Exhibits › American Zen: A Creative Mix of East and West

An Abstract Eye:
Hidden Art in Plain Sight

American Zen Brush
With Green

Blank Face

Desert Dreams

Earth Mother



Haiku Sketch Book

Island Mindscapes

Koi Pond

Koi Pond

Lyrical Abstractions

Lyrical Mandalas



Mandala 2010: Four Autumn Mindscapes

Mandala 2021: Seeing Harmony in Chaos

Metallic Meditations



Staring at Pavement

Staring at Pavement

Tarnished Talisman

Tarnished Talisman



Visual Haiku

Wabi Sabi Pavement

Wabi Sabi Rectangles

Wabi Sabi Rectangles

Wabi Sabi World

Zen Brushscapes

Zen Square Quartet

Zen Squares

Zen Squares Series Two icon

Zen Squares Series Two

Zen Squares Series Three

Zen Works on Paper

Zen Works on Paper Series 2

Zen Works on Paper Series 3

Zen Works on Paper Series 4

Zen Works on Paper Series 5

Zen Works on Paper Series 6

Zen Works on Paper Series 7

Zen Works on Paper Series 8

Zen Works on Paper Series 9

Zen Works on Paper Series 10

Zen Works on Paper Series 11


Like many Americans who came of age during the 1960s and 70s, I was exposed to Zen philosophy and Asian art during a time of tumultuous cultural change. These traditional Buddhist mindsets were antidotes to the prevailing chaos and anomie.

Young artists, writers, musicians, and scientists were especially open to the Eastern ideals of meditative calm, simplicity, and acceptance of the natural cycle of decay and rebirth.

Over the last four decades, this aesthetic outlook has entered the mainstream American culture. Although most Westerners cannot exactly define “Zen,” they readily recognize what it looks like — spontaneous ink brushstrokes, muted colors, minimalist abstract patterns, rough and irregular textures…

As America becomes more open to things Asian, it is ironic that China, Japan, and Southeast Asia have co-opted our rampant consumerism. But in a wired world augmented by global tourism, there is an inevitable mixing, churning, and hybridization of different societies.

I hope that my paintings, prints, and photographs will enrich your sense of Zen’s “quiet eye” and be a source of reflective pleasure.

Bob Barancik
Founder and Artist-In-Residence