I often hear my associations of ideas are off-beat or décalé (or off-the-wall, depending on how polite you are :-). So let me throw you at the cross between yoga, running and art and see what you think! To me, breathing is at this intersection on my grid – often underestimated, so underrated yet ESSENTIAL! I practice yoga 3 times a week, no matter what. I am also half way through my marathon training program. So let’s just say I have learnt to pay attention to breathing because my life (an your life) depends on it 🙂 There is a meditative quality to breathing that helps me get through the discomfort of a crescent lunge on my weaker side or the pain that usually comes without a fail after running 17 miles. I made breathing a life tool and a habit but like most things, I refused to make it bland. My wonderful yoga teacher Karoll B. uses the visualisation of a ball of color that I can match with my mood or my needs of the day. It works wonders and allows me to power through most days! So much so that I found myself thinking of my yoga practice, breathing and […]
If you think about Seurat, dots should be the next word popping into your mind. My 5th grade daughter and her class made their own version of Seurat’s The Channel at Gravelines, Evening to be auctioned at the school gala. They used a multitude of dots to recreate local and illuminating colors and paid a brilliant homage to Seurat. He formalised scientific discoveries on color theory as a systematic approach applied to his painting technique. His breakthrough was termed Pointillism and was achieved with just six major paintings that are so familiar to all. He did not have time for more: he died aged 31.
Remember the days when you were a student? Can you clearly picture yourself almost drinking every word uttered by your favorite teacher or can you only see the blur of the parties? What about going from one class to the next, head bent watching your steps, on automatic pilot. Fully absorbed in your thoughts on managing your work load with all your upcoming deadlines, how often did you remember to look up? What about today? What does it take to look up and what difference does it make to your day? This is a subject dear to Robert Irwin’s heart, a Californian artist who keeps inspiring my vision of life. His art is all about engaging you to look, not just see. Between 1981-1983, he had an opportunity to fight what he so aptly calls “habituation” in a place where this matters most crucially. A university campus. Try walking through a university some time. Each time I do I can’t help but think about which one of these bright kids is thinking hard about a new approach or a new discovery that will change the world we know. If these students succumb to “habituation” and become immune to their surroundings […]
Choosing Van Gogh and an untidy bedroomArt Everywhere/Art in California/Kids in Museums
Give me the kids on holiday or a 3-day long weekend and I invariably ask them (in vain!) to spring clean their bedrooms. After the usual outcry and refusal this week, I came with a cunning plan to make us all see our bedroom in a whole new light. We headed to the Pasadena Norton Simon Museum to look at the second version of Van Gogh’s Bedroom, never before exhibited on the West Coast. But wait a minute, second version?? Yes, Van Gogh painted 3 versions of his famous Bedroom. This puzzled my 10-year-old daughter since she described her bedroom as unique as, and I quote, “a chest of awesomeness, fun and feelings”. So what exactly happened with Van Gogh? The first version, called Amsterdam version, was painted in 1888. Van Gogh was experiencing a renewal. Settled in Arles, he was happy, full of hope that Gauguin would come to move in the adjacent bedroom, that together they would paint the town as yellow as the house! The Bedroom is therefore his way to present quite a “mature” life project. Never before did Van Gogh stay in the same place for long as he always struggled in all relationships. Interestingly, […]
Freshly back to my Art History studies, my friend Lorenza was hoping for a few jewel-related stories into the discussions of our course on Impressionism. Jewelry and gemstones are high on my grid but mixed with Impressionism, isn’t it a stretch? Not in my world: Opal is the Impressionist gemstone par excellence! Look at the range of pastel colors this opal displays: the soft brownish orange turning to a blushed apricot and a hint of coral, the green alternating between moss and forest until it fluoresces neon-like while bright aqua blue is dispersed widely with rare specks of royal blue emerging from the depth. This spectacle is what us gemologists call play-of-color, and it is visually very similar to the open and broken brushstrokes associated with the Impressionists and Monet in particular. Let me take you beyond the surface of opal for a bit of gemology… Erosion can have beautiful consequences. Water runs down, picks up mostly silica and other minor elements and becomes a silica-rich solution which permeates cracks. Once there, such solution deposits as small silica spheres which can vary in size depending on temperature and pressure. As the process repeats itself, a whole structure of tiny […]