Beauty: All that’s Best of Dark and Bright

She walks in beauty, like the night  
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;  
And all that ‘s best of dark and bright  
Meet in her aspect and her eyes…

      Lord Byron. 1788–1824

 

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Capturing The Sublime

How can you capture a rainbow or harness a star?

Some artists have the ability to replicate the experience of inspiring light on paper or canvas or even in air with sound, and when they succeed in repeating the luminous and elusive frequencies and rythms that danced like angels’ wings in their own hearts, we feel the fluttering of the sublime in our own chests, and feel with pleasure that our own hearts are nests where angels are nourished by the magic of beauty.

The key to the riddle is that the ethereal, almost immaterial glimmering of light must have a cage and a castle and a singing bird.

 

Norham Castle, Sunrise, by J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851)
This is an example of capturing the sublime by a painter who touched the mysterious, and preserves for us a sun that shone within him over two hundred years ago.

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Redeeming Beauty: Beyond Tragedy

A Satyr Mourning Over a Nymph is a painting by Piero di Cosimo, an artist of Renaissance Italy, in which the viewer can feel that even in death, the beauty of life is transcendent–even more precious for its transience. 

Recognizing the fragility of life, the nobility of compassion, and the resolve to dignify with gratitude each moment of awareness, leads to redemptive acts of beauty that overcome the despair of even the most incomprehensible tradgedy. 

Beauty is the most faithful friend, and it is Beauty that heals humanity individually and collectively, giving meaning to life even in death. Though the sun will set, the bright new dawn is not in vain: from Mystery to Mystery, in between, we have a place to love and live in Beauty Illuminated.
  

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Feeling Beauty Invisible

Where is beauty if not in our eyes?

A painting that answers this question for me, is Sir John Everett Millais’ “The Blind Girl.” “Pity the Blind” is written on the paper pinned to the girl’s chest. In this delightfully detailed depiction of the countryside after a rainstorm, we understand that the “pity” should be for those unable to experience beauty.

Looking closer, allegorically reading this painting, we see that the blind girl is fully experiencing the spring day, feeling it with her entire body: she feels the delicate, damp grass with one hand, tenderly holds her sister’s hand with the other, and holds herself still and silent to listen to the birds, and feel the sunlight caress her face. Her instrument, the concertina, sits on her lap to symbolize the music inside her.

The “sighted” sister, covers her own eyes with the blind girl’s shawl, as a symbolic emphasis that she is content in the moment of sharing closeness, love, the most beautiful of invisible things, surpassing even the visible glory of the day.

This painting, symbolizes the inner experience of beauty, where it is, if ever, that beauty is truly perceived. The double rainbow symbolically arches from the points above the heads of the two sisters, a bridge connecting them with the heavens.

 File:Millais-Blind Girl.jpg

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Amo Ergo Sum!

Here is my brush, alone, just a tool.
Here is my palette of colours, alone, just a palette of paints.
Here is my canvas, alone, void.

Through the Magic of Love,
They become One, yet more than they were alone:
My brush dances, my colours sing, and my canvas becomes a gateway for my heart.

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True Comprehension: the Art of Love

I have joy in my eyes, reading Beauty, decoding the subtle, secret messages in the hidden dimensions of all objects and creatures, deciphering the signs and symbols traced by the Cosmic Artist on each page of the Universe’s story, and marvelling at the mystery. 

I have joy in my hands, writing Beauty, joining the creative endeavor, leaving my own passage in the Never-ending-story, acting upon the earth and its elements–its minerals, plants, creatures, and people–by the mysterious power of my own spirit: the magic of creation.  

The secret teaching of joy is learning–learning to see and learning to share–learning to see and share love–loving Beauty.

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The Stars Shine for You

An ineffable prayer vibrating in the hearts of all artists, whether agnostic, humanist, or religious,  was attempted in words by His Holiness Pope John Paul II:
Veni, Creator Spiritus… – “Come, O Creator Spirit, visit our minds, fill with your grace the hearts you have created.”
He explains,
“The Spirit is the mysterious Artist of the universe… and Beauty is a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence.”

And thus, the artist is moved to move!

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Delight Invisible

What delights us in visible beauty is the invisible.

–Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach–

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Piercing Beauty

Beauty can pierce one like a pain. –Thomas Mann–

Saint Sebastian

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Mysterious Thing

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
–Albert Einstein–

The desire to understand, to learn, to grow, to know, pulls us ever upward, beyond the stars, to contemplate the heights of the heavens; the mysterious allows us to experience this desire, and it is this desire that expands the universe, raising the heights of the heavens. I bow down to the unknown in me, and with my paint and brush, I strive to know the Mysterious.

 

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