Art Quote for the Day

Anais Nin (cont.)

Back at her house by the sea, the painter stacked her paintings against the wall.  She now had to make the paintings look like her own art work again, which meant restituting to them the fantasmagorical figures of her night dreams.. The plain landscapes, the plain seascapes, the plain figures were all transformed to what they were before. The figures undulated, became bells, the bells rang over the ocean, the trees waved in cadences, the sinuosities of the clouds were like the scarves of Arab or Hindu women, veiling the storms.  Animals never seen before, descendents of the unicorn, offered their heads to be cajoled.  The vegetative patience of flowers was depicted like a group of twittering nuns, and it was the animals who had the eyes of the crystal gazer while people’s eyes seemed made of stalactites, Explosions of the myth, talkative garrulous streets, debauched winds, oracular moods of the sands, stasis of the rocks, attrition of stones, acerose of leaves, excresence of hours, sibylline women with a faculty for osmosis, adolescence like cactus, the corrugations of age, the ulcerations of love, people seeking to live two lives with one heart, inseparable twins.

She restored to the empty lanscapes all the mythological figures of her dreams, thinking of Rousseaus‘s words in answer to the question: ” Why did you paint a couch in the middle of the jungle?” And he had said: ” Because one has a right to paint one’s dreams.”


Art Quote for the Day

” I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically. In whom feelings are much stronger than reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me.  Anything I can not transform into something marvelous , I let go.  Reality doesn’t impress me, I only believe the intoxication , in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me,  I escape , one way or another.. No more walls.”  – Anais Nin

Art Quote for the Day

Kurt Vonnegut – A Man Without a Country

” If you really want to hurt your parents and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. 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 how badly, is a way to make your soul grow for heaven’s sake.  Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories.  Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.  Do it as well as you possibly can.  You will get an enormous reward.  You will have CREATED something!

Art Quote for the Day

Witness this prayer of a Native American as she appropriates the powers of a cedar tree….

When a woman cuts the roots of a young cedar tree she prays: ” Look at me, friend!  I come  to ask for your dress, for you have come to take pity on us; for there is nothing for which you can not be used, because it is your way that there is nothing for which we cannot use you, for you are really willing to give us your dress.  I come to beg you for this, long life-maker, for I am going to make a basket for lily roots out of you.  I pray, friend , not to feel angry with me on  acoount of what I am going to do to you, and I beg you, friend, to tell your friends about what I ask of you.  Take care, friend! Keep sickness away from me, so that I may not be killed by sickness or in war, O friend!”

I wonder if we Westerners, given our conception of the world and our place in it, can imagine the awe with which the indigenous people went about their daily tasks and walked through this once – unblemished land.

Possessed now of the material and the powers  residing within, the artist moves forward to the next task: to become acquainted with this new element in his or her life, to notice its special features, feel its pulse so that when the material is eventually touched – cut , painted, or otherwise altered – it is done in a manner that preserves the original life force.

But even this account proceeds too quickly; before the artist takes tool to material, we ought to consider the special relationship between artists and their tools. The tools for making sacred objects are not instruments of everyday use; they are employed only for special tasks and are to be used only by approved handlers.  Tools often have long and celebrated  histories as they are passed down along the generations.  The tools themselves are semi-sacred things.  In prepared hands they yield the latent images that lie embedded in the substance to be worked.  The tools know the way into the heart of the wood, revealing the spirit residing within the tree, but only for the adept, only for the initiate who repects the power of the tool.  For those unprepared for their task, the tool uncovers nothing.  Worse, it may turn on its handler, painfully reminding that person of his or her transgressions.

No More Secondhand Art – Awakening the Artist Within by Peter London

Art Quote of the Day

” Kandinsky is painting music.  That is to say, he has broken down the barrier between music and painting and has isolated the pure emotion which, for want of a better name, we call the artistic emotion.  Anyone who has listened to good music with any enjoyment will admit to an unmistakable but quite indefinable thrill.  He will not be able, with sincerity, to say that such a passage gave him such visual impressions, or such a harmony roused in him such emotions.  The effect of music is too subtle for words.  And the same with this painting of Kandinsky’s.  Speaking for myself, to stand in front  of some of his drawings or pictures gives a keener  and more spiritual pleasure than any other kind of painting.  But I could not express in the least what gives the pleasure.  Presumably the lines and colours have the same efect as harmony and rhythm in music have on the truly musical.  That psychology comes in no one can deny.  Many people- perhaps at present the very large majority of people – have their colour- music sense  dormant.  It has never been exercised.  In the same way many people are unmusical- whether wholly, by nature, or partly, for lack of experience.  Even when Kandinsky’s ideas is universally understood there may be many who are not moved by his melody.  For my part, something within me answered to Kandinsky’s art the first time I met with it.  There was no question of looking for representation; a harmony had been set up, and that was enough.”

