The Zen drawing story of Holger Wendt



Holger was already into meditative drawing when he was a teenager in the 70’s. It was in 1983 when he read the book “The zen of seeing, seeing/drawing as meditation” by Frederick Franck that he realized he was already ‘Zen drawing’. The work of Franck opened Holger’s eyes to a different purpose of seeing and drawing and it gave him more freedom to practice drawing. Frederick Franck is still his most important influence when it comes to drawing.



In the winter of 1988, Holger Wendt was in New York for business and he brought his Frederick Franck’s book with him. It was pure coincidence that Holger’s eye fell on a address mentioned in the book. Warwick NY it said. Before he knew it, he was looking up the telephone number and dialled the number. It was Franck himself who answered the phone and he was so delighted to speak with Holger, that they arranged to meet.


Holger met Frederick Franck three times after that and he joined one of his workshops at ‘Pacem in Terris’. Here he drew these portraits of Frederick Franck, ain’t they beautiful!

Besides Zen drawing, Holger practiced zazen (sitting meditation) a short period in his life. He also practiced Taiji, Aikido and Qigong as a form of physical meditation.

Holger works as a Traditional Chinese Medicine-acupuncture practitioner. In the past years he also taught many people his ‘zen drawing’ method. He says about his teaching:


“To teach zen drawing requires a feminine side of me, a sensitivity and perceptiveness to what is wanted and needed for the student. I guess it’s the same kind of perceptiveness I use, when I practice Traditional Chinese Medicine with my patients. I need to see where they are stuck and provide something that can move them further on their way to wholeness and harmony.”


To Holger, Zen drawing is a way for harmonising with the universe, to fall in love with it all over again. Zen-drawing is a guide to perceive what “is”, a door to the present, to the moment of now. He explains:

After practicing Zen drawing, the eye-heart connection stays open for a while, or forever, occasionally clouded by the mind. An example of this is given by an Italian young woman who practiced zen drawing with me for a day in Sweden. The day after she returned to Italy, and she sent me a text message, saying:

”I could see with my new eyes and it was simply fantastic! I’ve been exclaiming all the time, “WOW, è bellissima!””

After this beautiful remark there’s not much left to say about Holger and Zen drawing. One thing: take a look at his Blog about zen drawing.


Twitter It!