Marshland Landscape: Oil on 14″ x 14″ Canvas

Presense of serenity 4.jpg

Overlooking a grass, seemingly rough and wild, is smooth glacier-like water that sweetens the soul. Dusts of light flicker across the mossy-colored grass and the smell of mud reminds one of where one stands–amidst time that is unceasing that ceases at the chase of it.


Oil on 14″ x 14″ Canvas

Instagram: @vanessawithun_studio



A Glance Through Waters: Acrylic Painting


Gazing Waters Watermarked.jpg

Whereupon I met a light , so brilliant that the remnant hues of yellow ocher, which began as white, drifted off into the darkness and surrounded the dark olive grass. I stand among the thorns, the falling leaves, the thickets of grass. I begin to observe the colors, I can’t remember where I stand, but I stood in the shadows awakened by its presence. The thorns, the leaves, the grass, surrounded me. I did not move towards the light, as I knew that the light I saw was ever more present in the shadows.

FB: Vanessa Withun Art

Instagram: @vanessawithun



A Short Untitled Poem


It has been a while since I posted a poem. I have written a few and will post them over time. I love the idea of combining poetry and art. I do not consider myself a poet at all, but I love to read it!


Why weep? As if the life lived is wrought with pain,

As if time does not deliver a heap of leaves that speckle the green grass with hues of red,

As if love does not give its hill to climb

As if, I want to climb


If climbed, never look back

The pillars beneath the hill are wrought with pain

As if, leaves do not speckle the grass with hues of red

As if, we had time

Rumi and Mystical Poetry #poetry #middleeasternliterature

The mystical traditions of Christianity and Islam bear a striking resemblance to one another. The only little knowledge of mysticism that I have is through my experience attending  Eastern Orthodox Church services. I have been reading Rumi’s poems and have grown to love them. Each of his poems, like the themes found  in Christian mysticism, is about emptying the soul of all preconceptions of God and of the world, and embarkening on a search for truth. The idea is that the material world will often cloud our judgement and it is through avoiding indulging in worldly pleasures that we can truly find ourselves and existence.

20160709_194829-2 (3)

It is easy to see why Rumi was, and is, still read worldwide. Regardless of one’s faith, there is much to learn from Rumi, the 12th century Sufi poet, about deepening our understanding of ourselves and of the world around us.

Here are some examples of Rumi’s poems:

“This is love: to fly to heaven, every moment to rend a hundred veils;
At first instance, to break away from breath — first step, to renounce feet;
To disregard this world, to see only that which you yourself have seen6 .
I said, “Heart, congratulations on entering the circle of lovers,
“On gazing beyond the range of the eye, on running into the alley of the breasts.”
Whence came this breath, O heart? Whence came this throbbing, O heart?
Bird, speak the tongue of birds: I can heed your cipher!
The heart said, “I was in the factory whilst the home of water and clay was abaking.
“I was flying from the workshop whilst the workshop was being created.
“When I could no more resist, they dragged me; how shall I
tell the manner of that dragging?”

“Mystical Poems of Rumi 1”, A.J. Arberry
The University of Chicago Press, 1968

“Sweetly parading you go my soul of soul, go not without me;
life of your friends, enter not the garden without me.
Sky, revolve not without me; moon, shine not without me;
earth travel not without me, and time, go not without me.
With you this world is joyous, and with you that world is joyous;
in this world dwell not without me, and to that world depart not without me.
Vision, know not without me, and tongue, recite not without
me; glance behold not without me, and soul, go not without me.
The night through the moon’s light sees its face white; I am
light, you are my moon, go not to heaven without me.
The thorn is secure from the fire in the shelter of the roses
face: you are the rose, I your thorn; go not into the rose garden without me.
I run in the curve of your mallet when your eye is with me;
even so gaze upon me, drive not without me, go not without me.
When, joy, you are companion of the king, drink not without
me; when, watchman, you go to the kings roof, go not without me.
Alas for him who goes on this road without your sign; since
you, O signless one, are my sign, go not without me.
Alas for him who goes on the road without my knowledge;
you are the knowledge of the road for me; O road-knower, go not without me.
Others call you love, I call you the king of love; O you who are
higher than the imagination of this and that, go not without me.”

“Mystical Poems of Rumi 2” A. J. Arberry
The University of Chicago Press, 1991