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Scratching the Surface: Barnett Newman


American Artist Barnett Newman

Barnett Newman

There was a man by the name of Barnett Newman, who was born about the turn of the century, January of 1905.

Barnett Newman was born in New York City, where his parents owned a clothing manufacturing business. He studied philosophy in the city college, and then in agreement with his father, he worked his family’s business.

His sojourn led him to attempt a number of positions in a number of different fields including painting, writing, and substitute teaching. At one point he attempted to develop a magazine that would promulgate the rights and saga of public and civil workers, calling it “The Answer”.  In another attempt to provide something on a larger scale, he offered himself as a write-in candidate for the position of mayor for New York City!

It would seem that in each one of us is the spirit of the sense of a larger ability to accomplish. Not something to aspire to, but more of a knowing that we have this capacity to do so.  What most have settled for is a small version of that realization, leaving much of potential in the ethereal unrealized.

Barnett found in 1948, on his birthday a moment of realization that brought his capacities and talents to a point of understanding something of the truth of his potential.  Something that stirred his imagination in the reality of why, what and where his place was in the universe.  A place that signified an understanding of the revelation of the underlying foundation of art.  That realization allowed for a beginning point from which a change in the direction of art could begin to appear.

Any art worthy of its name should address ‘life’, ‘man’, ‘nature’, ‘death’ and ‘tragedy’.

Barnett Newman

As he stated and I paraphrase here, it was not something that he consciously chose, but rather something that was created through him.  The implication was that there was as much in the invisible as there was in the visible, in the creating of art, in life, and in living.  This specific moment of understanding allowed him to focus the rest of his life to bringing it to others through his art.

Barnett Newman: Concord

Did the world want to hear that specific message?  The truth that the foundation of art, as in life, was at once simple yet filled with seeds of specific interpretation and manifestation? That each one of us are here for the purpose of revealing the simplicity of Life?

Barnett Newman Painting Onement

Barnett Newman Painting Onement

I hope that my painting has the impact of giving someone, as it did me, the feeling of his own totality, of his own separateness, of his own individuality.

Barnett Newman

Almost exclusively, the art critics of the time eschewed him from the collection of other contemporary artists. At one point, in 1952, the Museum of Modern Arts had an exhibition called “Fifteen Americans” in which they excluded Barnett from the group, a clear response of not understanding the presentation of his work. It took yet another six years until 1958, that MoMA included his paintings in a traveling exhibition called “The New American Painting”, which was shown across Europe.

It would seem that if we chose to let the world define us, we would become a cog in a large, and overrated manufacturing machine, creating products, buying things, and paying interest and taxes to sustain the machine’s existence.  There are moments of joy, moments of compassion and glimpses of truth interspersed between the grinding of the days, until finally the energy and life force is used up and one is no longer needed by the machine.  Is this the price of allowing our talents and capacities for creation to be thrown aside, like they were some kind of interesting dream that we remembered for a moment?

Artwork of Barnett Newman Wasko Man in the Night

Barnett Newman Wasko Man in the Night

If we are convinced on the one hand that what is to be accomplished is right for us, in this time and place, then where would we place the value of recognition?  Is for instance the value of doing something for recognition more important than the doing for the pleasure of responding to the inner realms of the heart?  To the degree that we can begin to understand why it is we do what we do, the purpose of our lives is in fact, brought to a point of delicious joy and satisfaction. It is the kind of satisfaction that supersedes the quest for recognition, though as the value of what is accomplished finds response in others, then a certain level of recognition is attained naturally and organically.

I prefer to leave the paintings to speak for themselves.

Barnett Newman

Clearly we must each one make certain choices in light of the circumstances that are presented in front of us. The world will always present choice “A” or “B”. That is how we know that it is a worldly situation!  The world is full of limitations.  The truth is, from the foundation of reality, is that there are no limitations to the ability to create. We all know this at some level.  The revelation of the visible is what the centering of the world is about, but the essence of the freedom to create begins in a place called the invisible, and the world has no hold on that.  Even if one is deep in the buying and selling of worldly things, true freedom stands clear, and untouched.  Yet the essence of a seed planted is that it will grow, if properly nourished and cared for, and that which is conceived in a safe containment and atmosphere will find a way to the light. And so it will be with the nourishing of our larger self in due season.

