On pain and solace

There can be no beauty without the ghost of pain held within it. Although the wind … BY IZUMI SHIKIBU – TRANSLATED BY JANE HIRSHFIELD   from The Ink Dark Moon (Vintage Books, 1990)  

Sunday poem

Rereading Frost by Linda Pastan Sometimes I think all the best poems have been written already, and no one has time to read them, so why try to write more? At other times though, I remember how one flower in a meadow already full of flowers somehow adds to the general fireworks effect as you…

What art can do …

Good art activates both heart & mind. Its a dualisme not always well reflected in contemporary conceptual art. We often see art drowning in its own philosophical – or; as is more & more the case today – political slogans. I do definitively understand the need for political revolt; but for the artist the uttering…

The Odyssey of a Painter

Not necessarily because he is a favourite painter of mine, but because his meditations on making art is just wonderful And obviously; he also is a great painter The Bench Painting series (1989–2009), was originally conceived as an homage to the Italian Renaissance philosopher Giordano Bruno. Burnt at the stake for heresy in Rome in 1600, Bruno…

“I never really separated painting and literature.”

Claire Daigle writes: In 1959 Twombly executed some of the most spare works of his career, among them the 24 drawings that comprise Poems to the Sea, done on the coast of Italy. What order of poems, punctuated with numerals and question marks, are these? The sea is reduced to horizon line and word, scribblings and…

Trespassing time and place

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011) is a great painter, but sometimes it seems even more accurate to describe him as a great writer. He writes of many things: his love of other great painting and writing (and sculpture and architecture), his love of nature and history and of the places where all these things intersect most…

To require perfection is to invite paralysis

“What I want to paint are the things that have been seen so often that people no lenger notice them …” —Eliot Hodgkin morning walk in the woods   “Insight comes, more often than not, from looking at what’s been on the table all along, in front of everybody, rather than from discovering something new.”…

on making bad art

If you have ever read a better book on making art than Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland … I would love to know! Art & Fear is my absolute favorite in the genre of creativity, I read it all the time, and it…

Have no fear!

Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it. ― Salvador Dalí In a recent post, the Australian urban sketcher Liz Steel, presents her motivation for keeping a daily sketchbook in a very simple and elegant way, she says: My main reason for sketching regularly is to keep a visual journal of my life (…

Art and Fear

Making art can feel dangerous and revealing. Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be. I guess I mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again: Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards)…