Monday, July 23, 2012

Can artwork make you cry?

Has a work of art ever moved you to tears? That's a question that I asked last week while quoting James Elkins, author of Pictures and Tears: A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings. Some interesting responses motivated me to post this poll about artwork and emotions. Besides tears, does artwork ever make you laugh, feel excited, angry, frightened, confused, dizzy...? Share your experiences in the poll below or in the comments.

When I saw the painting below at the Louvre I felt dizzy and seasick. The large scale - about 16 by 24' and the strong diagonal lines tipping toward the viewer added to the sensation, as did the color.

 The Raft of the Medusa Jean Louis Theodore Géricault
Join the discussion in the comments here or on my Facebook page and post there any artwork that has given you a strong emotional response.

What emotions have you experienced while viewing art?

Monday, July 16, 2012

What Are You Reading This Summer?

My summer reading list includes wit, humor, and drama and some conversational topics to last well into the rest of the year.

  Michael Findlay entertains while looking at the value of art through three defining categories; investment value, social leverage, and aesthetic pleasure. Well illustrated with art and ancedote, he explains how all three contribute to how art is marketed, bought and sold, displayed, and lived with.


 In a series of essays written with eloquence, insight, and humor, Peter Clothier shows us the process of gently dismantling our outer edifice to allow in fresh awareness and genuine inspiration.


 This is for anyone who has an interest in environmental, animal rights, and wilderness issues - assuming that your definition of the wilderness includes the animals that inhabit and to some extent sustain it. Aren't all three interconnected? This book also appeals as a well written drama that brings to light problems with how terrorism has been currently defined and the impact that has on all of us and the resulting limits to our freedom and expression.

Let me know what you're reading.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Creation is Subtraction

Katherine Kean, original oil painting, dark blue, black, clouds, atmospheric, contemporary, luminous
Winds Around You ©2012 Katherine Kean
oil on linen 30 x 30 inches

“Creation is not capricious or random addition; it is intelligent and selective subtraction.” The God Theory: Universes, Zero-Point Fields, and What's Behind It All, Bernard Haisch

 I’ve always thought of the act of creating something as making something from nothing. As in, there’s a blank canvas in front of you and you fill it up with paint to make a painting. While reading Bernard Haisch's, The God Theory, which examines the intersection of science and spirituality,  I’ve learned a new way to look at creating that makes a lot of sense.

Creating is about filtering and selecting from everything. Our brains constantly filter information, and it’s a good thing, because otherwise there would be so many sensations and associations that it would be overwhelming to experience. So, through life we learn to sort out and filter out whatever we perceive as not important.

 The act of creating takes the filtered bits and brings parts of them together, allowing for new associations and fresh perceptions, although nothing new is really made. It just seems that way because the new format lets us experience it as if we’ve never seen it before.

  “The esoteric traditions tell us that creation by subtraction is one of the fundamental truths underlying reality. Put in terms that relate to the God Theory, these traditions teach that creation of the real (the manifest) involves subtraction from infinite potential.”

 So it's a about choices and preferences and making selections. An analogy of the process that Haisch uses in his book is of a projector and film; the light of the projection bulb is the source of all that is and the film is the filter that subtracts from the light:

  “The white light is thus the source of infinite possibility, and you create the desired image by intelligent subtraction, causing the real to emerge from the possible. By limiting the infinitely possible, you create the finitely real.” 

Pretty cool to think about, isn't it?

   "You cannot experience yourself as what you are until you encounter what you are not.”

Bolton Hall Museum Gift Shop

The Bolton Hall Museum Gift Shop   is a great place to do your holiday shopping! Carrying a wide range of unique items, all are created l...