Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Color of Distance and Memory

TIDE, by Donna Watson, cold wax and oil painting with collage

Blue has always been used a a symbol of distance... especially for artists.  No matter how much we try to reach that 'blue' distance, we can never reach it... as we will always see the distant objects showing up as blue.  The blue we see is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in distance between you and the mountains, you and the sky, you and the endless distance.


Rebecca Solnit, the author, examines the color blue and its relationships to distance, desire and memory in A FIELD GUIDE TO GETTING LOST.  

"The world is blue at its edges and in its depths.  This blue is the light that got lost.  Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us.  It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in the water.  Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper blue.  The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of the land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places we see for miles, the blue of distance."  Rebecca Solnit,  A FIELD GUIDE TO GETTING LOST

TIDE, by Donna Watson,  cold wax and oil painting with collage

"This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue."  Rebecca Solnit

SUNLIT PATH, by Donna Watson, cold wax and oil with collage

"Blue is the color of longing for the distances you never arrive in, for the blue world."  RS

ECHOES 3, by Donna Watson, collage

Memory can be just as elusive as distance.  Sometimes gaining and losing are connected like memories.  Remember that some light does not make it all the way through the atmosphere, but scatters.

MEMOIR, by Donna Watson, cold wax and oil painting with collage

"The blue of distance comes with time, with the discovery of melancholy, of loss, the texture of longing, the complexity of the terrain we traverse, then perhaps maturity brings with it not...
abstraction, but an aesthetic sense that partially redeems the losses time brings, and finds beauty in the faraway."  Rebecca Solnit

EMERGENCE by Donna Watson, cold wax and oil painting with collage

It was November - the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines.  --- L.M. Montgomery

Some of the  above excerpts came from BRAINPICKINGS by Maria Popova, at 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Art of Walking

"Memory Found"  collage, 8"x8", by Donna Watson   SOLD

WANDERLUST by Rebecca Solnit

Walking is embodied presence in motion, presence at once with ourselves and with the world, inner and outer -- an active presence of body and mind...  from Brain Pickings by Maria Popova.
Rebecca Solnit speaks to this beautifully:
     "Walking, ideally is a state in which the mind, the body, and the world are aligned, as though they were three characters finally in conversation together, three notes suddenly making a chord.  Walking allows us to be in our bodies and in the world without being made busy by them.  It leaves us free to think without being wholly lost in our thoughts."  Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust

This is a path near my home... it leads to the beach below my home on the cliff.
photo by Donna Watson

The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts.  Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

This is a continuation of the path near my home.  Photo by Donna Watson

WALKING by Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau believed that 'sauntering" with no real destination in mind, was the best way to walk.
He wrote that the idea of sauntering should be approached with a mindset of presence rather than productivity.   "What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?"  Thoreau

Here we are taking a walk with our 6 month old puppy, Kirin.

"Most of the time walking is merely practical, the unconsidered locomotive means between two sites.  To make walking into an investigation, a ritual, a meditation, is a special subset of walking....  Here this history begins to become part of the history of the imagination and the culture, of what kind of pleasure, freedom, and meaning are pursued at different times by different kinds of walks and walkers."  Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust

One of the paths over water, in a temple in Kyoto Japan
photo by Donna Watson

A street for walking through an older traditional part of Kyoto
photo by Donna Watson

"Walking itself is the intentional act closest to the unwilled rhythms of the body, to breathing and the beating of the heart.  It strikes a delicate balance between working and idling, being and doing.  It is a bodily labor that produces nothing but thoughts, experiences, arrivals."  Rebecca Solnit

Path by Maria Popova

Check out Brain Pickings by Maria Popova.  She publishes a weekly synopsis of books... musings... on wide ranging topics including love, grace, human spirit, art, literature, society, cultures, creativity, and on and on... she fills her musings with plenty of links and quotes...  she writes with authority as she links one book to another book, or idea or thought.  You can sign up to receive her newsletter via email.... or at Flipboard...  which I also highly recommend.