The Soul of Fine Art: Delve into: art, passion, writing, dharma, zen, character, consciousness, culture, intuition, evolution, and the spirit we call soul.

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Monday Dec 16, 2002

It’s How You Look At It

“I was returning, immersed in thought, from my sketching, when on opening the studio door, I was suddenly confronted by a picture of indescribable and incandescent loveliness. Bewildered, I stopped, staring at it. The painting lacked all subject, depicted no identifiable object, and was entirely composed of bright color-patches. Finally, I approached closer and only then recognized it for what it really was—my own painting, standing on its side on the easel.”

—Wassily Kandinsky

The painting in question was, as I recall, of haystacks, not the detail of the painting shown above. I cropped this section from Kandinsky’s art painted on glass from an insightful book by Annegret Hoberg called Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter that chronicles their ill-starred love affair. Prestel Publishing


Sunday Dec 15, 2002

Universe Within

“At the age of thirty-two, I decided I was either going to commit suicide or discover what a penniless human could do on behalf of humanity. I decided on the latter and realized that human beings were introduced into Universe for an important reason. They’re like bees, you see, bees who go out and get honey without realizing they’re also performing cross-pollination. I realized that we are only throwaway, that we’ve never designed anything, that Universe exhibits a mathematical orderliness which naturally implies a greater intellect at work, and that we are part of that design. Then I made a commitment never to use this knowledge for personal gain or political power. My life has been, as a result, one miracle after another.”

—R. Buckminster Fuller

Note: I cropped the image of Fuller from a fine book called Photoshop 5.5 Artistry by Barry Haynes and Wendy Crumpler, New Riders Publishing.

Friday Dec 13, 2002

Land of Make Believe

If you’ve never heard Chuck Mangione’s Land of Make Believe Concert, you owe it to your self to hear his great flugelhorn backed up by the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra with the suberb voice of Ester Satterfield, plus the support of other fine musicians.

First released in 1973, this ride of positive energy holds up nearly 30 years later. Quality does not diminish with time. I have music on when I’m painting. It sends a vibration into the room and it moves through me.

Music is unique. It is universal as it taps into feeling and transcends thinking—my kind of expression.

Wassily Kandinsky, the great Russian painter, wanted the spirit of his work to transcend in the same way the language of music liberated the soul, unbounded by the restraints of conceptualizations and dogma. That’s why he called many of his works improvisations and compositions.

The next time you want to visit a special space, put Chuck’s wonderful album on and soar into realms that are waiting for free spirits.

There is plenty of room.»

Monday Dec 09, 2002

Animate and Inanimate

I didn’t know John that well. Still, there he lay in quiet repose as if he were merely asleep in the casket. His hair was neatly combed back and he wore a suit. His body was there on view, but where did his life go?

My mother knew John when he had lived near her in one of the condominiums with his lady friend. He was good-natured. They had moved about five years back to some isolated part of the state. A phone call from the lady friend: John had apparently died of a heart attack.

It is bitter cold outside as I drive my mother and myself to the funeral parlour, an old but well-cared for home.

There were about twenty-five people in the parlour. I could see John in the open casket in the front of the room. He would be cremated later. Bob Dylan was singing and screeching a tune from his Blonde on Blonde album. My mother was shaky and, after giving our condolences to the lady friend, we sat down to wait for the service.


Saturday Dec 07, 2002

Muzak or Mozart

What is Art?

The answer in the broadest brushstroke is this: It’s all art.

The art I am talking about is art from the soul. Once the soul is found, the form follows—painting, music, dance, literature, and so on. Isn’t all art from the soul? No. Muzak is not Mozart.

Let me tell you about the piano man.