Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Art’ Category

Awe in the Ordinary

“A picture is a poem without words.” – Horace

“What is art but a way of seeing?” – Saul Bellow

Deep breath.
Grateful heart.
Light spirit.
Wake up.
Stay in awe.
Feed your soul with beauty.
Look, listen, go beneath the surface of activity and checkboxes.
See depth, dimension, color.
Respond rather than react.
Take a different route to see new things.
Turn off autopilot and take the wheel.
Joy, optimism, gratitude are daily decisions that require intention, rigor and practice.
It’s our job, our vocation, our calling to find awe, be kind and cast light right in the middle of ordinary days.

“What art offers is space – a certain breathing room for the spirit.” – John Updike

Nature’s Art Gallery

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” – Aristotle

Poetry in motion
Color defined
Beauty exploding in view
Nature bursts with life, joy, celebration
Enter the gallery and come alive
Dance, delight, praise!

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To love beauty is to see light.” – Victor Hugo

“Simplicity is natures first step, and the last of art.” – Philip James Bailey

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.” – Richard Bach

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

“Beauty is power; a smile is its sword.” – John Ray

 

Unleashed

“Replace judgment with curiosity.” – Lynn Nottage

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

The windows were open at Como Conservatory, so we dipped our heads in to steal a glance. Tempted to climb through but remaining on the outside gazing in for but a moment to allow curiosity to be unleashed.

Go off the beaten path, open windows, gaze at the same with new eyes.
We are called to both witness and participate in life each day.
Do not get tangled in the mundane and petty, in rules and regulations.
Make each day feel like a Friday filled with anticipation of play and rest.
Invite delight and joy in to take a place at your table.
Allow awe and reverence to dance on your stage.
Be on the lookout for joy, on the watch for adventure in reach.
Off leash, outside the fence, finding new paths to explore.

“I can just let my curiosity wander unleashed.” – James C. Collins

Masterpiece

“Art begins with resistance – at the point where resistance is overcome. No human masterpiece has ever been created without great labor.” – Andre Gide

“Your life is your canvas, and you are the masterpiece. There are a million ways to be kind, amazing, fabulous, creative, bold, and interesting.” – Kerli

Last Sunday as the morning was slowly unfolding by the lake, Liam sat next to me and drew this picture for me. He wanted to spell my entire name but ran out of space. Close enough. He explained that the two smiling hearts are him and me and the other hearts are my dogs Abby and Sasha.

It’s a masterpiece because it holds special time with him in conversation and simple presence on a quiet summer morning. Children draw from the heart, from intuition. They live from that vantage point too.

Daily, spend time drawing outside the lines, tuning into your heart space, tapping into your intuition. Create a masterpiece of your life through the strokes, lines and shapes of simple moments woven through each day waiting to be drawn by your attention, awareness and gratitude.

“That is what the intuition is for: it is the direct messenger of the soul.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Canvas and Paint

“From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow.” – Aeschylus

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

What will you paint on the blank canvas of this day?
What will you allow to be painted on the canvas of your soul?

Create
Sow
Express
Expand
Diverge
Converge
Submerge

Beyond the surface of doing to the depth of presence and being.
Open heart, quiet mind.

Unlearn
Relearn
Grow

Be the canvas and the paint.

“The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” – Eden Phillpotts

The Colors of the Moment

“There are infinite shadings of light and shadows and colors… it’s an extraordinarily subtle language. Figuring out how to speak that language is a lifetime job.” – Conrad Hall

“We are made from the past, and for the future. Both are embedded in the present moment. Without the pain and sweetness of what came before, and the enticing lure and heart-pounding fear of what comes next, we cannot celebrate the fullness of the living moment.”— Elizabeth Lesser

Start new each day fully present in gratitude and joy. Return to the simplicity and depth of this moment. Create your reality daily with the fresh eyes and rapt attention. You hold the brush. Paint this day with vibrant colors in your thoughts, words and actions.

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.” – John Burroughs

 

Thoughts and Words

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” – Yehuda Berg

What you say to yourself and others matters. It carries an energy. Positive or negative. Full or empty. Be mindful so you bring positive energy to create enthusiasm, optimism and light.

In a meeting yesterday, one participant was clearly having a bad day and showed it in words, facial expression and heavy sighs. You never know what’s going on in someone’s life at any particular moment so you want to give them the benefit of the doubt. But this person is this way a lot and it sucks the energy out of the room, even on a zoom call.

It was a good reminder to me to be aware of the energy that I am exuding in my own exchanges with myself and others. We all have a bad day but string too many of them together we arrive at a bad life. Be in tune with your energy level and make sure daily self-care is on the list to balance out stress so you have positive energy which creates positive outlook and outcomes. Awareness, mindfulness, intention can change the trajectory of the day and infuse it with optimism.

Gratitude is fuel to power through the day. Pursue optimism vigorously so negativity and cynicism don’t take permanent hold. It’s hard to shake it off. Check on your own energy which is the only thing that you control and it can influence others in a good way.

Read, write, laugh, walk in nature, look at photos, count your blessings and seek joy. Choose your thoughts and words carefully and make something good of this day. Cast light!

“Optimistic people play a disproportionate role in shaping our lives. Their decisions make a difference; they are inventors, entrepreneurs, political and military leaders – not average people. They got to where they are by seeking challenges and taking risks.” – Daniel Kahneman

Beauty in the Details

“Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.” – Henry David Thoreau

“They say that every snowflake is different. If that were true, how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?” – Jeanette Winterson

In our need to have certainty, to be right, to feed our ego, we snuggle up in our assumptions, judgments and narratives. We bucket people, circumstances and experience, creating a sense of security and stability. Building foundations on sand, we are perplexed when they crumble.

Be willing to unlearn, to go deep to the root, to see the complexity in the details. Expand your capacity for joy through sincere inquiry, rapt attention and childlike curiosity. Open to the wonder hidden in each day, go past mere knowing to understanding, nuance and transformation.

From a distance, the snow is a white blanket. Up close, a brilliant tapestry of light, art and delicate form reminding us of the beauty in the details. Invite and accept the gift of deep awareness of what already is present. Awaken your senses and embrace delight in the ordinary.

In the details, in still points, within each soul, the spark of divinity longs to be revealed and released. To your knees, remaining long enough to hear the voice of divinity.

“Your inner voice is the voice of divinity. To hear it, we need to be in solitude, even in crowded places.” – A. R. Rahman

Create and Restore

“You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things.” – Nate Berkus

It is in the pursuit of discovery and rediscovery that we unfold and expand. Learning, unlearning and relearning create space for growth and transformation. What new things do you want to start this year? What has fallen away to restart?

Years ago, I used to refinish and restore furniture. Stripping layers of stain, sanding the wood smooth and applying fresh stain to reveal the grain and character in the wood.

My favorite restoration project is a library table which belonged to my Grandmother who immigrated from Poland. She was a talented seamstress, using the table in her sewing room. She could take bolt of cloth and transform it into beautiful dresses, no pattern necessary, sheer craft and imagination.

“A tree’s wood is also its memoir.” – Hope Jahren

Each piece of furniture is rich with stories and memories. Both of my Grandmothers passed away before we could meet them so these antiques have a deeper meaning, to connections that transcend time.

While I enjoy restoring antique furniture, I’ve always wanted to learn woodworking, creating a piece from scratch. My brother has done it for years. Last week, he showed me and my niece Emily how he built a sensory table for Liam. Since other people are interested in getting these, Emily and I are going to start a new hobby this year and explore other items to create as well.

“It is the accuracy and detail inherent in crafted goods that endows them with lasting value. It is the time and attention paid by the carpenter, the seamstress and the tailor that makes this detail possible.” – Tim Jackson

Each of us has innate creativity waiting to be released into the world. Keep searching for ways to explore and express your imagination. Design your days. Create and restore.

Living Art

“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” – Rene Magritte

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

As I ran by the Como Conservatory on my 10-mile run on Sunday, the flowers growing from the pond stopped me in my tracks. Every day, nature is a brilliant art gallery, a gift to open again and again as if we’ve seen it for the first time. May butterflies, flowers and bees always command my attention, delight and awe.

Life is either a series of hassles and hurdles or blessings and beauty. While I’m not batting a thousand, I pray that I always choose the blessings and beauty option.

We are only asked to be alive in this moment, fully aware and deeply grateful for simple beauty.

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” – Henry David Thoreau

%d bloggers like this: