APAQUOQUE

Apaquoque Painting by Adolph Gottlieb

Adolph Gottlieb is the founder of American abstract expressionism and this canvas expresses its definition.  Here are some metaphoric examples:

Life is a dance, death is but a new beginning.

It’s do or die

His grimace was more bitter than a squeezed lemon

Feelings come and go, whether in sunshine or rain

The wheels of justice gives everyone more time for redemption

Love conquers all things, prayer humbles and saves…you get the gist, yes?

When Gottlieb said, “paint quality is meaningless if it does not express quality of feeling,” that is what and why he painted these 3 circles and black markings.  I cannot feel his reality but I can relate to how he abstractly painted himself in this canvas.  He went on to say:

“The role of artist has always been that of image-maker…different times require different images…in a desperate attempt to escape from evil…to my mind, certain so-called abstraction is not abstraction at all, on the contrary, it is the realism of the time.”

At first this Apaquoque painting jolted me yet it revived a mystical experience I had while adoring Jesus in the Monstrance at Holy Adoration.  With eyes closed I saw circles of brilliant light twirling around the Holy Host which set my heart on fire with a peace never before felt.   That is what Gottlieb means by “an abstract quality of feeling.”

What may seem abstract to you may be total clarity to me and thank goodness we each have that freedom of expression.  As I see it, Adolph Gottlieb created this modern abstract platform for us to behold the world and experience our feelings metaphorically through an abstract lens.

My guess is that if you were to study an abstract painting, you probably would derive “an express quality of feeling” from it.  Try it and see what an interesting metaphor you can extract from your experiences…and do share it with me, Ok?

 

THANKS TO OUR ANCESTORS

Painting by Jan Oliver Schultz

ARTFUL WRITING

Have you ever thought about your trail of ancestors?  John and I often chat about all the possibilities given our eclectic ancestry.  Our combined roots encompass relatives from throughout Europe, Africa and landing us in Georgia, quite a melting pot to stem from.  Thinking about them comes easy to me perhaps because I love history and different cultures.  Our link to them and how they lived their lives was handed down in storytelling at the kitchen table and somehow we have some of their traits.  I wonder which of them passed along the art of writing to me?

Like the couple on horseback in the above painting, my Beloved John leads me into our destiny, always grateful for those relatives who paved the way for us.  And when we come to the end of our journey, we believe they will be welcoming us and we will discover the rest of their stories.  In the meantime we are grateful for their loving guidance.

What is your tale of ancestry?  I’d love to hear about it.

 

 

 

SLEEPY CONTEMPLATION

Owl Painting by Arie Vander Wijst

OFF THE CUFF Writing

In the deep of last night almost like clockwork came an owl gracing our majestic oak trees.  Glad he came back, his gentle hooting woke me up to see where he was perched but couldn’t spot him.  I find his recurring visits symbolic that winter is coming and as if wanting to offer me some wisdom.  When his hooting was done, he left me thinking of magic.

So often real life can suck the breathe out of us like an automated carwash.  There’s routine in morning rush to work and school, pressure to perform robotically only to return home exhausted, turn on the TV, chaotic news heightening our anxieties, asking if we are still on budget with the bills, etc.  There is something we can do about all of it…We can draw closer to God in prayer and find balance and peace in life that “surpasses all understanding.”

“As morning breaks, I look to you, O God, to be my strength this day, alleluia.” –Antiphon

You may think you do not have time to pray, but taking just 5 to 10 minutes of each day to commune with God will blow your mind with his goodness.  As a habit can be secured within 21 days, you will be amazed by the yearning he gives you to pray with perseverance.

“For your Love is better than life.”  –Psalm 63

“Pray as though everything depended on God.  Work as though everything depended on you.” –Saint Augustine

I pray you come across a hooting owl and a daily prayer upon your lips.