The Aspiration of The Artist


English: “The Moselle near Schengen at the Drailännereck”, oil painting by Luxembourg artist Nico Klopp, 1924. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From a deep well comes a certain longing.  It is for a distant horizon, dimly remembered, portending a certain clarity.  The striving for a transcendental, gives flesh and meaning to the concreteness of everyday reality.  For the artist is always seeking something more, be it in a painting, a song, or a poem.

What is the aspiration of the artist?   This question is as old as the hills, and as new as the as the latest blog post.  Timeless in form, yet essential in delineation, the artist strives to enter into the conversation of life, the river of connection that daily engulfs our lives.  Connection is key, for the moment dialogue is engaged, the artist enters into her element, and the creative flow arises naturally.  This is a given.

Perhaps in this new year, 2015, we can assess the realities before us.  A fact is still a fact, yet a dramatization can yield rich metaphors of meaning.  Hence, a realm of poetry is entered, a landscape of vivid portrayal, giving fresh impetus to the artist’s innate desire to create.  Yet, it is the conversation that gives meaning, the open knowledge that someone has seen our work, and that someone understands and appreciates it.

This is why, we at Lavender Turquois, curate the best, most interesting and liveliest of the vast offerings present to us in the WordPress domain.  This is our calling, and we hope your enjoy our effort.  For it is entering into the conversation, the element of mutual appreciation and dialog that comes with sincere effort, that is the true aspiration of the artist.


Rembrandt - The Holy Family (detail) - WGA19129

Rembrandt – The Holy Family (detail) – WGA19129 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Beauty of God , Theology and the Arts  edited by Daniel J. Treier, Mark Husbands and Roger Lundin

In this wonderful book I found a comparison of two paintings of the Holy

Family one by Rembrandt and one by Nicholas Poussin.

While Poussin presents the viewer with idealized figures in a harmoniously balanced and orderly setting. Rembrandt renders the image of the family in terms of the household of a Dutch working family. From the academic point of view as informed by its then notion of beauty, Rembrandt’s work falls far short. But does it? scholar Jakob Rosenberg observed many years ago, in Rembrandt’s work spiritual truth-with roots in the Bible_trumps a classicist sense of beauty based on a fully controlled order. Rosenberg argued that since for Rembrandt the essence of truth about man and nature lies in the ultimate relationship of everything created to the Creator,  Rembrandt accepts all things, beautiful or not, their mere existence makes them worth while, as issuing from God. This according to Rosenberg, also explains the formal quality of Rembrandt’s art. Forms, in his compositions are not allowed to become too definite or to have finality,  since this would break their contact with the life process. if Rembrandt’s chiaroscuro has any deeper purpose, it is this to suggest to keep alive these mysterious relationships, so true yet so impenetrable for the purely rational approach, so strongly felt by the artist’s intuitive and religious mind yet closed to the view of the aesthete and the classicist who insist upon beauty and a fully controlled order.”

These thoughts come after reading  principles in a letter by Pope Francis.

Peace is greater than conflict,

the whole is greater than the parts,

action is greater than ideas and

time is greater than space.

Hall of Mirrors

English: Spherical mirror in Millennium Square...

English: Spherical mirror in Millennium Square, Bristol, England. The photographer (me) is seen top right in the blue shirt. The mirror forms the side of the Explore-At-Bristol Planetarium sphere. Taken by Adrian Pingstone in June 2004 and released to the public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our imagination is full, maybe even fullness itself. Many say they have no imagination. This

is not possible. We may discount our imagination and say it is not practical or logical. The

external world does not value what comes from the hidden place of imagination. John O’

Donahue says that “That the imagination is the inspired and incautious priestess who

against all the wishes of all systems and structures insists on celebrating the liturgy of

presence at the banished altars of absence.”

I believe that to retrieve the imagination we must be willing to trawl our wounds. Imagination

can take complexity and transform it into art which is beautiful because it is simple and

direct, refusing to remain under the surface.

Let me quote further from John O’Donahue ” In this sense, the imagination is faithful and

hospitable to everything that lives in the house of the heart.

. It is willing to explore every room. Here the imagination shows courage and grace.

