My work is often described as quiet, or peaceful, or restful or subdued. I really do not know where that comes from.
I recently wrote a post on my library in my home. Libraries are usually considered quiet places.
I still remember, as a child in the school or city library, being told over and over to be quiet. "Shhhhh...." or the finger on the lips....
Silence can be found in many places, like the above interior of a Japanese temple in Kyoto.
Vilhelm Hammerchoi (1864-1916) was a Danish painter of haunting interiors. His work has been described as quiet, empty, silent, solitary spaces in which the passage of time as been suspended. His colors are subdued, his interiors simple and minimal. This handsome book is the first retrospective of his work and is available on Amazon.com.
"Hammershoi is not one of those about whom one must speak quickly. His work is long and slow, and at whichever moment one apprehends it, it will offer plentiful reasons to speak of what is important and essential in art." Rainer Maria Rilke
His interiors are often dark and empty, with a single window creating a sunbeam of light. This window represents the connection with the outside world to the isolation within.
Some of his interiors have a single, solitary figure who is detached from the viewer.
James Castle (1900-1977) was born deaf. He never learned to speak, read or write. He grew up on a farm in Idaho and never traveled far from his home. He used stove soot mixed with saliva (spit) and sticks to create his drawings on discarded papers, packaging, and backs of old cards.
He also cut up found papers and cardboard and stitched them back together with found string.
His work was noticed in the 50's and 60's, and is now recognized in museums and collected all over the world. The above book is curated and published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and available at Amazon.com.
Never educated, James Castle lived in a world of silence, isolated from the outside world. Through his eyes, he recreated his every day life, giving his work a singular, unique, natural quality.
Now. Close your eyes and take three deep, cleansing breaths.