Friday, May 4, 2018

Five Things Friday -- Creativity and Visual Inspiration


I'm on school drop-off duty this morning (honestly, it's a pleasure rather than a duty, and I volunteered), and then a doctor's appointment directly after, so this will be quick.  Just thought I'd share Five places I've found creative visual inspiration lately.

1. Above, the Nine and I made an after-school outing to the same Takashi Murakami exhibition that I'd visited recently with the Five. Such fun, and so fine to see how much patience and critical discernment the Nine has developed since I began visiting the gallery with her when she was about five. That discernment was quirkily, if not comprehensively, represented by her wry comment, "What's with all the barfing?" Overall, she loved the detail, the narrative possibilities in each stunningly intricate panel, the colour -- oh my, the colour! Show ends this week at the Vancouver Art Gallery, but if you ever have a chance to see Murakami's work -- run!

2.  I always find so much creative energy in the garden -- and the tranquility needed to recharge as well.

3. Walking in my urban neighbourhood and the surrounding areas. I found this marvellous red-painted brick wall in a nearby industrial area -- and, of course, it made me think of that yellow wall I loved in Portland. It would be fun to "collect" primary-colour painted brick walls in photographs, wouldn't it?!
 I'd love to know who chose the paint colour -- how considered was the choice? Was their thought given to congruity with that lettering on the "John and Murrary Motors" building to the left? (And how about the serendipity of that red vehicle parked to the right, partway down the block?)

4.  At home, we recently hung these three delightful bird portraits, each of a bird that has visited our urban-condo bird feeder.

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 These are splendidly detailed, hand-embroidered on a felted surface by the textile-artist daughter of my very good friend -- I've known the artist since she was born, but it's not simply that bias that has me raving about her work.  Browse her Instagram feed to see more examples -- gorgeous stuff!
5. And then an example of my own modest attempt to develop skills that will let me express my own responses to all the visual stimulation I find out in this beautiful world, troubled though we may often find it. . . This is a work-in-progress, begun in watercolour class yesterday morning and currently sitting on my dining table, waiting for the next layer. . .

Once again, I have to leave running. . . hope you enjoyed this little survey of the way Art finds its way to me. Perhaps you might tell me where your eyes have enjoyed either resting or being woken up lately. How have you fed that creative urge? Even if you never put pencil to paper in response, I believe there's art in the observation, in the appreciation, don't you?



24 comments:

  1. Love that little chickadee. What beautiful work. Have a great weekend, Frances. With painting and running and ...sigh... whatever makes you happy:)

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    1. You too, Sue! Whatever puts a smile on your face.

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  2. What's with all the barfing,indeed! Talk about the gut-to- mouth-response...I love it. AND that you share observation and apppreciation of art with little people. What a splendid thing.
    Many comments-including about your brave-heart nephew and wife--lost. Just can not comment on-the-run, I have realized. God love them.
    The Picasso exhibit at the Tate Modern 2 weeks ago with American friends? Wow.
    Ain't art grand?!
    ♡ A. in London

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    1. Too bad about the lost comments -- I've heard from a few who find that comments don't "stick" when left via Mobile/Cell. . .
      So if I were in London now, at the Tate Modern, I could see the Picasso exhibit AND have my favourite olives?! ;-)

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  3. Love the birds , so clever , especially to someone like me who has two left hands . Our Dicentra is looking pretty spectabilis just now too - you wouldn’t think it was a member of the poppy family . Re paint & graffiti , a new addition has arrived in our city . A pile of brightly decorated shipping containers let to small businesses , mainly for street food . It’s causing some excitement . Most of the youngsters love it , saying we need to move with the times & most of the oldies don’t , saying it doesn’t sit well in a medieval city . I haven’t seen it yet but the food sounds very interesting .
    Wendy in York

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    1. I know! The botanical classification system often relies on elements that challenge our visual sense of a plant.
      I'm very interested in these shipping containers in York, and I'll have to go Google some images. Those shipping containers have also been used to house the homeless in various places. . .

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    2. It’s called Spark York
      W

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  4. Working in the garden, and more gardening...head down and bum up, that’s my day job. I would not have it any other way. ;-)
    Ali

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    1. These are the happy months for you, right?! Enjoy!