B. Newman, J. Pollock, and Tony Smith

Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Tony Smith at the Betty Parson's Gallery

How fun! Stay tuned because there is certainly just a scratching of the surface of the truth of our lives here. Always a pleasure to hear your comments!

Works Cited

Barnett Newman Foundation. “Chronology of the Artist’s Life.” 2005. Barnett Newman Foundation. Dec 2011.

Newman, Barnett. Barnett Newman Interview Chromatichouse on Youtube.

—. “Barnett Newman Quotes.” 2001. Brainy Quotes. Dec 2011.

Philadelphia Museum of Art. “Barnett Newman.” 2011. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Dec 2011.

Pressurized Painting: Jackson Pollock


Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock

The life of Jackson Pollock, whose avant garde works of art in the 1940’s -50’s in America, helped identify and change a direction in the expression of art on canvas for America and the world at large.

Jackson Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming in 1912.  His parents moved the family a number of times during his formative years, and by the age of eight, his father finally left the family.  Jackson was the last of five brothers, and he found himself relying on his older brothers for support and guidance as he grew up.

Jackson on the steps

Jackson seated on the steps

Some say that through his brother, Charles Cecil Pollock, his interest in art was established.  And in truth, he did follow Charles to NY in search of an art education, by means of the Art Students League. In a sense though, would it matter from whence came the beginning point, as the art that was produced, the inspiration and the creativity, came from the source of the heart of the one known to us as Jackson?

It would seem that Jackson began to open up to the opportunity for this expressive medium and this new direction in life began to form.  There is a funny and twisted element that moves in the world: it has a way of circling back around to one as soon as one commits to an uplifting direction.  The world will throw stones at anyone who dares to move upward!  In one sense this is figurative speech as it manifests itself as a pressure from the world to stay as small as you can, because if you change, guess what?  The pressure is redirected in the direction of the world for it to change!

The world will challenge one, the minute one realizes that the capacity to live a life that is full of richness and accomplishment is that which is inherent and lies inside of one. The world wants us to believe that it is not possible, nor a reality!

It seems that at certain times, Jackson Pollock felt the pressure of a world saying that he was not capable of being a great artist, and when his response was turned in that direction, he seemingly moved toward it, dissipating life’s resources with bouts of alcohol. You know if you are drugged, somehow the voices within you are quelled for a time, and life can happen without one’s direct input. To answer the voice within and come into agreement with the possibilities of the richness of the experience of life, the agreement needs to hold steady while the world cries like sirens in some stormy sea passage.  Sound familiar?

Stenographic Figure by Jackson Pollock

All rights reserved by the artist and the graciousness of the moma.org website and collection…Stenographic Figure by Jackson Pollock

 

Jackson Pollock apparently worked with many factors in his life, some that appeared to twist his ability to handle pressure. Though for each one of us, is pressure a given? The question boils down to how much do we care to hear that voice of inspiration?

“The modern artist… is working and expressing an inner world – in other words – expressing the energy, the motion, and other inner forces.”
Jackson Pollock

With the use of alcohol one could only surmise that it eased the pressure of the vision and the great capacities and talents of Pollock for a moment.  Yet when he was sober, there he was, faced with this tremendous talent inside of him and the inspiration of creativity moving to be unleashed.

If we think about the events that occur to us each day, do we hear the choices that can be made concerning the direction of our lives?  That of either uplifting our lives or succumbing to a response of little interest, no interest or unconcern toward our circumstances: it is our living experience. If we choose to pay attention, there are certain nuances of pressure that come to focus in us.  We can choose to be aware of these pressures and listen to what they are attempting to say to us… or not.

The choice is ours to make.

Painting by Pollock

The Key

“The strangeness will wear off and I think we will discover the deeper meanings in modern art.”
Jackson Pollock

Stay tuned there is more to come! Thank you for your inputs and comments!

Works Cited

National Gallery of Art. “Jackson Pollock.” 2011. National Gallery of Art. Oct 2011 <http://www.nga.gov/feature/pollock/&gt;.

Pioch, Nicolas. “Pollock, Jackson.” 2002. WebMuseum. Oct 2011 <http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/pollock/&gt;.

Pollock, Jackson. “Jackson Pollock Quotes.” 2011. Brainy Quote. Oct 2011 <http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jackson_pollock.html&gt;.

various. “Jackson Pollock.” 2011. Answers.com. Oct 2011 <http://www.answers.com/topic/jackson-pollock&gt;.

 

Whispering Trees: Claude Monet


Artist Monet

Artist Monet in 1900

Claude Monet.  The name brings with it the recognition of the early beginnings of Impressionism, the essence of an artistic play with light, and a love of the garden.

His father Claude Aldophe Monet, was a grocery store owner and his mother, Louise Justine Aubree Monet , a singer.  His father wanted his son to follow in his footsteps as a grocer, but Oscar-Claude Monet had his sights set on becoming an artist from the very start.

As Monet explained it in an interview, he was unable to be disciplined as a child, and unsettled by the restrictions of school, would draw irreverent exaggerated pictures of his teachers.  By 15 years old, his reputation as a caricaturist was widely enough known that he was able to sell his charcoal caricature drawings for 10 and sometimes 20 Francs in town, in what seemed to be a growing venture.

In his town of La Havre, there was a store that displayed his art, and as it was at the time, another artist’s work as well, placed above his own: it was the artwork of Boudin.  Monet’s account of this interesting early connection was that, at the time, he did not care for Boudin’s art, and wondered how Boudin’s art could be placed in the window above his!

Often when there is something new or different that is presented to us, we respond to the situation with a feeling of aversion. As children we delight in surprises and the new experiences of life. Yet later on many people experience a sense of competitiveness, or territorial position when faced with new things, people, or experiences.

Why is that?  Is there some kind of comfort that we look for in the old ways or things?  Are we holding onto some imaginary territory that we call the known, building walls around it so that when we look to the unknown we know that we are safe?  Are these walls what we call pride? Or might it be some kind of designation of status in the society that we cherish?  What would be the point?

Someone once related to me about the characteristics of water, and how even the cleanest, freshest body of water will turn stale and brackish without the influx of new water and circulation…that in fact, water is a breeding ground for many unhealthy things if it is not refreshed.  If we were to relate this to how we think about how willing we are to approach new things in our lives, how fresh is the input in our lives?

Monet's Water Lilies

Water Lilies by Claude Monet

In any case, Monet had the opportunity to be thrust into the presence of Boudin, by circumstances that he did not orchestrate outwardly.  To his surprise and the patience of Boudin, his eyes were opened to new experiences in painting.  With his expanded learning,  it brought him the next steps, that assisted him in realizing new creative levels of accomplishment.  This appeared from his willingness to let the walls down of his own imaginary castle of knowledge.

Monet's Garden

Garden at Giverny

Monet had a passion for his garden and many paintings extended out from that point of interest.  His passion for how light brought change, even to something that one thought one knew yesterday or this morning, revealed how little we know about the nuances of life itself.  To study the effects of a changing landscape, watching what once was bright and intense with color, even an hour ago, now being masked with the rich tones of an evening sunset, bringing different aspects life’s atmosphere into focus.  It was never the same, no matter how many times he attempted to capture the essence and poetry of a moment, the painting was a unique expression; it was without precedence.

How often have we come to a place, knowing that we have been here before or having seen this person before, and peering out from behind our castle walls of knowledge, think that there is nothing new happening?

How different do we hear or see things today?

Stay tuned!  More to come! And I appreciate your comments!

Works Cited

Monet, Claude. Claude Monet by himself. 1900. 3 June 2011.

Painting in the Light: Vincent


Vincent van Gogh Starry Night Over the Rhone

Vincent van Gogh Starry Night Over the Rhone

Anna Cornelia Carbentus and Theodorus van Gogh had a baby in the month of March of 1852, whom they named Vincent, unfortunately it was a stillborn birth. In one of those events that one wonders about, exactly one year later Anna gave birth to another boy child to whom they re-gave the name Vincent, just as was the one before him.

His full name was Vincent Willem van Gogh.

There seems to be much about Vincent’s life that brings a sense of wonderment: of the realizations of the intensity of which he experienced his time on Earth and in the sadness of the feelings of separateness with which he lived. Though one could say that the same things that in one way separated him also gave him a sense of connection.

It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to, the feeling for the things themselves, for reality is more important than the feeling for pictures.

Vincent Van Gogh

For many people, there might be a sense of identification with the separateness of living, attempting to meld with others in the world, like an emulsion of oil and vinegar. It can be done but it takes a lot of shaking to blend the two ingredients.

In this we are told to love our neighbor, but how does that translate if our neighbor moves to the beat of his own drum and we are put off from the attitudes of those around us?

Does it take leaving everything that the world offers in material things, as Vincent attempted to do, in order to find that point of intensity, that point of feeling that seems to allude all but a few people, reaching into the depths of experiencing life in a way that touches one’s center? Is the price seemingly too high?

How can I be useful, of what service can I be? There is something inside me, what can it be?

Vincent Van Gogh

What voice do we hear for the direction of our lives? To what are we responding to?

Why did Vincent leave what he knew, what could have been a job to earn money, for something unknown to him? In fact, his younger brother Theo, sent him enough money on a continual basis for him to have food, shelter and art supplies! Why was he hungry and had to trade artwork for a few small necessities?

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?

Vincent Van Gogh

Courage first to hear the voice that is so faint at the beginning, and second, to take the action that the voice is commanding… yes that might be a word to describe that voice…because if we do follow that voice, we will find that there will be other words to hear also, kind of like moving on a treasure hunt one clue at a time.

Vincent heard that voice, and his road took him to places he did not expect!  Though as we know, each one of us has a special and unique path, that when taken does not interfere with any other one on the planet, but does in fact add to the experience of the whole, and creates more than what we could have planned out for ourselves!

The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.

I feel the need of relations and friendship, of affection, of friendly intercourse. … I cannot miss these things without feeling, as does any other intelligent man, a void and a deep need.

 Vincent van Gogh

Vincent made choices! Choices that moved him closer to what he believed would bring him to the truth of his life. In a sense how he suffered was close to each one of our experiences on Earth, and in some way that seems to be related to a sense of disconnect from, shall I say it?

A separation of body and heart.

The need to experience life centers in the heart!  He knew that and so do we! But were we given these extremely sensitive bodies to abuse and suffer with? Or are they exactly the vehicles through which we can interpret our inner core vibrations into the atmosphere of the whole?

The core being the very essence of life itself, not that which we conceptualize about, but that which is the very truth of ourselves.

And in a sense, one could look back to Vincent’s dilemma, struggling and striving, willing to do anything to remain centered in the heart of life’s buxom, yet at the same time, knowing that he did not need to suffer to be there…the dichotomy of the world’s situation…the separation of how our own vehicles work.

Ah, how interesting! Bodies as vehicles! As part of a system of nature itself!

Stay tuned! There is more to come!

Works Cited

Gogh, Vincent van. Starry Night Over the Rhone. Musee d’Orsay, Paris.

—. Vincent van Gogh quotes. Apr 2011.

Pioch, Nicholas. Gogh, Vincent van. 2002. Apr 2011.

Vincent van Gogh gallery. Vincent van Gogh Biography. Apr 2011.

Emerson: Can you hear?


Fennel

Fennel: cyndywalker.com

Within the first ten years of the new century of 1800, world events were expanding hearts and minds. France sold Louisiana to the United States. Louis and Clark began their expedition to the coast. Nathaniel Hawthorn (1804-1864) and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) were born. Napoleon became an emperor in Paris and Alessandro Volta invented the first battery.

Ralph Waldo Emerson was born 1803.

His father who was a minister, together with his wife, began to raise five boys including Emerson. Ralph Waldo Emerson was not an extraordinary genius. His grades in school were average and his comments plain but sincere. Though at the age of eight his father died and the family worked as they could for food, clothing and education. Frugality was the word of the day.

His mother, with his aunt Mary Moody Emerson helped raise the boys, of which all but one graduated from Harvard.

A suspicious set of circumstances that from the standpoint of a next door neighbor or a friend or even a family member, one would not know how Emerson’s time on the earth would come to expand out for so many.

Time and again, the gifts of talents and capacities have been given to humans born into the world, the seeds of which incubate sometimes for long lengths of cycles; then, given the ripening of a specific moment, the rhythm of such ones find a sense of a greater rhythm, realizing there is a cosmos of which we are a part, which then, we see blossom in the individuals.

In a moment of awe to see such wisdom and understanding, we say that this special person had a unique set of circumstances from which only they were allowed this luminous connection.

And so true! Yet are these special connections only for a few individuals?

So here we have, if you will indulge me a moment, an average guy, born in an average family that was by the way, connected to literary personages and a number of intellectuals of the time, living in an average house with basic financial needs…does any of this sound familiar?

There is only one connection for each one of us… the fact is that we each of us know, that we were given individual and specific seeds that need a certain watering and light so that we can begin to release the concepts and ideas of the smaller self, to join a greater rhythm, something larger than we can perceive at this time…it is this rhythmic union that allows one the perspective and the wisdom to accomplish those things which only we can initiate, neither can it be done by a group association, by outer circumstances nor can it be taken away by anyone.

Every mind must make its choice between truth and repose. It cannot have both.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Somewhere along the line, whether it was because Emerson came from a background of preachers, the many deaths he saw of family members including his wife, the actual training he received for the religious direction he took at first…somewhere he stirred, realizing that what he was living through was not personal in one sense, that to begin to understand a perspective and have a certain vision one needed to let go of certain ideas and concepts, things that were entertained in general at that time (and ours!).

This is not to say that he eschewed the world, but that he began to see that certain ideas including certain religious and secular concepts, were as veils that were holding him from a state of understanding connections.  Connections that brought a level of understanding and wisdom that he realized was available to anyone!

“Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.”

“Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact.“

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are we not given each one of us, talents and capacities exactly as we need them?

What is the meaning of these things? Are we to meld into humanity in an unspecific way as in becoming an automated droid?

If we are to use these talents and capacities then apparently there needs to be a choice to use them, at the level they were intended.

How would we do that? Hmmm. Good question! Might as well ask how does nature work? Well how does it work?

My sense is that Emerson did not really stumble upon his wisdom and knowledge nor was it solely from reading as one realizes from his original and creative thought patterns…I believe that it began with a simple thought and word, a word described by some to be Pollyanna in nature, everything rosy kind of thing, but an overlooked word for it’s power…that is “thankfulness”.

I have no hostility to nature, but a child’s love to it. I expand and live in the warm day like corn and melons.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

By his wonderment of nature and the thankfulness with which he began to appreciate the workings of what was available to his life at that time, not the past, nor the future, he began to see certain elements come together in his consciousness. The rhythm which he heard on his level of being, began to match up to a greater rhythm, giving an expanded understanding of the elements and workings of nature and man from a perspective that he could not have known without his relaxing into the larger source.

Simple? Hahahaa!

Stay tuned there is more to come! I appreciate your comments and thoughts!

Works Cited

Emerson Central. Ralph Waldo Emerson Texts. Mar 2011.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes. mar 2011.

Lewis, Jone Johnson. Ralph Waldo Emerson. Mar 2011.

Walker, Cynthia. Fennel. Up Close Studios.

The Music of Ansel Adams


A photographer Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams, photographer, artist, environmentalist, musician, poet, husband and father, was born in 1902, son of Charles and Olive Adams.

His parents were well to do, having inherited a lumber business that his grandfather started, though as events would unfold, the business would be lost and with it the style of living that was enjoyed from it.

Ansel was an only child, and was unable to sit still for very long, having need to move and explore things about him. Not unusual for a young boy, yet his attention span proved to undo the wishes of those about him for his schooling.  Eventually Ansel was moved from school to school because of the trouble he supposedly caused, until finally there were very few options left but to school him at home…at his father’s suggestion.

Ansel’s father helped to provide what was needed for the boy to grow, learning the basics of education and also in expression.

Is there not a need at some point, being tossed around by a sea of chaos, someone to help guide us toward the light?  Having some vision with no ability to express is as much a handicap as being able to express with no vision. Either way, the radiance of one is lost into the oblivion of non-specific living.

At home, Ansel was taught the piano, for which lessons at first were intensely difficult for the child to work with. For him, the joy of being on the beach or exploring the hills was in his mind. Though, as he began to enjoy the music, and relaxed into the process, holding to the specific instruction from his teachers, he began to understand what it was to be able to focus…

It seems to have been a critical point of understanding and break through for him! In our own lives are there milestones that we need to pass?

The ability to focus on something long enough to start a process of movement toward a range of understanding in anything is challenging in today’s world.  We have many things to do as well as many things moving toward us, all vying for attention.

Yet as we know, it is only through the “single eye” focus that any one of us can begin to accomplish that which we really are here to accomplish.  That thought leads us to ask the next question of what are we here to accomplish? Do we want to know?

Purpose, as well as life is in front of each one of us, though as the world see’s it, we must strive to find it, to educate ourselves and work hard to discover our purpose and then be able to sell that purpose to the world.

When we think about any new born child, is there anything more beautiful than it’s relaxed purposeful un-self-consciousness? There is a clear focused light is in their eyes, they have a sense of the unlimited purposeful and relaxed presence. What could be more natural? This is something that is given each one of us, without the strife, stuggle or fighting to have deep in our hearts, minds and body. How are we using that gift?

At some level, we recognize that through the essence of single eye focus our lives would turn corners we never expected, delightfully moving from the core of our being into the world with a relaxed purpose and power. Yet most of us continue to struggle, fight and even worship those who fight to win, thinking that somehow we must find the very things that we have already been given, gifts of the very nature of our beings.

Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of human spirit.

Ansel Adams

So it was, with the joy of a child, that Ansel became enamored with the piano and began to think in terms of a career as a concert pianist!

He moved toward this direction, that is, until one day, he was introduced to the wilderness of Yosemite. It was here that he found something greater than himself.

It was love at first site for Ansel, he was deeply moved, and so, torn between the two loves of music and the wilderness, it took a certain amount of time to let the clarity come to the surface of his consciousness. What are we to do?

Ansel’s awakened choice, allowed his single eye focus to manifest as he moved season by season into the realms of photography that uplifted him to places he never expected nor thought possible.

No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.

Ansel Adams

Someone once said to me, “To what end… would we be doing anything?” A question to ask ourselves, because if we are not opening ourselves to the creativeness, the fullness of our own capacities, what is it that we are attempting to accomplish? What will we accomplish?

For Ansel the medium of photography was the vehicle that unloosed the strings that tied his core to the ground, what is it that would motivate us?

Stay tuned there is more to come! I appreciate your thoughts and comments!

 

Works Cited

Adams, Ansel. Ansel Adams Quotes. Mar 2011.

—. Ansel Adams, An Autobiography. Little Brown Publishing Co, 1996.

Turnage, William. Ansel Adams Biography. Mar 2011.

 

 

Freaky Thoughts: Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus: photographer, child, mother, wife, explorer…

The Roaring Twenties it was called.  It was a time in history that Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Charlie Chaplin were in vogue.  The Surrealist Art movement had begun and art deco was sweeping through the cities. Creativity was high and the economy was good.

In the midst of such a time, in 1923, Diane Arbus was born.  Her parents ran a business in New York called Russek’s Department Store, which specialized in furs, and apparently it was a successful endeavor.

The provision of wealth supplied by Diane’s parents allowed for Diane to be raised as a privileged child, along with her two siblings in Central Park and Park Avenue.

Such beginnings! How rich the surround and how special a time for such a person.

I do not think that there is one of us who would not want to be able to provide for their children with the gift of wealth, allowing for one not to struggle from day to day.  To enjoy the niceties of food, clothing and the surround of an atmosphere of comfort, at least on the outside of things.

Sometimes the response to the privilege of wealth is unexpected or expected as the case may be…like the feeling that nothing has any value because everything is available and right at hand.

According to Diane years later in talking about her childhood, her feeling was one of isolation and insulation… from a world of what? Of the world of adversity and chaos?!  That was her description!

We can see that with Diane’s parent’s acceptance of the responsibility of the business a certain range of privileges came as a result of that agreement. Yet for Diane, that was not her specific agreement. She began to realize that there was more moving on the face of the Earth than just attempting to be comfortable in an isolated tower of sorts, a world of unreality.

How interesting.

How can one be surrounded by wealth and not be comfortable? Where does comfort come from? The toys? The baubles? The new car? A new relationship? Or is it the lack of all the above? Where and when everything is gone and one is empty? How do these things work? Where is the comfort of home?

In a world of Chaos, looking here and there, people find bits and pieces of comfort, maybe even something that works for a while, and then, in a flash, it disappears and leaves one empty again, searching. Or maybe even relishing the emptiness of the de-construction.

Instinctively we all know that comfort is not in what we have in front of us or around us, but what is that which is evident from the inside.  In a sense, everything else that is added to one is a result of that which emanates from the inside!

Is it not that which we believe that works into our hearts and emanates forth?

Wow. If we assume that is a true statement, then a question we may want to ask would be, what is emanating from our core? Surely, if we emanate pain and guilt our worlds become filled with pain and guilt…

Hmmm, that might take a bit of inventorying to decipher on a deeper level what it actually is we are accepting as the truth of who we are and what we believe.

Diane’s experience it seems moved on the edge of having much on the outer and a feeling of missing something in the inner: an awareness that was understood at some level of her being.

In the years that followed, she began to search out those people who had very little  of what the world considers beauty and substance on the outer, but had an experience of the deeper feelings from the inner ranges.  Even traumatic experiences.

“Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.”

Diane Arbus

To look at the world and what it has created from the standpoint of what is the Truth of ourselves, is to begin to realize that the facade of world concerns seems to throw a road block of sorts from allowing us to move closer to the Reality of ourselves, to look within ourselves and hear what we need to hear, so that we let go of the very essence that keeps us from the Truth of who we are. Then it is that one can begin to see and feel the depths of one’s own roots and the Enjoyment of Life itself.

Sounds simple does it not?

Stay tuned~! There is so much more fun to have!

Cited Works:

Diane Arbus: biography http://www.answers.com/topic/diane-arbus

Diane Arbus Biography http://www.biography.com/articles/Diane-Arbus-9187461

Brainy quotes: Diane Arbus http://brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/diane_arbus.html

Diane Arbus photographs: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=diane+arbus+photographs&view=detail&id=540B8E3D20BBCE7268DBA860AAC363571CA8A2B3&first=181&FORM=IDFRIR

 

Within and Without: Michelangelo


Michelangelo

Michelangelo-David

The Mystery of Design. How did Michelangelo do it?

A wonderful and fascinating teacher once said, That to allow a form to come into being as Michelangelo, would be true craft and true creation.

Maybe it would be, and maybe not! How would we know?  Why don’t we investigate those words a bit and look to see if we can discover something more?

If we were to explore the richness of the essence of what he produced we would see the evidence of a man who was moved to understand the medium of marble, the elegance of the form of the human body and to create a prodigious sensitivity to the individual parts that make up the whole.

How did Michelangelo work?  Is it not said that that he saw the design from within, and he moved to free the image from within by his chisel from without?

How then would we proceed if we were let the design (of anything) unfold from within? We can be sure that Michelangelo studied his piece of marble carefully, noting the flow of the formation of the material. And then knowing as well as he might, he would probably at some point begin to see that there was the possibility of a specific form within, because if he arbitrarily chose his own form, the pattern would not work with the flow of the material and the sculpture would probably end up breaking apart as he put the chisel to his work.

If we were to aspire to understand something from our point of perspective utilizing the principal of seeing something from within before using our “tools” to let unfold those things without, it would seem that we might begin by studying those things that begin from within! Easy for you to say!

It does make sense that anything that Nature creates and grows does so according to the description of the core within.  That would be true creation.

The essence of growth in Nature seems to happen from a pattern or a specific core that can only produce a unique answer to the core…hmmm that’s interesting!  It is what makes an authentic blade of grass!

In everyday use, how could we apply the principle of allowing the inner core to define the outer form? How would that work? Why would we entertain that idea?

Do we believe that we each one of us has a specific place on Earth? Authenticity equals your place on earth! It is that spot that defines why one is here and what one is doing in this moment! The corollary thought to that is that if one has a specific place and expression on Earth, then it would follow that there is no need for struggling to be someone we are not.

Interesting. No struggle? No having to demand that one is heard? Michelangelo knew something of this position in space.

The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one’s self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.

Michelangelo

How true is that!

Stay tuned! Let’s see if we can uncover something more about this! What are your thoughts?

Change in Direction: Matisse


Henri Matisse.

Henri Matisse: Decorative Figure

Henri Matisse: Decorative Figure

Henri Matisse was born in  December of 1869, in Le Cateau-Cambresis, France.  His father was a corn merchant, and his mother an amateur painter.

This simple beginning belied the fact that Matisse would be a world renown artist and part of a revolution in art-Fauvism, a style of art that uses bright color and sometimes distorted forms to send its message.

How can we know for sure what is in store for us? The workings of what might be called things invisible?

Sometimes we wake up with ideas and thoughts about extraordinary accomplishments and get ourselves set to execute them, excited to start, and then somehow some of us get baked in the ready without actually moving into the gusto of the form and the enjoyment of the fruit!

The artist, Henri Matisse was educated as a lawyer, and worked for a couple of years as such. What an interesting beginning to an art career!

Then something happened. Something that shifted his direction of vision. A sickness. Appendicitis. Deep and dark this illness struggled to take his life at age 21, though Matisse was not ready to let go at that time, and was moved to reconsider his position on Earth. Have we ever been moved by a strong deep feeling, with a sense of purpose?

It was during the time of convalescence that he was given the implements of the art world and the bond of a quiet and rich understanding of his enjoyment began. It did not take him long after the recovery of this illness to search out an art school in Paris and begin his studies, leaving the practice of law to others.

Here was a small point of vision, where all around him was the evidence of his life as it had been up to that time. Was he to leave that which he was familiar with, that was bringing him a living, and reach out for something unknown with just a beginning point of truth?

Is anything that is born fully mature when it comes? The fervor of an idea or concept received is only the beginning point from which the real work begins. Of course, moving through the time when the world wants to water down the feeling of great accomplishment to just a hint of the original intensity of flavor, really is the work that has meaning.

“You study, you learn, but you guard the original naïveté. It has to be within you, as desire for drink is within the drunkard or love is within the lover.”

Henri Matisse

This is the point of focus through which extraordinary accomplishment can begin to develop, to be that which excites us in our experience, and moves us through the day. What could be better than that background of excitement that keeps one focused on a task?

We know that Henri Matisse studied the masters of his time and those before, that he worked in obscurity for a number of years, moving through the steps of developing his specific voice with brush patterns, ideas and color fusion…

“An artist must possess Nature. He must identify himself with her rhythm, by efforts that will prepare the mastery which will later enable him to express himself in his own language. “

Henri Matisse

How could he know that by taking the small step away from something known, that he would come to be known as the key representative of the movement that was described as les fauves, “the wild beasts”, art that spoke the extremes of emotionalism, with vivid colors, and distortion of shapes.

Here then was a translation that began as a small intensity of feeling of  truth about oneself, and blossomed, with pruning and care, and consistency of focus, until what was produced became a legacy for many to share for all time.

What is that tingle of excitement that moves us today?

Works Cited

Encyclopedia of World Biography. Henri Matisse. 2011. 4 Feb 2011.

guggenheim collection. Biography. 2011. 4 Feb 2011.

Henri Matisse.com. All About Matisse. 4 Feb 2011.

Matisse, Henri. Henri Matisse quotes. 2011. 4 Feb 2011.