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the zen of seeing

“Art is that which despite all gives hope” Frederick Franck 1981

Anemones 31.3.20

Since the 100 anemone bulbs I planted have yet to appear I used a bouquet that five years ago was the subject of Day 90 of my daily posts during 2015. I had been re-reading one of my favourite books The Zen of Seeing by Fredrick Franck that week. Here is the original bouquet together with my pen and ink drawing at the time, and if you would like to see the rest of the post and learn a little more about Frederick Franck why not visit Studio 365: Day 90

Day 90 i  Day 90 ii

Anemones 31.3.15

Day 90 iii

the courage bouquet


 
Inspired by the memory of Vincent yesterday I spent the afternoon in my studio painting alone and thinking of all those struggling in isolation in hospitals around the world without their loved ones beside them. They are always in my thoughts. “What would life be” Vincent wrote, “if we had no courage to attempt anything.” The courage, sacrifice and love of so many will be the lasting inspiration and memory of our time. With this bouquet I thank and honour them all.
 

Remembering Vincent

Today is Vincent van Gogh’s Birthday. He was born on March 30, 1853. I thought I would celebrate the occasion by reposting Vincent’s Room which I originally posted on The Changing Palette in June 2014. During these difficult days taking a moment to look back on the life of someone who had to “suffer for his sanity” but was still able to show us the beauty that surrounded him in his own wonderfully iconic way should inspire us all.

Who can look at a sunflower and at the same time not think of Vincent? Let us celebrate his memory together, and please listen to Don Maclean’s “Vincent” imbedded in the post. I promise you will it will be the highlight of your day.

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything.” Vincent van Gogh

Vincent's Room i

Can there be a more iconic room than Vincent Van Gogh’s bedroom at the Saint-Paul Asylum, Saint-Remy, France where Van Gogh entered voluntarily as a patient on May 8, 1889 and remained until May the following year. During this time he painted the gardens, with their wheat fields, olives groves, irises and sunflowers, all of which he could see from his bedroom window.
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darkness and light


 
This painting from a few years ago seems now quite unintentionally to capture the times we are living through with hope and light expressed in the colours battling the surrounding swirling darkness, as petals fall. Tell me I’m wrong and it’s just another lovely bouquet.

all the world’s a stage


 
Yesterday was World Theatre Day.
 
All the world has now indeed become a stage. I know we all look forward to the day when theatres, galleries, concert halls, sports stadiums will all come to life again. In the meantime we must thank our dedicated health professionals, first responders, hospital employees; essential service providers of every kind be they in food, pharmacy, truck drivers, flight attendants, and so many countless others.
 
The time is out of joint; how fortunate we are that they were born to set it right!

“reflections and thanks” revisited

I posted this photograph six years ago today in response to The Weekly Photo Challenge that so many of us used to be part of. Given how we are all supporting each other in the blogosphere, the world’s safest place to practice social distancing during these challenging times, my thanks today are for all the heroes and heroines working so hard to save us all.
 
Cortona ii
 
The photo was taken early one summer’s evening from the Youth Hostel in Cortona, Italy and shows the bells of the Chiesa del Torreone reflected in our bedroom window with Lake Trasimeno seen shimmering in the distance; a moment of pure magic.
 

 
My little watercolour shows reflections in the window of another Italian youth hostel in Finale Ligure, the magnificent Castello Vuillerman, recorded in my Journal on July 2, 1999. We’ll never forget climbing the more than three hundred steps, with packs on our backs, to the Castello where the view of the city, seen in this window reflection, was well worth the climb.
 

I hope this raises your spirits just a little. Be well and stay safe.

thank heavens for FaceTime


 

 

Painted for my beautiful granddaughter’s nursery.

Today it is dedicated to all the Lions and Lionesses out there fighting for us all.

Pooh works out


 

 

Painting and collage of Olga Korbut from 1997 and posted previously in December 2014

Pooh’s palette


 

 

Painted in 1986 after a visit to New York and inspired by seeing the works of
Willem de Kooning and the Abstract Espressonits Expressionists.