Unbelievable beauty

Don’t think: look!— Ludwig Wittgenstein It’s a mystery to me, how some art, some artists, makes us see – sense – the unbelievable beauty of ordinary things. Vija Celmins is such an artist, the mysterious one, capable of transforming reality into something even more real. ‘When you work on a piece for a good long…

Double vision

I have posted these poems before, but being a lover of ekphrastic poetry, I feel it will do you all good to read them again … Musée Des Beaux Arts By W.H. Auden About suffering they were never wrong, The Old Masters: how well they understood Its human position; how it takes place While someone else…

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…

Learning by heart

Art does not reproduce the visible, but makes visible that which is not easily seen. — Kimon Nikolaides I’m reading Corita Kent’s: Learning By Heart and today her teaching made me think of Yoko Ono. from Grapefruit an artist’s book written by Yoko Ono, originally published in 1964. From Learning by Heart: … when we give names to things,…

Beauty beckons

Artists hate the word beauty, especially German artists. If you wanted to be really hated in Germany, then you would say, “My work is beautiful.” German artists believe in ugliness and nastiness. I think beauty can be something extremely important in our lives. And it’s not true that this is naive. This is what is…

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.”…

Regarding Beauty

Beauty has been a recurring theme in these writings of mine – it’s a concept constantly slipping away from any final definition. Andrew Wyeth, “Frostbitten” (1962), watercolor on paper (Private Collection. © Andrew Wyeth) In his book Why Beauty is Key to  Everything Alan Moore writes: I have always been fascinated by beautiful things: architecture, furniture, books.  Beautiful…

A custodian of larger issues (cont.)

“To require perfection is to invite paralysis.  The pattern is predictable: as you see error in what you have done, you steer your work toward what you imagine you can do perfectly.  Your cling ever more tightly to what you already know you can do, away from risk and exploration, and possibly further from the…

A custodian of larger issues (cont.)

Some people who make art are driven by inspiration, others by provocation, still others by desperation. Artmaking grants access to worlds that may be dangerous, sacred, forbidden, seductive, or all of the above. It grants access to worlds you may otherwise never fully engage. It may in fact be the engagement—not the art—that you seek….