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  5. My creative urge is about to start up again after a harsh season of illness for my husband. Back in January, we thought we might lose him to a dangerous bacterial infection in his blood exacerbated by his weak heart. On April 20th, he was finally declared free of the bacteria. On April 23, he received a new implanted cardiac device, both pacemaker and defibrillator plus three wires strategically placed in his heart. We are thankful for the knowledge, discernment, and skill of his long-time cardiologists.
    Today, we saw the blessings of this new healing season as our four grandkids came pouring into our home with balloons, hand drawn cards, hugs, and kisses for their Papa. Best. Medicine. Ever.
    This is probably not the answer about creativity you expected, Frances. But I tell you...my "eyes have enjoyed resting" on my husband sitting in his TV chair and hearing his steady breathing asleep at night. My creativity will now have time to rise again.
    Charlene H

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    1. Oh, Charlene, what a scary few months. So good to hear that your husband's health is returning.
      Honestly, I didn't have any specific answer in mind, as I think creativity weaves in and out of our lives in ways we don't always see or comprehend. Even when it seems absent, I suspect it's playing a quiet role in the background, but I'm so glad yours has time to move into a more playful space now.

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    2. Frances...I read our exchange to my husband this morning and he was totally touched. :D
      I want you to know that your writing was a wonderful respite for me during these past months. I would read your words and strive to express the much-needed, positive feelings that arose within, in an appropriate comment, as I sat in my husband's hospital room. That focus, combined with my faith in God, kept me grounded. I turned to other bloggers as well. Most of them are commenters on your blog, too. :)
      Thought you would like to know how your words travel and where they might land. With appreciation...
      Charlene H

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  6. It is so great to have a special companion to the art exibitions,for both of you
    Dicentra was one of my my grandma's favourite plants-we call it "little hearts"-. I haven't seen one for a while
    Bird portraits are lovely-I love the way she express her art and uses old medium like needlepoint
    Dottoressa

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    1. Aren't they sweet, those "little hearts" (which we call "bleeding hearts" -- I like your name better)

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  7. The bird pictures are beautiful ... such detail!
    Lovely to hear about the time spent with your grandchildren... you obviously have such fun with them. Seeing them so regularly, doing the school run etc must be wonderful ... a definite plus in the pros and cons of your move!
    Have a good weekend .... wondering if you’ll be running by the marina in the sunshine! ;)
    Rosie

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    1. It's surprising how much detail -- the textured surface of the felted background is lovely as well, although easier to see IRL than in a photo.
      And you're right -- this is probably the biggest Plus of the move.

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  8. I must admit that I find the first image a bit sinister, in spite of the colours. All those skulls - first thing that came to mind was Cambodia.
    Dicentra (Weeping Heart in German) used to be my favourite flower when I was small. I still like it, although I am glad to say my tastes have broadened in the meantime.
    We are having a wonderful weekend here by the lakeside, with sunshine and a light breeze. I have just come in from two hours of weeding and contemplation. It is beginning to feel like retirement...

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    1. Yes, I know what you mean about the skulls, but they really do seem to signify differently in pop iconography. Not quite sure how/why that works as ultimately they represent our mortality, but there's something about owning and inverting the dark side. Something carnivalesque?
      Ah, your hearts weep, while ours bleed, dicentra-wise. I prefer your name and Dottoressa's to our too graphic one. . .
      Your lakeside spot sounds like perfection to me. . .

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  9. Hello Frances,
    Did think of you and "your" olives while viewing Picasso. Friends and I thought about the cafe at the museum so I could try them, but as it was 75 degrees F in London in April-we thought a beer at a pub with ample river-side seating was the way to go.
    Fear not...shall check out the olive situation sometime soon and report!
    A.in London

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    1. Oh, I'd probably have made the same choice, in that weather. But one day, you will see what I mean about those olives, if they're still there. . . ;-)

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  10. Hello Frances,
    Maybe it's the season, but I've been finding myself wanting to express my creativity a bit more these days, too. There's the start of a watercolour sketch sitting on my dining room table, some plants that will be going into the dirt today, and a couple of kitchen tablecloths sewn in bright printed linen. It's wonderful to feel that upsurge of creative energy.
    I love dicentras, or bleeding hearts as I grew up calling them. It's a gorgeous day - and I'm off to enjoy it.

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    1. I do think there is something about the season -- Nature is putting on such a creative show, it's hard not to respond.

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  11. The red wall - perhaps it was just the paint that was on hand, or sent over by an uncle with another business and extra paint....
    I love your 'on the fly' post.
    Creativity hasn't called in yet. I'm still in the digging, planting and watering stage of using some pent-up energy. I wonder when that will shift?

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  12. Entirely possible -- perhaps even likely -- that the red wall was random. If so, Serendipity struck, because it's such a good red, a red with lots of blue in it, and it zings against a blue sky. . .
    I have come to know that I need to putter a bit for creativity to begin working. That's just part of the creative process for me, so I'd say your digging, planting, watering is all creativity gathering strength. . . It's biding its time. . .

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we?

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