"It is very well to copy what one sees; it's much better to draw what one has retained in one's memory. It is a transformation in which imagination collaborates
with memory." -- Edgar Degas
Dancers in Blue by Edgar Degas, 1890. To see more of his work click: www.edgar-degas.org/
On Thursday, former graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat's 'Untitled' became the highest priced painting, by an American artist, ever sold at auction. (One of his works also set the record last year.) It was purchased at Sotheby's in New York by Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa. The artwork was created in 1982 when Basquiat was only 22 years old. He died of a heroin overdose in 1988. Jonathan Jones from the British newspaper The Guardian states: "It is a painting that bleeds history. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (1982) portrays a black skull scarred with red rivulets, pitted with angry eyes, gnashing its teeth, against a blue graffiti wall on which someone has been doing their sums. Perhaps the street mathematician was calculating how many Africans died on slave ships in the 18th century, or how many people lived in slavery in America, or how many young black men have been killed by police guns in the last few years."
Happy Buddha Day! This is the time around the world when the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and liberation from the body into Universal Oneness is celebrated. Typically the energy during a full moon is very strong and energizes what is being held in our mental and emotional consciousness, good or bad. Hence busy police and emergency rooms during these times! But the Taurian full moon is said to be the most powerful of all. So today, while the added vivacity is further animating our desires, it is best to keep our attention on our best intentions and affirm that positive vision we have for ourselves and the world.
Above is my painting: Veil Circle, a 12x12 acrylic on canvas sheet, which is available.
The latest painting in my Veil Series was inspired by the Beltane, noted in yesterday's post. It is believed that during this cycle of the year, it is one of the times when the veil between our physical plane and the metaphysical realm is the thinnest. This informs my abstract work and inspires my spiritual practice. This is probably also where the quote, The Goddess is alive and Magic is afoot, comes from. And being just a few days from the Wesak moon, the most powerful full moon of the year, just adds to the energy of this year's event. The title, Der Blaue Reiter, (The Blue Rider in English), was gleaned from the name of the pioneering German Expressionist modern art movement of the early 20th century. It confronted feelings of alienation within an increasingly modernizing world. Sound familiar? They sought to transcend the mundane or profane as it were, by pursuing the spiritual in art. Wassily Kandinsky, the father of non-objective art and Franz Marc were the center of the group, and the name "Der Blaue Reiter" referred to their belief that blue was the most spiritual color and that the rider symbolized the ability to move beyond... I work on my canvases sometimes from may angles, and when I finished this one and was sitting with it, I noticed the unintentional images of the blue horses, maybe even a unicorn, frolicking across the picture plane! Magic afoot indeed! It is an homage to Franz Marc's beautiful paintings of the blue horses and the long history of expressing the spiritual through art. Ride on!
May 1st marks the Celtic celebration of Beltane, also referred to as May Day. It is observed around the world to commemorate the turning point of the year when warmer days return. Celebrants mark the day by lighting fires, dancing, feasting and performing fertility rituals such as the maypole dance. In agrarian times, it affirmed the fertility of the fields and the promise of a bountiful harvest. Beltane is believed to refer to the "The Fires of Bel", in honor of the Celtic sun god Belenus. So in honor of the occasion, I offer a song by one of my favorite fiery redheads, Loreena McKennitt. Here is Huron Beltane Fire Dance, from her album Parallel Dreams.
To learn more about Ms. McKennitt and her music, click: loreenamckennitt.com/