Monday, February 13, 2017

Art, Music and Change

Change -- it happens, get over it, nothing ever stays the same -- or does it?  They say that after you have a major life event -- surgery, near death experience, life threatening illness -- you change.  I have seen it happen with family members and I am now realizing that it has happened to me as well.  I knew things were changing but I didn't know what to credit this change to -- now I think I do.

Whatever the reason, over the last couple of years I have seen a huge change in my personality and I really rather like it.  How have I changed, you might ask?  Well, I wish there were words but I guess I would say my attitudes and priorities have changed.  The result?  A calmer, more serene me.  I say yes when I can, have no problem saying no when I can't -- or don't want to.  I finally learned what it means to put myself first because if I don't keep myself together, I can't be of any help to anybody else.  It is like an epiphany. Experiencing the joy of gratitude is a life changing event.

The biggest change I see in myself, however, is my interests. Once an avid quilter and cross stitcher, I no longer find joy in those pursuits although I am considering a cross stitch project to keep me off the computer, more specifically Facebook.  It seems that now I am totally mesmerized by music and art.

My father was an artist and my children are artistic but the gene completely skipped me.  Can't draw a straight line with a ruler.  Or can I?  Does it matter?  What is art?  To me, art is anything drawn, painted, sculpted, sewn or designed that brings joy or awe,  question or discussion.  The effect that color has on a being is amazing to me -- or the lack of color.  Maybe I can't explain it but I do know that right now anything "art" has my full attention.

"Art" is also words to me.  I was introduced to a poem recently -- The Carousel by Rilke --one my daughter learned in high school German class.  It had great meaning to her. Of course, I didn't understand the meaning she gleaned from it but after a discussion I "got" it.  My meaning is different than hers, I am sure but it is a deep and thoughtful poem with great symbolism and romantic images.  Here is a link for you to visit:

My father's art can be seen here: and and example here:

Yes, they are comic books but my father was well known for his painted covers -- they were paintings rather than just colored illustrations.  I chose Robin Red because it has special meaning -- Robin Red was my son and Maid Mandy was my dog.  The little girl in the story was my daughter.  Let's just say Robin Red and the Lutins was a family affair. My father was a prolific writer and he could create art from his mind, not an example to follow.  He was quiet in the art world but is now, seventeen years after his death, coming to notoriety.  Isn't that always the way?

I love fine art as well but I love book illustrations -- my very favorite illustrator being Garth Williams.  He is well known for his illustrations in the Little House books, Stuart Little and scores of Little Golden books.  Tasha Tudor is a close second.

Oh, to be able to draw like that! What a gift!

And music. Being a child of the  60's I grew up in one of the most fantastic musical eras's of our time.  I mean, seriously, how could you not be impacted by the Beatles, the Beach Boys and Motown.  And, if you liked to dance, like you know I did, it would just shake you to your core.  My favorite song of the time was "In My Life" by the Beatles.

Today, however, I am more moved by the Nanci Griffiths and Leonard Cohen's of the world -- totally fascinated by Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" right now.  Is it religious?  Secular?  I guess it just depends on your take and your position but it is meaningful and thought provoking, nonetheless.

Art and music-- they both imitate real life yet they can take you away from real life.  They can ground you and they can make you fly and ponder and think.  They can make you feel alive and feed your brain.

So, I think I will go color in my color book but I will leave you with this video.  If you think music doesn't have an impact on you, let me tell you that this song brings tears to the eyes of my 6 year old granddaughter and when I watch her, through those tears, I see the true meaning of everything.