Tag Archives: art

To arrest motion

“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.”  — William Faulkner I could really identify with this quote, because even without being an artist, I’m always …

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Making life more bearable

“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow…” — Kurt Vonnegut “What is the purpose of your blog?”  That’s a question others have asked occasionally …

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Many worlds

“Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we see that world multiply itself and we have at our disposal as many worlds as there are original artists…” — Marcel Proust How are you feeling today?  I hope it’s a happy day for you, with agreeable weather and time to enjoy a few …

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Truly artistic

“The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” — Vincent Van Gogh Quick, think of your stereotype of an artist.  Did you picture someone isolated, temperamental, aloof or demanding of perfection?  Someone slightly out of touch with “normal” life?  I have to admit, that’s …

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My garden of thoughts and dreams

“In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.” — Abram L. Urban This year, the Yorktown Garden Stroll was scheduled a month early, in April instead of May. …

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Music, laughter, grief and imagination

“It wouldn’t surprise me to know that there are science professors who mock all other types of knowledge as though they’re simply the fluffy, pretty, inconsequential bits around the edge, while (they say) the physical sciences are the solid, hard, no-nonsense things in the middle.  Of course, nobody really lives like that for a single …

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Stored honey

“Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail.”  — Theodore Dreiser Until I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2010, I used to put lots of honey in my tea each morning.  I’ve always loved honey.  It amazes me how hard the bees have to work to make …

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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 Gallery …

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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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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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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 …

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