Art Quote for the Day

” Colors have had a  cosmic significance and have symbolized gods in a range of cosmologies.  In amerindian ( Mayan, Aztec,, Incan), cultures, red was associated with the east, the land of the sun; blue or white with the north , ( a cold land),  black, with the west ( land of shadow), yellow or white with the south , ( the Incan Valhalla) and was connected with the ages of creation.

“The Japanese recognized particularly subtle significances in colours that were outside man’s normal descriptive powers. The Shinto school taught their initiates  the following correspondences:

Black ( kuro) and purple ( murasaki) – north – ara mitama- primitive, origin, paradise;

Blue or green ( ao) – east- kushi – mitama- life, creation

Red (aka) – south – sachi-itama- harmony and expansion;

White ( shiro) – west – nigi-mitama – integration and impulses;

Yellow ( ki) – centre – nao-hi (sun rays) – creator, unity.

This series of five colors dominated the ritual when the emperor made a giftt of fabric to a kami (god). It was essential at the very least to have a piece in each color; banners were  made up in bands of five colors, and ribbons in the five colors hung from the little bells worn by the dancers during special sacred dances.

The way we like or dislike certain colors can reveal our hidden emotions, forgotten feelings, confused states of mind imprinted deep in our memories, and , through color preference, we can attempt to penetrate the conscious.

taken from  THE MAMMOTH DICTIONARY OF SYMBOLS – Understanding the Hidden Language of Symbols by Nadia Julien

Art Quote for the Day


We could take another trite and overused material- feathers , for example-and retrieve their potential as transformative devices.  Think of the Native American war bonnets, the feather capes of the Incas, or the masks of the Sepik River New Guineans.  In each case the feather , vested with symbolic meaning, is used to transform ordinary space and time and  substance , elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary.  Viewed in this way, there are no  “art supplies” because everything is supply for creative expression. Further, all substances, no matter how slight, even beans, feathers, or crayons, have the same four powers, each with infinite range.  Even a feather occupies time and space and is substance and movement.  Winsor & Newton paint, Carrera marble, Belgian linen, rosewood, and glass occupy no additional categories.

There are no humble or limited materials. there are only humble, limited uses – and these uses stem from humble, limited thinking.

The powers of every substance stretch in all four directions of time, space, substance and movement.  the question is, how far does our mind stretch?  How far are we willing to go in pursuit of finding the means to say what has to be said?  How far are we willing to go in the exploration of time, space, substance and movement in order to say what mwe must say?

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