A friend told me this week about an artist who I had never heard of, a Japanese-French painter, who was born in 1886 and died in 1968.. A rare discovery. In fact I wish I had known about him when I was writing my Master's Thesis in 1992, as his still life paintings are the closest I've seen to what I was doing at the time. I love these flowers.
(C)ontemplation is . . . awakening, enlightenment, and the amazing intuitive grasp by which love gains certitude of God’s creative and dynamic intervention in our daily life. . . contemplation is a sudden gift of awareness, an awakening to the Real within all that is real. A vivid awareness of infinite Being at the roots of our own limited being. An awareness of our contingent reality as received, as a present from God, as free gift of love.
—Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
You point to something as having Quality and the Quality tends to go away. Quality is what you see out of the corner of your eye.
- Robert Pirsig
When I was a child there was a TV show on which every now and then the announcer would call out, "Circle gets the square." I don't know why. But circles and squares do have a special relationship, don't they?
Until art is allowed its full and proper place in spiritual meditation, meditation itself will remain elitist, a complex and convoluted exercise for an elite minority of professional pray-ers… Matthew Fox
Antoine de Saint-Exupery. "More wisdom is latent in things as they are than in all the words men use."
Life feels less threatening when we back away. Wild animals feel safer when they're in a zoo, trees are safer in parks, and art is safer in museums, behind glass. But we pay a high price for our safety, don't we? We will never know what a wild animal really is if we only see it in a zoo, trees can never be fully trees in a park, and contemplative art must be experienced intimately, up close and personally.
“There must be always remaining in every man’s life some place for the singing of angels, some place for that which in itself is breathlessly beautiful.” -- Howard Thurman (1900-1981) African American minister and educator
Have I ever made anything that could be called breathlessly beautiful? Have I ever tried? I don't think in terms of beauty all the time, but the more I think of proportion the more I think of perfect proportion.
A friend asked me recently if this is how I see the world, as ordered and beautiful. My answer is that this is how I see the invisible world, the world within the apparent world. It is a world that has not received much widespread attention since Medieval days, when God was posited as the Architect of the Universe, but it is still there. Still here. Even visible, on a good day, to the contemplative eye.
A musician has said: In art, truth and reality begin when you no longer understand anything you do or know, and there remains in you an energy that much stronger for being balanced by opposition, compressed, condensed. Then you must present it with the greatest humility, completely white, pure, candid, your brain seeming empty in the state of a communicant approaching the Lord's Table. -- H. Matisse, 1939
The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity. -- A. Giacometti
I am an artist. I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota.