Posts tagged ‘art’

October 8, 2014

Observed on the street: It’s all about balance

“It’s all about balance.” I saw this scene at English Bay in Vancouver, British Columbia:

20141006_balance

What’s true in making balanced-rock sculptures is also true in life.

Balance is an art. Achieving balance requires patience and perseverance and a willingness to try and try again, even when things come tumbling down. Balance is a gift to enjoy while you have it. Balance is a mysterious and elusive force — one that often seems to defy the laws of the world around you. Balance (when you find it, or it finds you) makes everything around you beautiful.

April 6, 2014

Art is not just in us, it is us

An excellent quote from Sarain Stump, a Shoshone-Cree poet and artist from Wyoming, later co-ordinator of the Indian art program at the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College:

Art is us, with our frustrations and hopes, with all of our good and bad feelings. Through art, we can make ourselves clearly understood beyond the barriers of time and space . . . beyond the inhibitions of language. Our art is us as Indian people and its rebirth will be one of the major forces for our people’s rebirth.

Whether we are of First Nations decent or otherwise, our art is our own unique form of expression. It gives us strength and confidence in who we are. It enables us to explore the roots of our being, our culture, our history, and to share those discoveries with the world. And it provides us with a safe outlet for expressing and releasing long-held emotions and experiences, and therefore serves an important healing function.

For these reasons and more, art deserves a place in our lives.

Your art is an essential part of who you are. Please let it shine.

March 13, 2014

Lessons from a Russian doctor: Let language carry you

Good writing requires a special spark. That’s why I love the following passage from Boris Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago; here, Pasternak describes the elusive flame of artistic inspiration, in which words take on a life of their own, language flexes its formidable muscle, and the (excited) author merely hangs on for the ride.

(Context: Yuri Zhivago, the novel’s protagonist, is working to record the poems that have grown within him for years.) 

After two or three stanzas and several images by which [Yuri] himself was struck, his words took possession of him and he felt the approach of what is called inspiration. At such moments the relation of the forces that determine artistic creation is, as it were, reversed. The dominant thing is no longer the state of mind the artist seeks to express but the language in which he wants to express it. Language, the home and receptacle of beauty and meaning, itself begins to think and speak for man and turns wholly into music, not in terms of sonority but in terms of the impetuousness and power of its inward flow. Then, like the current of a mighty river polishing stones and turning wheels by its very movement, the flow of speech creates in passing, by virtue of its own laws, meter and rhythm and countless other relationships, which are even more important, but which are as yet unexplored, insufficiently recognized, and unnamed.

This is a beautiful description of the magic of artistic creation, and if you are a writer or an artist of any kind, I think you’ll understand what Pasternak is saying. In other words: sometimes the creative energy just flows from within you. You enter “the zone,” and everything inside and outside of you seems to move in synch, to hum along in easy, seamless harmony, allowing you to produce a beautiful piece of art or composition, the final product simply flowing out of you with nary a thought or concern on your part. It’s an extraordinary feeling, when you experience it, but such moments are rare — which is why we artists tend to run with that special momentum when it hits us!

I wish you such inspired artistic energy in whatever field of creation you pursue.

April 29, 2013

Observed on the street: A circle of life, turning, turning

I came across this beautiful rendition of the aboriginal medicine wheel (also called the wheel of life or the sacred hoop) on the outer wall of my local/district community arts council building:

wheel_of_life

 

I love the grounding stones at centre; the depiction of the cycles of nature, the seasons, the sun; the symbolism of birth, growth, death and rebirth — of life itself.  I love how the prints of humans and animals exist together in the soil, intermingled with the roots of the trees, connected to both the seeds of life and the earth to which all living things eventually return.  I love how each component of the circle relies on every other for balance, for continuity, for solidity, for completeness.

We are all one, forever united in the loop of this enduring narrative.  We share the same history; we share the same future.  Let’s take care of one another the best we can.  Peace.

April 16, 2013

Observed on the trail: Faces in the trees

I came across these two wonderfully intricate carvings peering out at me from tree trunks along a path in Prince George’s Cottonwood Island Park:

Intricate carving of the face of an Indian chief in the bark of a tree           Intricate carving of the face of an old, bearded man in the bark of a tree trunk.

March 29, 2013

Why I love (northern) B.C. – Curious moose behaviour!

In northern British Columbia, the moose even deliver the mail!

Mailbox attached to a piece of driftwood shaped like a moose head.

March 12, 2013

Why I love (northern) B.C. – Moose on the loose!

Here in northern B.C., moose are everywhere.  I caught this one running through the parkade below the library in my home town:

Silhouette of a running moose painted on a concrete pillar.

 

😉

 

February 21, 2013

Laugh of the day – The beauty of the artistic perspective

Courtesy of Alex Hallatt’s Arctic Circle cartoon series (and from one proud arts major to any others!):

"Arctic Circle" cartoon by Alex Hallett (Feb 1, 2013)

January 28, 2013

Show your true colours

Another poem from children’s author Shel Silverstein:

Colours

My skin is kind of sort of brownish
Pinkish yellowish white.
My eyes are greyish blueish green,
But I’m told they look orange in the night.
My hair is reddish blondish brown,
But it’s silver when it’s wet.
And all the colours I am inside
Have not been invented yet.

Inside of you (yes, you!) is a brilliant explosion of colour, a vivid, breathtaking swirl of tints and tones that is unique to only you. These colours are yours, and yours alone.  Honour these colours and the inner canvas they decorate. Free them to the world through the activities you pursue and the causes you follow. Name them in your own way, by giving them the space and recognition they deserve — both inside your self and in the world around you. Paint your world your way, according to your inner palette. And never be afraid to splash another colour onto the work of art that is your life.

Image of paint splatter