Translator’s ( M.T.H. Sadler) Introduction to ,Wassily Kandinsky – Concerning the Spiritual in Art

Art Quote of the Day

” Making art is clearly a process of creation, yet seen up close by those who make art on a daily basis,it sometimes feels more like a process of attrition.  I’d hazard an educated guess that in this country of three hundred million souls there are probably only a few thousand visual artists, (maybe less) who could survive for any extended period of time on the income from their art sales alone.  The blunt truth is that from a purely economic standpoint, making art is an invtiation to invisibility.

Small wonder, then, that the art we make today so often seems ill-fitted to our world.  The problem is that the world is not as we wish. {NO SHIT!-ED.} The vein of silver you choose to work may not be a part of this world- it may be part of a better world, or at least a different world.  This was not an issue in pre-industrial cultures, which perceived the world – in all its good and bad manifestations- as having order and purpose. When every thing was seen to exist for a reason , ALL art mattered.

There’s reasonable evidence to show that civilization, at least in forms we readily recognize, stretches back about six thousand years. And we can say with considerable certainy that for the first fifty-seven of those sixty centuries, art played a central role in the daily life of the inhabitants of those cultures. ( In some cases artworks provide the ONLY key to understanding a long-lost culture.) The simplest of crafts played a role in the most sacred of ceremonies. ”

The View From the Studio Door  – Ted Orland

Art Quote of the Day

Lee Godie ( 1908-1995) was a homeless painter who slept on park benches in the bitter cold, had thick ,weathered skin and was the first to wear a bra over her clothes. (sorry Madonna)

She is uniquely identified as the artist who used her acrylics to paint thick eyebrows above her real ones and large orange circles on her cheeks.

She stored her paintings in a locker at the bus depot and kept them tucked safely in her coat.  During her lifetime she created thousands of paintings and sold them on the steps of the Chicago Institute of Art .  Today they are worth thousands of dollars.  Why do I think about her so much?  I just like the idea that when she reached into her paint box, you didn’t know if she was going to paint the canvas or her face. Godie wasn’t afraid to cross the line.  She used what  she had and made it work.

Keeping this in mind,[ make a solemn promise to yourself ] that you will never be ordinary.”

Wide Open – Inspiration & Techniques for Art Journaling on the Edge by Randi Feurerhelm-Watts

Art Quote of the Day

” I was on a train in Europe homesick and craving two things. Pizza and somene who spoke English. It had been weeks since I had had a real conversation, and talking to people via my italian dictionary was getting very old… until I overheard the wonderful, sweet sounds coming from the next car. There stood this  guy wearing torn blue jeans, carrying a large backpack, thoroughly engrossed in his conversation- his ENGLISH conversation. I wanted to throw my arms around his neck.

I heard someone say recently, I hang around with artists, writers, and musicians because that is where I live. ‘

And that sums it up.  We all hang around with people who are like us.. If you play on a baseball team and live and breathe baseball, you don’t hang around with ballerinas-right?  As artists, we can dry up and become stale if we stop hanging around like-minded souls.

One solution is to keep an artist-date once a week. Hang around with people or things that speak your same language.  Some of my best artist-dates have been spent at a bookstore, jotting down notes on napkins.

Drive around and take pictures of doors.  Take your sketchbook to a toy store and design a new dress for BARBIE. Go to a play or enjoy live music at a coffee bar…

When in the right environment, yniques for Art Journaling on the Edgeou may find that speaking the same language sometimes means not having to speak at all.”

from, WIDE OPEN – Inspiration & Techniques for art journaling on the Edge– by Randi Fererhelm-Watts

Art Quote of the Day

“We can learn , among other things, that a life lived with art in mind might itself be a kind of art.

I have come to feel that everything, even the most ordinary daily  affair, is enriched by the lessons that can be gleaned from art: that beauty is often where you don’t expect to find it; that it is something we may discover and also invent, then reinvent, for ourselves; that the most important things in the world are never as simple as they seem but that the world is also richer when it declines to abide by comforting formulas.

And that it is always good to keep your eyes wide open, because you never know what you will discover.  The drive to live life more alertly  being an instinctive need, whether you are an artist by trade or by desire, the art of seeing well is a necessary skill, which fortunately can be learned.”

-Michael Kimmelman- from his introduction to his book, The Accidental Masterpiece – On the Art of Life  and Vice Versa