Author: Dr. John Diamond
Publisher: Enhancement Books   
ISBN: 978-1-890995-56-0

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To John Diamond, M.D., a haiku, namely a short poem of seventeen syllables, is, in essence, a “single breath span, … a distillation, a crystallization, of the deepest feeling of the poet in that very moment.” In Stillpoints: An Introductory Guide to Haiku Painting, Diamond has brought the concept of the haiku (or haiga) painting within the grasp of us all. The haiga, which is the most visual form of the haiku, originated as a simple painting that was combined with the haiku to convey some fundamental truth. Much that characterizes the haiga bears close resemblance to Diamond’s own work, so it comes as no surprise that he has adopted such a style of painting as a form of therapeutic exercise. Of point,
the haiga is noted for its free and flowing line work, the elimination of unnecessary details, and unpretentiousness—as, too, is the esteemed doctor’s own writing.

In Stillpoints: An Introductory Guide to Haiku Painting, Diamond presents the basic theory of haiku painting in a way that is both inspirational and practical, showing us how we can use this form of painting as an action meditation, emphasizing the uniqueness and yet similarity of painting patterns and exploring the definition of beauty, whether in major works of art or in small gems, such as the haiku painting.
Despite the relative shortness of the work (a mere 49 pages long), Diamond succeeds in contextualizing his approach to haiku painting within the broader framework of etymological explanation and literary background, drawing on the writings of Blake and Ruskin to promote a deeper understanding of what he himself has to say. Diamond rounds off the work with several examples of affirmations, each of which is accompanied by a haiku painting of his own. As he suggests, why not try out this technique for yourself and discover how you can come to explore yet another dimension of your own life energy and creative potential?              

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