Beauty

Mike Walsh, MM. The Hudson Dragon (2013). Looking west across the Hudson at serpentine clouds that spread like a Chinese dragon over the highlands.

The feeling for things in themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures. —Vincent Van Gogh   This is the day that the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. —Psalm 118:24 I love the words of that psalm. They repeat in my heart like a mantra. This is the day —not just today, October 10; not yesterday or tomorrow but the entire span of our days. And the times in which our days are lived. Continue Reading
Art, an Earthly Thing

Art is an eminently earthly thing. —Pierre Revardy (1927)
Beautiful things are those which please when seen—and, of course, I mean mentally seen, and therefore pleasing to the mind . . . . Anything is beautiful if it be made in such a way as to give pleasure to the mind which perceives it, and the question as to what should or should not give pleasure to the mind is no more and no less difficult than the question as to what should or should not give annoyance.
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It Ain't Bosh

“Charles,” said Cordelia, “Modern Art is all bosh, isn’t it.” “Great bosh.” “Oh, I’m so glad. I had an argument with one of our nuns and she said we shouldn’t try to criticize what we didn’t understand. Now I shall tell her I have had it straight from a real artist, and snubs to her.” —Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
Just because Waugh wrote it does not make it true. All the same, it is hard to blame him, writing as he was in the wake of Dada’s aggressive anti-art impulse. Continue Reading
What is Beauty?

What is beauty ? The question is better left to philosophers. It is a bootless one for artists to brood over. It does nothing to enhance the work of an artist’s hand. It is the experience of beauty—sensory, emotional, psychological—not any definition that makes an artist’s work intelligible to himself. Herself. Creators of the greatest beauty possess it by instinct. Yet, the question has become a species of branding device among Christian, particularly Catholic, artists. It is the asking that matters more than the answer. Continue Reading
Tu Belleza, Tu Misericordia

VII. Tu belleza se llamará también misericordia, y consolará el corazón de los hombres. —Gabriela Mistral, Decálogo del Artista The beauty that you create shall also be called compassion, and shall console the hearts of men. I painted that seventh commandment of Gabriela’s “Decalogue of the Artist” across the old built-in china cabinets that line one dining room wall. I sketched it first in pencil to get the spacing right, then brushed over the sketch with ivory black in a version of chancery hand. Continue Reading