Tag Archives: art

Museums, formed from the heart

“In poetically well built museums, formed from the heart’s compulsions, we are consoled not by finding in them old objects that we love, but by losing all sense of Time.” — Orhan Pamuk On a recent day while Matt was at camp, Jeff took a day off from work and we went to the National …

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A vast university

“The whole of Paris is a vast university of Art, Literature and Music… it is worth anyone’s while to dally here for years. Paris is a seminar, a post-graduate course in everything.”  — James Thurber People who love Paris and didn’t love school might not agree with Thurber, but I connected with his description immediately.  …

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Mere living

“How good is man’s life, the mere living!” — Robert Browning Can we really comprehend the meaning of the phrase “mere living?” If so, probably never as clearly as when we come face to face with the reality of our life’s inevitable end, whether soon or years from now.  I wish for you today a …

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True elegance

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” ― Coco Chanel I think it’s interesting that an icon of fashion design such as Chanel would be a spokesperson for simplicity.  In my mind, fashion involves the marketing of endless shoe styles, scarves, purses and costume jewelry, to say nothing of more clothes than the average …

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So great a sweetness

When such as I cast out remorse So great a sweetness flows into the breast We must laugh and we must sing, We are blest by everything, Everything we look upon is blessed. — William Butler Yeats Recently when I took Matt for his diagnostic testing and pre-surgical planning at the Children’s National Medical Center …

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Anything created

“Anything created by human beings is already in the great book of nature.” — Antoni Gaudi One year ago today I published a post that is one of my favorites, because it includes a link to a delightful PBS re-mix featuring Fred Rogers.  It’s all about how “you can grow ideas in the garden of …

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Until I write

“I cannot see what I have gone through until I write it down. I am blind without a pencil…But it does seem a slow and wasteful process. (Like walking, tapping with a cane.)…There is so much waste in creativity, always.  But there is something curious about creativity: the trying-too-hard for results seems to defeat itself.”— …

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From a single source

“At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source. When you are an artist, you are a healer.” — Rachel Naomi Remen Often we think of art as something that hangs in a frame on a wall, but in reality the work of countless artists surrounds us so …

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Sharing their experience

“I want to thank anyone who spends a part of their day creating, I don’t care if it’s a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music – anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us – I think this world would be unlivable …

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Pretty, yes pretty!

“To my mind, a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful, and pretty, yes pretty! There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them.” ― Pierre-Auguste Renoir With that view of art, no wonder Renoir left us so many gorgeous works to enjoy.  I realize there is a …

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In your house

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” ― William Morris  When one of my graduate school professors asked me to do a paper on William Morris, I wasn’t thrilled about accepting, but it turned out to be one of the most fascinating studies I …

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So many stupid remarks

“Surely nothing has to listen to so many stupid remarks as a painting in a museum.” — Edmond & Jules de Goncourt When I read this quote, I laughed.  Then I wanted to talk back to it.  “Oh yeah? Try being a parent at an IEP meeting.”  But I realize that’s a fairly esoteric thing …

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An art of balance

“What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of  troubling or depressing subject matter – a soothing, calming influence on the  mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.”  — Henri Matisse I understand and agree that art is meant to do a variety of things.  …

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Stand quietly before them

“We should comport ourselves with the masterpieces of art as with exalted personages– stand quietly before them and wait till they speak to us.” — Arthur Schopenhauer Whenever I visit an art gallery or museum, especially a large one such as my favorite, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, I’m torn between wanting to rush through and see …

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A light from within

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross I love stained glass, from tiny sun-catchers hanging in kitchen windows, to magnificent soaring panels in cathedrals.   Whenever I see …

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To flowers

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” — Claude Monet It’s easy to believe that flowers inspired Monet to capture beauty on canvas, creating some of my favorite masterpieces.  Add one more amazing gift to the lengthy list of the ways flowers have enhanced our lives. The flowers seem even more beautiful than usual this year.  …

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The sense of the beautiful

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe In the centuries since Goethe penned this sound …

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The ultimate sophistication

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo Da Vinci Though I’ve confessed to my love of ornamentation, I also admire artists who can produce memorable works with clean lines and few details.  Often this type of art has to grow on me over time, as with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, commonly known as “The Wall.”  But sometimes, …

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In even the smallest matter

“Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter, and think that even such a result is no trifle.” — Marcus Aurelius If you’ve ever been to Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara or certain other well-known Mexican cities, you probably have seen the beautiful artwork created with tiny seed beads or yarn in the tradition of the Huichol people.  With …

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A thousand small ways

“When we are willing to be open-minded, art and beauty come flooding into us in a thousand small ways.”— Julia Cameron I tend to think of open-mindedness as a trait useful primarily to our rational minds, vital to the examination of ideas, cultures and opposing viewpoints.  Yet there are many ways our minds can be open rather …

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The unceasing effort

“Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers– and never succeeding.” — Gian Carlo Menotti Humans can create stunning works of art, but the best of these only imitate, echo, enhance or complement the beauty found in nature.  Art is usually made, at least in part, from materials found in the …

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Added to the inner freedom

“No great work has ever been based on hatred and contempt. On the contrary, there is not a single true work of art that has not in the end added to the inner freedom of each person who has known and loved it.” — Albert Camus Van Gogh’s swirling clouds, Rembrandt’s pensive faces, Pissarro’s evocative …

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Intense love

“Creative work carries with it a form of intense love.” – Lin Yutang Lin Yutang’s description of creativity is parallel to the Bible verse that tells us “God is love.” If God’s love has been made manifest in the boundless beauty and diversity of creation, it stands to reason that people made in God’s image …

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The ordinary arts

“The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.” — Thomas Moore There are small details– inexpensive or free– that make our homes a more nurturing environment.  For me, some of the minimal efforts that have maximum impact include making the bed daily, keeping things tidied …

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An authentic style

“People with an authentic style know what they are, but even more important, they know what they are not.  They don’t care about labels.  They care about personal expression.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach I have always admired women who know how to use accessories to create beautiful outfits.  Usually, a woman whose style I admire …

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