“Art is the funnel,
as it were,
through which spirit is poured into life.”
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering… these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love… these are what we stay alive for.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
“People have a hard time with this feeling of impermanence, of doing something that seems like it has no real purpose –
which really is all art on some level.”
“But I am fully bought into the idea that there’s a much bigger thing occurring and the art plays a much bigger role than humanity, or at least our society, gives it credit for.”
Andres Amador, land artist
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”
Photo: kumoma lab
“The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
“Poetry is the skin that I have between my body and the world’s body.”
“Creativity is an unending exercise in uncertainty.”
“A work of art is a confession.”
Albert Camus, from Notebooks, 1969
Painting: René Magritte’s Le principe du plaisir
“Everyone is born with a mind, but it is only through introspection observation, connecting the head and the heart, making meaning of experience and finding an organizing purpose that you build a unique individual self.”
“We see what we want to see. We see what our conditioning has allowed us to see… causes us to see.”
Painting: Daniel Sprick, Self Portrait with Skull
“Every time a man sees something new in the world, he finds something new in himself… What you see reveals you. We do not so much interpret nature – for nature needs but little interpretation – we interpret ourselves.”
William Chalmers Covert (Wild Woods and Waterways)
Painting: Sunset In The Rockies by Albert Bierstadt
“When I get to heaven I mean to spend a considerable portion of my first million years in painting, and so get to the bottom of the subject.”
Winston Churchill (from Painting as a Pastime)
Featured Image: Sunset Over the Atlas Mountains – 1935, in Marrakech
To my artful friends, a thought for the week of March 11, 2019
“We work in the dark – we do what we can – we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.”
Henry James from “The Middle Years”
Etching, Francisco Goya, Way to Fly, 1816–1823 (detail)
Don’t be satisfied with stories,
how things have gone with others.
Unfold your own myth,
without complicated explanations,
so everyone will understand the passage,
We have opened you.
Painting: detail from Enlèvement d’Europe,1726-1727, Noël-Nicolas Coypel
“Art stubbornly exists on a different timeline than the quick pace of modern life.”
Painting: Caspar David Friedrich, 1798, Wanderer Above a Sea of Fog
The story behind my painting “The Christmas Bridge”
A few years ago we had a unexpected snow storm on Christmas Eve.
Two weeks in the making, we had already sent invitations in advance to a host of our closest friends. “Join us for a very special Christmas dinner!” we promised.
The storm as it turned was insurmountable and dangerous and so it became impossible for our friends to reach us.
And so we sat, the two of us, with a king’s ransom of dinner, lights, music, desserts and unopened gifts – feeling, well a bit empty. Our special evening didn’t seem quite so, well, special.
We sat, eggnogs calming, candles burning, the blue twilight casting something magical across the little bridge out the front window.
Nothing had changed really. The bridge into our house stood steadfast, waiting for our guests to arrive, not seeming concerned about the turn of events in the slightest. And it would, it promised, continue waiting each and every day. That was its purpose, its reason for being after all.
“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.
― Eric Hoffer
That evening we agreed that this small unassuming bridge represented, to us, friendship. Friendship which remains true whatever challenges come along.
I wish for each and every one of you (who have so kindly blessed me with your comments and visits) successful arithmetic this season. That you can find blessings to count. Perhaps even some that at first don’t seem especially so.
I will be out of communication an unknown period of time. Due to tinderbox conditions and high winds throughout southern California all power in this part of the county has been turned off to help avoid more fires starting.
I will be taking a blogging break through the end of this year as the threat of fire is now an ever-present reality. All that is ours is under the danger of perishing with slim to no warning.
Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Xmas to those who kindly visit and share with me these last several years!
The artist, busy and unsettled, can find a moment’s peace – and even whole-being rejuvenation – by quietly attuning to a red sky, a gray sky, a black sky, a blue sky.
“Life is made up of a collection of moments that are not ours to keep”
— Rachel Brathen
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
Art is long, and Time is fleeting.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“In still moments by the sea life seems large-drawn and simple. It is there we can see into ourselves.”
― Rolf Edberg
“I’ve never met an ordinary woman”
“To the predators…. I say to you, ‘You can choose your sin but you don’t get to choose the consequences. To the victims …I see you. I believe you …and I’m listening’ ”
— Viola Davis, Variety, October 2017
“In the fall, I believe again in poetry, if nothing else it is a movement of the mind.”
— Jaakko Ahokas
“It’s always summer somewhere.”
– Lilly Pulitzer
“Each life needs its own quiet place.”
– Melody Beattie
“A city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time”
― Patrick Geddes
“You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!”
― J.K. Rowling,
“Sometimes the very best of all summer books
a blank notebook.”
“When you stop searching and you calm down and you put your books away, and you confront yourself and see what you are all about, that will bring about bliss faster than anything you can ever imagine or ever do.”
“He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.”
― Gabriel García Márquez