It has been a while since I have written a blog but I have been in the flow of life. It is turbulent at times, and even roaring with plummeting currents at other times, especially though the Holidays. But always there is the peace in between where you can see.
When I was little I was shy, or inside myself. But I also was what I realize now as being compassionate. I felt for the baby birds that fell from the trees, the kids in school that were bullied, the crying kitty cat outside my window, my father and mother and friends that were sad. Later I embraced my own children, and now grandchildren.
The mandala of the swirling all-encompassing Life.
So what is this compassion? It is hard to put in words as author Jonathan Ellerby states:
“Compassion is something we all feel but have a difficult time expressing in words. Genuine compassion is about empowering ourselves and others while embodying kindness. It’s about seeking the highest good in every situation, but not always trying to make people happy or ‘fix’ things.” Compassion is being creative, always approaching situation with respect and a desire to understand. But doing so you can overcome obstacles or hardships through patience, forgiveness, and taking a stand when necessary.”
As well, I read something from the journal of the Science of Human Life which said,“Compassion literally means ‘to suffer together.’ Among emotion researchers, it is defined as the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering.”
So what is Art? How does compassion relate to my Art?
My first works, when I was five, were of cats, tigers, birds. Then I expanded to the poor, the elderly and more. Even now, decades later, when my work is viewed, people usually see that I express the denied, the weak, the hungry, the confused etc. I also feel the radiance of our Creator, “The original Artist” I observe the love and pulse of the universe, the awe of Life, the Birth of Love and possibilities. I sense the harmony between the emerging young growths in springtime, the frigid squalls fiercely telling us to go inside in winter, as well as the snowflakes dancing and playing with us. I feel the brilliance of autumn saying sweet good byes, and the lush aromas of flowers, herbs and evergreen in the Summer time.
I notice it is loud this summertime. Each seasons teach us much.
“While cynics may dismiss compassion as touchy-feely or irrational, scientists have started to map the biological basis of compassion, suggesting its deep evolutionary purpose. This research has shown that when we feel compassion, our heart rate slows down, we secrete the “bonding hormone” oxytocin, and regions of the brain linked to empathy, caregiving, and feelings of pleasure light up, which often results in our wanting to approach and care for other people.”
Viewers have cried and sighed at my work. Most don’t understand it. Some do however. That matters. Some people don’t notice and it is ok. There are all sorts of people, like the seasons. Primarily I wish for the beauty or emotional power in the work to touch peoples soul.
It is a relationship between the art work and the viewer which is healing at times. I wish for my art to have quality, beauty, which might be ugly, intrigue. I desire a visual awakening creating significance to humanity.
Historically, Art has been subjects of study, primarily concerned with human creativity and social life, such as languages, literature, and history. This is not such the case in today’s world. With my ‘Way of the Cross Series,’ I could have made it political, but I chose not to hoping to touch a larger audience. I see beauty and I see horror too in everything.
It overwhelms me at times.
How can Compassion and Art balanced? Art is a Dance. How can one feed the other? It is important to drink in Life, through observation, and help when you can. I believe that I should. I feel like I have a double life; a dichotomy. One IS my Life and the other is ESPRESSING it. But when there is too much to absorb as a single individual, it is time to digest and by digesting I mean expressing visually in physical form. Time is needed for this however. Time and Space and Breath are essential, like winters restful sleep.
Art is my Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature and interpret the Life experiences; trying to make a difference by my art work. My art is the conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, happy or sad.
A New Year is here. Birthdays, Christmas and lots of drama has come and gone, more Life ahead.
The pitter patter of little ones swells my heart so big that I feel like my grandmother heart will burst. How will this be expressed? Most experiences can’t. Some you will see.
My work is happier now (Dust to Dust and Utopia Fiddle Light) in the 2013 year, but I am a lot less prolific. Most of my accomplished artist friends do not juggle family and art or if they do have family they do not have the raging family devotional pull I have. So I am figuring out in this year 2014 how to FEED my SOUL by painting and creating but also opening my mind to places to SHOW my SOUL through exits and more. Balance. Art is a Dance!
“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything, is ready, we shall never begin.” -Ivan Turgenev
From Illuminating Souls:
“Don’t give up. Your life and your dreams are too precious. Some creations take much longer than you want them to. But as you hold your intentions high, you allow for the molecules of the Universe to rearrange to accommodate the new dreams that are in your heart. They may not look quite like you think they will, but one day, they will arrive. Your job is to keep being you. To surround yourself with loving & kind people who will cheer you on, especially when you feel like you might not make it on your own. Your job is to keep the voices in your head, cheering you on, too. Don’t let the shadow seduce you. You are vibrant and more amazing than you know, and one day you will find yourself in a brighter expression of your life. In the meanwhile, we are here cheering you on and reminding you of who you have come here to be.”