I share a studio with two other artists in Louisville Kentucky. We just recently had a very sad encounter with reality in the form of a homeless man who lingered constantly around our studio door. The story around this man unfolded in a series of tragic vinyetts leaving us all with a renewed awareness of the fact that the problems facing the homeless are, in fact, everyone’s problem.
Lyrical and sensitive, Fran Skiles’ paintings bring a peace of mind and a clarity of life fulfilling purpose to a world filled much too often with confusion and disruption. I invite you to meditate upon the paintings of Fran Skiles for a calming yet deep state of mind.
Today is a beautiful, sunny day, and the air is warming just slightly. Looking for inspiration, I often turn to nature as a most reliable source. Today’s focus is birds and flight, representing the power of the soaring spirit, indomitable and ever uplifting. What a blessing to hear the flutters and chirps outside my window. It gives me renewed determination to appreciate and preserve our natural environment.
Starting with a selection of bird paintings by artist Paul Klee, and one to honor Paul Klee, above, we move through a variety of media and artistic approaches.
Interwoven in this feature are bird sculptures and paintings/drawings I found everywhere. I hope you enjoy their whimsy, movement and beauty today. I hope that a focus on inspiration and hope conveys the asssurance that we are so much more than a consumer culture repleat with an eternal quest for power and domination.
Check out this poem by for a riveting summation and warning of how our culture could look to outsiders from the future. This excerpt presents a perceptive view of a predominant movement in today’s culture.
This slim book of poetry — Mary Oliver’s Red Bird contains many wonderful poems. Here are A few lines of “Of the Empire”
We will be known as a culture that feared death
and adored power, that tried to vanquish insecurity
for the few and cared little for the penury of the
many. We will be known as a culture that taught
and rewarded the amassing of things, that spoke
little if at all about the quality of life for
people (other people), for dogs, for rivers. All
the world in our eyes, they will say, was a
commodity. And they will say that this structure
was held together politically, which it was, and
they will say also that our politics was no more
than an apparatus to accommodate the feelings of
the heart, and that the heart, in those days,
was small, and hard, and full of meanness.
And yet, Art can provide a reminder that our hearts and souls are larger, more compassionate than the metallic noise and dissection surrounding us now. Compassion, insight and courage are still valued, still appreciated, still embodied by our culture at large.
Reviewed By Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite
Vortex is an anteater; Scoop is a lioness. What’s unusual about the two is not that Vortex likes to count how many ants he eats each day, or that Scoop likes to measure how fast she runs because she’s the fastest runner in the jungle. What’s unusual is that Vortex the anteater and Scoop the lioness were born together, attached at the shoulder and torso. Vortex and Scoop are one, even though they’re also two different animals. And this has become a problem. While Vortex wants to eat all the ants he can, Scoop wants to run as fast as she can, so neither one is happy with how the other goes about their business. So, what do they do? Do they seek surgical separation? Or do they learn to accommodate each other and live together in harmony?
Author and artist Janis Adrian Kirstein has written a charming, fantastical story in Fantasy Animals (Volume 1), complete with her own illustrations. The story reads like a treasured parable, a storyteller’s treat that also teaches valuable lessons. In this case, the lessons to be learned are about understanding, cooperating, resolving differences, and learning to live together without conflict in spite of differences. Everyone is born different, unique, and we all must learn to respect these differences, not criticize them. Vortex and Scoop had to learn how to negotiate, how to find something good in each other, and how to make allowances for the other’s differences. These are important lessons for all of us, young and old, to learn over and over again. A great story to share many times.
If you read this book and feel so moved, please feel free to write a review on my Amazon author page!