In Japan, Jermutus explained, the Zen Circle is called “Ensō,” which literally means “circle,” “but is used as a metaphor symbolizing absolute enlightenment, the wholeness of the spirit, the void, or, simply, zero.

The work of local artist Marlis Jermutus will be featured at the Museum of Northern California Art in Chico March 12 to April 26, with an opening reception on Friday, March 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. The reception will be free and open to the public.

“Following the suggestion of an artist friend, I ordered a variety of different colors of frit (crushed colored glass),” said Jermutus, who lives in Lake Shastina. “I happened to have 10 square canvases, each one 20 inches by 20 inches, and I had the idea to make 10 Japanese Zen Circles using frit on canvas.”

In Japan, Jermutus explained, the Zen Circle is called “Ensō,” which literally means “circle,” “but is used as a metaphor symbolizing absolute enlightenment, the wholeness of the spirit, the void, or, simply, zero.

“It is said that the way in which you form the zero represents the state of your life in that moment of artistic creation,” said Jermutus. “The 10 ‘paintings’ became a series that I named ‘Zen Ten Zero.’”

Jermutus was born into WWII Germany in 1942 and began exhibiting her artwork in Europe and America in 1970.

As Jermutus has been creating art for 50 years, her style has changed significantly over time. Today, she no longer paints with brushes, instead using gravity to create stunning canvases awash in color, one shade blending seamlessly into another.

Her earlier work, when she still used brushes, featured more lines and shapes, something she described as a “calligraphic landscape.” She explained that all her art comes from the idea of particles and waves.

Jermutus entered her “Zen Ten Zero” pieces into the Museum of Northern California Art’s exhibit “Unbroken Legacies: Northern California Art Glass,” She said she was amused that her piece is actually a “Broken Glass Legacy.”

For more information, MONCA’s website is www.monca.org