Literature’s most fascinating and memorable characters are not saints or cautious figures who never risked anything. They are characters who embody great passion and

dangerous paradoxical energy. In this way, the imagination mirrors and articulates that

constant companion dimension of the heart that by definition and design remains

perennially absent, namely, the subconscious. “

The artist is the one who is committed to the life of the imagination. This makes the artist is

great healer, one who can bring peace because the territory of the sub-conscious is

accessible. They bring it to light and diffuse its negativity  and mitigate its fear. 

The Gift

Made by my grandmother

Made by my grandmother (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

American poet William Stafford (1914-1993)

American poet William Stafford (1914-1993) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cover of "The Way It Is"

Cover of The Way It Is

Time wants to show you a different country. It’s the one

That your life conceals, the one waiting outside

When curtains are drawn, the one Grandmother hinted at

In her crochet design, the one almost found

Over at the edge of the music, after the sermon.

It’s the way life is, and you have it, a few years given.

You get killed now and then, violated

In various ways. (And sometimes it’s turn about.)

You get tired of that. Long-suffering, you wait

And pray, and maybe good things come_maybe

The hurt slackens and you hardly feel it any more.

You have a breath without pain. It is called happiness

It’s a balance, the taking and passing along,

The composting of where you’ve been and how people

And weather treated you. It’s a country where

You already are, bringing where you have been.

Time offers this gift in its millions of ways,

Turning the world, moving the air, calling,

Every morning, Here, take it, it’s yours.

(William Stafford, The Gift, in  The Way It Is, St. Paul, MN: The Graywolf Press, 1998 pp165-166)

Monks and Artists Creating from a Contemplative Space

: The Poet and the Contemplative Life

: The Poet and the Contemplative Life (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A painting looks back at us and wants to be engaged. It has a purpose of connecting us with God . The work of art summons the best in us. Art calls us to seek peace within ourselves and within our communities.  We are drawn to contemplate nature. We come upon insights that bring resolution to consonance and dissonances. Contemplating and creating art both invite us to tranquility, silence, serenity. This is the means of our healing.

The Artist and the Mystic are One

Bellagio Artist

Bellagio Artist (Photo credit: metamerist)

Goodness, truth and beauty are pursued by the artist and the mystic. It is one quest. The life of the mystic, one who sees the creator is everything, cultivates the artists’ soul.

Art and mysticism have the same disciplines, values, and spiritual practices. I mean, love, , reverence, devotion. The contemplative life makes for great art. The merger of the quality of great soulness and creativity. The artist calls out for greater consciousness. Be attentive. Wisdom is among us. What the eyes fail to see the heart responds to with humility.  The artist perseveres just beyond our ordinary senses and lets us glimpse at the essence of beauty.

Voices Singing Together

Pendour Cove

Pendour Cove (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Perhaps, we can pause and take a deep breath.  There is a choir out there, which we can hear faintly.  The beautiful music of voices singing together is a most soul-filled sound.  Let us rejoice in the beauty of the music around us.

Maybe, you can even find a local concert near you.  Most singers are very glad to have an audience.  The arts is a circular path, the beauty that goes out into the world, always comes back to us, often in a greatly enhances form.  Many voices add to the overall splendor.  Listening is key.


English: Former Trappists monastery in Dolbeau...

English: Former Trappists monastery in Dolbeau-Mistassini Français : Notre-Dame-de-Mistassini, ancien monastère des Pères-Trappistes situé à Dolbeau-Mistassini info (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am very grateful for the color green. If there had to be so much of anything best it be green – Mariam Pollard, OCSO

Wabi-Sabi Wordlist

English: Wabi Sabi in South Street

English: Wabi Sabi in South Street (Photo credit: Wikipedia)






melancholy (notice the word holy)






Be present to the beauty in theses spaces.


Door, Window, Glass, Stairway

Stain glass door window of St. Ann's Academy

Stain glass door window of St. Ann’s Academy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


stairway (Photo credit: PamLink)

Stairway, Montalcino

Stairway, Montalcino (Photo credit: Conlawprof)

English: Stairway and door inside the historic...

English: Stairway and door inside the historic Reed Opera House in Salem, Oregon, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A hundred ways to be…

Today, like every other day, we wake to discover the beauty around us.

Open the door and greet your experience.

Open the window and let in the sound of the dulcimer.

Open the juice and pour the glass to the brim.

Open the Stairway and climb.

Stay open.