The Eye of Haiga
(first published in Simply Haiku: An E-Journal of Haiku and Related Forms)
Conceptually, if we think of haiga (haiku painting) in terms of a masterful "eye,' I would have you consider that very few persons (if any) are able to escape the influential power of the eye when it shows greatness. If its artistic gaze is imperial, it oppresses, if it is gentle it soothes; or if sad it strikes melancholy in the heart and soul of the beholder, thereby in my opinion, making it successful.
However, as to influence, it in't probable for haiga to be honestly successful unless it is inflamed by the inspiration behind it which keeps and holds that gaze, in communicating to use the expression, either horrible or favorable, cheerful or sullen, which alone can maintain the stability and the persistence of the active aesthetic forces in our psyche.
As some viewers possess naturally a discerning eye, some artists have the ability to create haiga that goes without blinking. It is not sufficient for a good haiga to just cast a passing glance, an action which in turn might only cause an apathetic yawn from its public.
The haiga needs to be a exxtension of the artist's brushwork in which the ultimate form is delicate and spare enough, yet definite and ample enough so that its deep-felt intensity shall become and remain lastingly effectual.
This visual organ of haiga that I'm speaking about has a rare quality that animates the mind of its gazers under the persuasion of illusive portrayal, while captivating them too with concrete boldness, each being an alter-ego of the other.
To my thinking, fine haiga should present itself in a humble manner, although too great an excess of modesty should be avoided, insofar as timidity is always a restraint to the greatness of any art form. The haiga artist especially must exercise care not to let viewers detect self in the images, which would immediately render all artistic efforts vain. Ye, this same artist must master a way to share his or her intimate self, in order to have the eye of haiga make any kind of correct impression on others.