noise in the water. I have read one in a book many years ago which I don’t remember totally, but it was something like this: The chrysantemum of autumn have the finest colors, flowers and leafs moistened with dew, I drink this glass of wine that brings forgetfulness…. I really love this atmosphere, too. I have posted yesterday my latest paintings, drawings. Hope you take a look. Regards Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will look now Mitza! was teaching all day yesterday…..
      thank you. and lately, I find looking and finding certain Haiku so pure, so beautiful in their minimal words – its amazing! cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes, that’s true, Debi. I’m a big fan of Japanese arts, which has influenced the European art nouveau a lot with it’s floral designs. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. that is awesome ! I’m glad some of the readers are liking the zen series…. not many are though. I’ve noticed a pretty big downturn this past week since starting it.
        It will be interesting to see the return, once I post more straight watercolors. This whole thing is like research in a way. I don’t know ahead of time, what will fly and what will drop like a stone!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I don’t understand this. It is so interesting and inspiring to hear about other cultures and arts, and Japanese art is one of the most aesthetic and beautiful. That’s….., sorry, hehe – you can delete this comment. Cheers Mitza


      4. hi Mitza! I didn’t delete your comment! but just tweaked a couple words (if thats ok?!) I find thinking of art in new ways, yes, challenging – but fun. I’m not overly fond of certain types of art the hard core, violent type and avoid that style. We all are different, I guess. I love wabi sabi philosophy, glad you’re enjoying it too! cheers, Debi

        Liked by 1 person

      5. yes, that’s okay, Debi. The wabi sabi philosophy is so wonderful, aesthetic and calming that many people could learn something from it, if they didn’t have mindcuffs, hehe

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Gosh, maybe I should earn my money being a comedian. I didn’t know I was so funny. My humor is a bit special, not only dark, but dark black. Glad you like it so much. hehe

        Liked by 1 person

    1. hi Jodi! more swooning – quick the smelling salts!! lol
      Thank YOU very much! Its great to hear/see the swoon of appreciation 🙂 cheers, Debi


    1. you’re welcome Sharon, and also thank you for all your wonderful feedback and thoughts on the posts. Especially the Zen series.
      I think I’d have preferred to have done this in 2 posts. But, it just would have been too cumbersome.
      So thank you for your encouragements!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful series this is. Your posts are poetry in motion, Debi. I hope that I’ll soon have time to go back over all of these and try to absorb like a sponge so some of this beauty can somehow flow into my work. An asymmetrical window may be looming on the horizon! Thanks again. Love all three images. I think the last is my favorite. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. love your window idea!!! very cool! and when your busy season is over, you can take the time to relax a bit!
      thanking you so Much!!
      for your encouragement with this Zen series;
      I’ve looked over my stats – & kind of think, not too many are liking this!!
      Compared to the ‘regular programming’ but I will finish the next 2 parts anyway 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thanks Laura; we are all unique, some like zen, some may not. But I had to give it a go!! and I’m glad I now have the series within my website for easy reference!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Debi, not to be a pest but did you see the window I posted Monday? No worries if you didn’t wanna comment but I just wanna make sure you saw it? I have a lot to learn about both abstracts and acrylics but I seem to be obsessed with both at the moment!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Your work is so peaceful Deb, I am enjoying my time lingering here…it brings me the kind of joy I used to have when visiting a gift shop or card store…and art supply stores oh my such fun; but seeing what you do is quite inspiring. thanks for being here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heather, thank you!
      I loved your comment!! …..”the kind of joy visiting an art supply store…”
      that is awesome.
      I sooo love art shops. so, That was a huge compliment!! 🙂 cheers, Debi


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: