But, not yet have I reached that bright life or that white happiness – not yet.

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Men and women of faith who pray – that is, who come to a certain assigned place, at definite times, and are not abashed to go down on their knees – will not tarry for the cup of coffee or the news break or the end of the movie when the moment arrives. The habit, then, has become their life. What some might call the restrictions of the daily office they find to be an opportunity to foster the inner life. The hours are appointed and named; they are the Lord’s. Life’s fretfulness is transcended. The different and the novel are sweet, but regularity and repetition are also teachers. Divine attentiveness cannot be kept casually, or visited only in season, like Venice and Switzerland. Or, perhaps it can, but then how attentive is it? And if you have no ceremony, no habits, which may be opulent or may be simple but are exact and rigorous and familiar, how can you reach toward the actuality of faith, or even a moral life, except vaguely? The patterns of our lives reveal us. Our habits measure us. Our battles with our habits speak of dreams yet to become real. I would like to be like the fox, earnest in devotion and humor both, or the brave, compliant pond shutting its heavy door for the long winter. But, not yet have I reached that bright life or that white happiness – not yet.

~ Mary Oliver, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings


Art: Oldsamovar (Art by Alexanderliech Kosnichev)

 

Transfiguration (aka Wow)

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“Photographer Ben Hopper‘s “Transfiguration” project transforms his subjects into living sculptures. Each photo is charged with kinetic energy, only heightened by the bold streaks of body paint and splatters of white powder. Some of the photographs look like cubist paintings because of the contrast between black, white, and human flesh along with the seemingly impossible angles and feats of flexibility performed by the subjects. The body paint looks almost like strokes of charcoal, creating depth while also the illusion of two-dimensionality.”

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Don’t miss 34 other incredible shots here: Transfiguration – Ben Hopper’s Blog


Source: Precious Things 

MMM*: And you say, what?

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Poets must read and study, but also they must learn to tilt and whisper, shout, or dance, each in his or her own way, or we might just as well copy the old books. But, no, that would never do, for always the new self swimming around in the old world feels itself uniquely verbal. And that is just the point: how the world, moist and bountiful, calls to each of us to make a new and serious response. That’s the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. “Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?” This book is my comment.

~ Mary Oliver, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings


Notes: 1) MMM* = Monday Morning Mantra. 2) Turned Sheet (1965) by Gerhard Richter via vjeranski

Awe-Most-Real

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This is a quilt. The sand was all beaded and the ocean was many layers of sheer with fish on every layer so it looked 3D!”


Source: Laurraine Yuyama (Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2008) via The Sensual Starfish

 

 

The Caring Hand

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The Caring Hand” is a sculpture located in Glarus, Switzerland.


Source: Splitterherzen

 

Matisse. Unplugged. And uncovered after 70 years.

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From Henri Matisse: The Lost Interview:

On August 5th 1946, two years after Paris was liberated from the Germans, a young American soldier named Jerome Seckler visited Henri Matisse. Seckler had a passion for modern art. He made it his mission to meet with, and interview, some of the leading French artists of the time: Matisse was on his list…The interview reveals Jerome to be keenly interested and articulate in the art of time, and Matisse to be a spirited foil to Seckler’s germane questioning. The transcript has been sitting neatly filed in a cardboard box for almost seventy years. Until now this interview has never been published.

Here’s one of my favorite Matisse quotes from the interview:

I think that art must not be a disagreeable thing. There is enough unhappiness in life to turn one towards the joy. One should keep the disagreeable, the unhappiness to himself. One can always find a pleasant thing. An unhappiness doesn’t remain. It makes experience. One doesn’t need to infect people with his annoyances. One should make a serene thing. One should make a stimulating art which leads the spirit of the spectator into a domain which puts him outside of his annoyances.

If you want a short cut to my favorites, and there are a lot of them, here are the links and a teaser to Matisse’s responses:

  • Commitment: I am not at ease. (My favorite. Must read.)
  • Peer Appreciation: Picasso was stunned into silence. “We sat there like stones,” Gilot later recalled.  (Picasso and Gilot watching him make cut-outs)
  • Soul: Those who will work with their soul, and the desire to express themselves will come out the best painters.
  • Critics: It is the result that counts. When I am very much criticized by a painter, I’ll say to him, put your work beside mine and we will see.
  • Talent: You can have all the strength, if you do not have the gifts you will not arrive…
  • Passion: Why make me make different things. I get into communication with nature. Why look elsewhere?
  • Art Appreciation: A man with money will appreciate a painting for the price but the man in the street will just like the painting because he will feel it is good even if he doesn’t know why.
  • Art, like Music: All music is made with seven notes. With that, one makes all the relations. Painting is the same.
  • Revolution: Myself also I live a continual revolution.
  • Approval: A chef doesn’t have to always ask for approval and to ask people to taste the plates that he prepares.
  • Desire: All the artists who began by being hungry and cold have made good painting.
  • Passion / Love: One must suffer for what one loves.

It’s worth your time to read the entire 3000 word transcript here: Henri Matisse: The Lost Interview.


Credits:

SMWI*: Urban Yoga

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“Artist, architect, dancer and yoga teacher Anja Humljan created the Urban Yoga project, inviting people to join and surrender with their whole body to what they smell, touch, taste, see and hear in order to experience how does their city feel. Humljan went off the mat and into the city to change the way we feel, breath and move through urban environment. For her, our urban environment should not be regarded as something, which disturbs our harmony, but rather as a vital element that contributes to it.

[Read more…]

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

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Source: themetapicture.com (Thanks Susan)

The essential the spiritual oneness

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“Jacques Bodin is a french hyperrealist painter who lives and works in Paris. Most of his paintings are made in an almost absurd scale and magnification, so the subject becomes a kind of abstraction separating it from ordinary reality and endowing it with a life of its own. The hair, the orange , the herb become a world in itself, a microcosm. He focuses in on the essential the spiritual oneness of his subjects. There is, indeed, a connection between this magnified section of human physiognomy or nature and the universe.”

MICHAEL: When I look at those rear head shots of the women, I do wonder who those women are.  Is that your intention?

JACQUES: The human figure turning one’s back to the viewer suggests some interrogations: Who is this woman? Is she the artist’s wife, his daughter? Could it be my wife, could she be me? So if I answer to your question, I break the mystery.  I have the key, but I don’t give it to the viewer. I only suggest and the viewer builds his own history.

MICHAEL: Your paintings of fruit and especially oranges are fantastic.  Were you hungry for oranges and you decided to paint them instead?  They are so detailed.  I can see the pulp!  What was your inspiration?

JACQUES: Most paintings are made in a large scale so the oranges become a kind of abstraction separating the subject from ordinary reality and endowing it with a life of its own. The orange becomes a world in itself, a microcosm. I focus in on the essential, the spiritual oneness of the fruit; there is, indeed, a connection between this magnified section of vegetal physiognomy and the universe. I try to capture a dynamic form in a static pose while still conveying movement and brightness. This is for the theory. In fact, I really love oranges and particularly orange juice.

MICHAEL: When people look at your work, what do you want them to see or feel?  What is the message behind all of your hard work?

JACQUES: “I have a dream.” In two words, if anyone looking at my works thinks, ”Sense and beauty!” I would be proud of this message.  I don’t paint thinking about viewers’ opinion. I should wish people or customers could live all their life with my paintings and every day bring a brand new emotion or interpretation.

Find his website and gallery here: Jacquesbodin.com.  Find his Oranges and fruits here. Find his Herbes (grass) here.

The whole show has been on fire from the word go

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“We bump against another mystery: the inrush of power and light, the canary that sings on the skull. Unless all ages and races of men have been deluded by the same mass hypnotist (who?), there seems to be such a thing as beauty, a grace wholly gratuitous. About five years ago I saw a mockingbird make a straight vertical descent from the roof gutter of a four-story building. It was an act as careless and spontaneous as the curl of a stem or the kindling of a star. The mockingbird took a single step into the air and dropped. His wings were still folded against his sides as though he were singing from a limb and not falling, accelerating thirty-two feet per second per second, through empty air. Just a breath before he would have been dashed to the ground, he unfurled his wings with exact, deliberate care, revealing the broad bars of white, spread his elegant, white-banded tail, and so floated onto the grass. I had just rounded a corner when his insouciant step caught my eye; there was no one else in sight. The fact of his free fall was like the old philosophical conundrum about the tree that falls in the forest. The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there…

We don’t know what’s going on here. If these tremendous events are random combinations of matter run amok, the yield of millions of monkeys at millions of typewriters, then what is it in us, hammered out of those same typewriters, that they ignite? We don’t know. Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle, curved tunnels of leaf miners on the face of a leaf. [Read more…]