Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mark Rothko

“The function of the artist is to make people like life better than they have before.” —Kurt Vonnegut

So true.

Lately I am drawn to Rothko's.  And I see them everywhere in some sort of way that seems like an odd serendipitous message from the universe.  I stumble across them on pinterest, or somewhere else on the internet, in a book, magazine, or even recently on a billboard.

When life hands me odd serendipitous happenstances like that I often wonder what it all is suppose to mean.  Lately, I am in one of those rare moments in life where everything seems to line up just so, even though I feel like I am in in the midst of constant chaos.  Do you ever feel like that?

Some background on Rothko:

Rothko was an abstract expressionist who absolutely hated that description.  He rejected that completely.  Rothko felt art was a way to express emotions or religious/spiritual feelings.  Rothko was known for his color fields.  His color fields were meant to express deeper feelings and emotions - things which are nearly impossible to paint, but he tried.  Rothko thought it was interesting that this is how children often paint or think about painting - when you ask them to paint something about how they feel - it is often an abstraction.  It is usually adults who direct children to draw a person or a "happy family" or a family pet to express happiness.  Children left to their own devices will usually employ an abstract technique.  And he felt that children's emotions are more pure and therefore, perhaps abstracted emotive paintings were also a more pure form as well, even when painted by adults. 

Rothko had very complex ideas about what his paintings meant.  But even though you can read pages and pages of ideas about what he was trying to get at - the bottom line is that Rothko wanted you to  FEEL his paintings.

"...only in expressing basic human emotions — tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on. And the fact that a lot of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I can communicate those basic human emotions . . . The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them. And if you, as you say, are moved only by their color relationship, then you miss the point." - Mark Rothko

I've seen several Rothko's in person and I never fail to be moved by them.  And I think maybe being in touch with something in the paintings is something that just happens to some people - but maybe doesn't happen to others.  Some people really don't like abstraction in their art because they find it difficult to understand what it means. 

Rothko committed suicide in his 60s shortly after finding out he had some serious health problems.

Maybe in the same way that some people easily learn french, or understand math - maybe some people speak of language of abstraction.  I don't know.

Here are some of my favorites:

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Great Ideas if you're thinking of trying something more interesting with your front door!

(and really, life is too short for neutral doors isn't it?)

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Fitful Sleep

The death of my blog.

That's what it feels like my new full time job and going to school and being a mom and struggling for a little tiny piece of sanity will do to my ability to keep up this little side project that I truly love.

My blog makes me happy.  Though I do keep a journal of sorts, I like to think that someday this blog would give future generations of people who were related to me a real sense of who I was/am.  The things I loved, the things I thought about and the things I wasn't so crazy about either.  Little obsessions, longings, goals and the ephemera of my brain in print. 

I'm not dreaming about pink fluffy clouds.  I sleep fitfully these days.  Trying to find a way to leave work at work.  Trying not to think too much about kids living in lock down facilities and treatment centers.  Trying not to think too much about how rarely real love and kindness enters into the lives of some.  How lucky so many of us are and we don't appreciate it.

Trying to look for the good in the bad.  And finding it sometimes in surprising spaces and people.

But I still also care about the best turquoise walls, Charlie Hunnam, and perfectly mermaid blue pools too.

Those things trivial comparatively to my ethics course and my desire to understand the ins and outs of the "system" many kids find themselves living within.

But at the same time it almost makes some of those things More important too.  If you can't find the time to make your space what you want - if you can't find the time to read or appreciate the little things - you'll crack.

So I'm still trying to find that balance and I'm not there yet. 

I have a feeling the next 2 years will be both incredibly rough and incredibly rewarding. 


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