art


Random quote of the day:

“The result of the struggle between the thought and the ability to express it, between dream and reality, is seldom more than a compromise or an approximation.”

—M. C. Escher, Introduction to 29 Master Print

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

—Vincent Van Gogh, quoted in Van Gogh: The Self-portraits by Fritz Erpel

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“Artists never thrive in colonies. Ants do. What the budding artist needs is the privilege of wrestling with his problems in solitude—and now and then a piece of red meat.”

—Henry Miller, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“Angels are happier than men or devils because they are not always prying after good and evil in one another, and eating the tree of knowledge for Satan’s gratification.”

—William Blake, notes on the picture, “A Vision of the Last Judgement,” in Alexander Gilchrist, The Life of William Blake

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Twenty-two or more years after doing Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way course in creative recovery, I am doing it once more. My friend Tara reminded me that I’d sent it to her all those years ago and it helped her. I’m coming at it from a whole new perspective this time, which in itself is interesting.

Blocks, Cameron says, are caused by fear of one kind or another. None of the fears she lists in the Week 1 exercise are really mine any longer (or never were), but she never meant it as an exclusive list, just the kinds of things people think:

  1. Everyone will hate me.
  2. I will hurt my friends and family.
  3. I will go crazy.
  4. I will abandon my friends and family.
  5. I can’t spell.
  6. I don’t have good enough ideas.
  7. It will upset my mother and/or father.
  8. I will have to be alone.
  9. I will find out I am gay (if straight).
  10. I will be struck straight (if gay).
  11. I will do bad work and not know it and look like a fool.
  12. I will feel too angry.
  13. I will never have any real money.
  14. I will get self-destructive and drink, drug, or sex myself to death.
  15. I will get cancer, AIDS—or a heart attack or the plague.
  16. My love will leave me.
  17. I will die.
  18. I will feel bad because I don’t deserve to be successful.
  19. I will have only one good piece of work in me.
  20. It’s too late. If I haven’t become a fully functioning artist yet, I never will.

Only that last one has any resonance for me, and only the “It’s too late” part. Fact is, I was a fully functioning artist for years and I only put it aside because life circumstances took it away. However, going through this list and the exercises she suggests may help get to the root of what’s really bugging me. Even this early on, I see I’m beginning to flesh out what my real fear: that the well has gone dry, that I am all used up.

I have an overwhelming sense of fatigue when I think about jumping back into art with the same commitment I used to have. There are other unidentified fears floating around in the miasma of my consciousness, but I feel now that I’m inching towards discovery. Things are starting to loosen up.

That’s a form of progress, and I’ll take it. As Ms. Cameron says, “In recovering from our creative blocks, it is necessary to go gently and slowly.”

No worries, Julia. I’m going painfully slow. Hopefully, it won’t be painful forever.

Random quote of the day:

“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, A Man Without a Country

Mr. Vonnegut liked this sentiment so well that he also used a variant of it here:
http://www.lettersofnote.com/2013/10/make-your-soul-grow.html

  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“That terrible mood of depression of whether it’s any good or not is what is known as The Artist’s Reward.”

—Ernest Hemingway, letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, September 13, 1929

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“It is human nature to want to exchange ideas, and I believe that, at bottom, every artist wants no more than to tell the world what he has to say. I have sometimes heard painters say that they paint “for themselves”: but I think they would soon have painted their fill if they lived on a desert island.”

—M. C. Escher, “On Being A Graphic Artist,” Introduction to 29 Master Prints

 island4wp

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“Something that you feel will find its own form.”

—Jack Kerouac, Belief and Technique for Modern Prose

form4wp 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

nagoro

This story isn’t exactly folklore—yet—but it should be. Maybe someday, given the way stories spread and change, it will be.

For now, this is the story of the small village of Nagoro, Japan whose population has dwindled drastically, going from 300 residents to 30. There are no children in the village anymore. It’s in the process of dying, like so many villages in Japan whose overall population is in decline.

Tsukimi Ayano saw the profound change when she returned to her village to care for her father fifteen years ago after living in Osaka for many years. Now sixty-seven, she’s one of the youngest people left in Nagoro. About ten years ago, she planted some seeds and needed a scarecrow to keep the birds away. She dressed it in her father’s clothes—with his permission—and noticed that the neighbors said hello to the doll. So she made more dolls, repopulating the village gradually, some representing people who had died as a form of remembrance, like her own grandmother, some made up from her fertile imagination. She’s repopulated the now-closed school, filling it with students and teachers, making it as she remembered it from her own youth.

She makes these dolls from joy, she says, not from loneliness or despair. They just make her happy.

The tourists have found Nagoro, and some of the neighboring villages have asked her to make scarecrows for them. Some people find them charming, some find them creepy, but such is the way of the world. Tsukimi Ayano says she will keep on making them as long as she is able to.

You can read the entire NPR story here and see more pictures of Ayano’s work.

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