Tag Archives: art

Van Gogh & Our Potentiality

This past week I was very fortunate to visit an immersive exhibit of Vincent Van Gogh’s art. Being already a big Van Gogh fan, and so therefore knowing something of his history and work, mostly I was curious about how anyone could compress the infinite experience of “Van Gogh” into limited time and space. For Van Gogh is not just bigger than life because he became famous, and he did not become famous simply at the whim of some influential art dealer who could persuade his clients to open their wallets.

In actual fact, Van Gogh despaired that anyone would see or appreciate what he was trying to say to the world, and he died poor and believing that no one ever would. What was he trying to say to you and I? For my part, I see a message that life is big, precious, beautiful, and yes, sometimes tragic, but when we see the challenges and despair of others, we develop compassion, we become a more integral part of humanity.

Part of the exhibit was a 1/2-hour movie display of his works in an immense room, as his paintings undulated and merged in and out, coming to life as they projected onto all four walls, the color and life also spilling down and outward onto the floor and the viewers. The objective was clearly to bring the viewers inside the art, so that they could perhaps more easily feel it and become part of it. I wondered as I watched the delighted viewers, no doubt some of them experiencing Van Gogh for the first time, what they were feeling? If I could come up with one word that would encapsulate the experience, what might that be?

The word CREATIVITY came to mind. Creativity is the very essence of who we are as humans, and we may not be able to quite put it into words, but we FEEL it. Deep down we know it as a certain truth. We ARE creative, part of a mysterious creative force, and endowed with our own creative power through our minds and hearts to manifest a better (but not yet imagined) world. There is great joy in feeling the power of that, and it showed on the faces of the viewers.

Here’s the other part of that thought. Is it possible that Van Gogh’s immersive exhibits are so hugely popular right now because we know at a deep level, but not yet fully admitting it to ourselves, that there is a force at work of late that is trying to destroy our creative power? Van Gogh’s work is not just simply an antidote in troubled times, but rather it is a view of what is possible, our POTENTIAL.

I would say that is true, but it is for you to decide. I see the juxtaposition of the world they want for us, the ones who make the rules and use coercion and force to “create it”. They project a cold future of transhumanism, where we will have completely lost the warmth, love, connectedness, and most importantly the full creative potential of who we are. They are trying to convince us that we are defective, when nothing could be farther from the truth.

So my final question to you is this: What kind of world do you want to see in your future, and for the future of all children who will inherit this planet? For my part, I’m on the side of Van Gogh.

This post is an excerpt from one of my recent Hart for Humanity posts. I send them out 2X per week by email from my Hart for Humanity account on Substack. If you’d like to receive the full posts in your inbox, please sign up. It’s quick and easy!

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Loss Unveils the Masterpiece

Michelangelo knew …

A most powerful
tool of the Master Sculptor,
Loss is.
It was the taking
away that unveiled
breathtaking David
to the world.

“I saw the angel
in the stone and
set him free.”
Inside every raw
slab of marble
a masterpiece waits
to be revealed.

We are all
magnificent works
of art in progress,
and losing a beloved
is perhaps the
greatest Master
chisel of all.

We gasp, clasping
our hearts when
our loved one dies
or leaves us.
How will we ever
risk to love again?
And yet, we do.

For in our loss
we learn to cherish
the value of love.
We understand
the power and
importance of “now”,
and we grow.

Love is the fine grit
that hones the
rough broken edges
to a polished glow.
The answer to our
growth lies within
the problem itself.

Michelangelo, you said
God guided your hand,
and in the taking away,
you revealed
astonishing beauty.
David is your work of love,
and a lesson for us all.

This poem is an excerpt from my ebook called Becoming Bigger: Realizations of Self & Humanity, and was first published in 2017 in an anthology called Seven Degrees of Wisdom: Welcome to Our Circle.

© Susan L Hart 2022 |  My books

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Just for the Fun of It

As eggs are historically a universal symbol of fertility and rebirth, it was a natural evolution that they’d factor into springtime rites and the celebration of Easter. When my friend V invited me to decorate some eggs this past week, she was flabbergasted when I told her that I’ve never before indulged in egg decorating or Easter egg hunts!

At least I CAN say that I’ve eaten my fair share of chocolate Easter eggs over the years. I am extremely experienced and adept in this area!  🙂  According to this very interesting article about the history of Easter eggs, the first English chocolate egg was sold by Fry’s in 1873: Why do We Eat Eggs at Easter?  Chocolate is my kind of egg!

Going into this egg decorating event, I was pretty confident about my abilities. I have considerable history as a fine artist, so I’m therefore capable of very detailed and accurate drawing. I was in the mood for some sparkle, so I was elated when I found some tube sparkle applicators in various rich colors. The applicator tips are fine, so I pictured drawing intricate shimmering designs on the eggs I purchased from The Girl with Green Eggs (last Tuesday’s post).

Wrong! This egg decorating exercise was humbling in so many ways. I did not know the characteristics of any the involved mediums (the eggs as canvas, the dye, the sparkle goo), had not anticipated the messiness factor (and therefore cross-contamination of color), the clumsiness factor (trying to hold on to a slippery egg), or the prolonged drying time required for the sparkle goo. All in all, it quickly began disintegrating into an exercise in frustration.

I was forced to step back and ask myself why. I realized that my end goal of achieving some respectably beautiful eggs (the results) had quickly over-taken my supposed primary goal of having some fun (the process). Once again the “perform and produce” serious side of me had beaten down the part that just wanted to have some fun for a change. Once I realized this and let go of expectation of any certain result, I was able to play.

I stopped fighting against what I viewed as limitations, which opened the door to possibilities. I realized I was going get something very different from what I had pictured in my mind, and that was OKAY. Between the steps involved, the messiness, and the drying factor, it took an excruciating amount of time to produce a few decorated eggs.

But I love them! My Easter eggs represent some lessons in preparedness, expectation, flexibility, creativity, experimentation, patience, and simply allowing myself to relax and have some fun with friends. The eggs are beautiful in a way that I totally had not expected.

That’s a lot of takeaway from one egg decorating afternoon, and I’m grateful for all of it. Thank you, V!

To my readers who celebrate Easter, I’m wishing you a beautiful weekend. As it unfolds, try to make room for the unexpected. You may be astonished at what comes to you when you do!

© Susan L Hart | HartInspirations.com | Get a free ebook

For the Love of Creating

This morning I stumbled upon a wonderfully creative, insightful, and funny narrative about creativity. What made this a great journey down “creativity lane” for me is that Matthew Inman (of The Oatmeal) is a VERY funny guy, and his cartooning skills are considerable. For me there were many smiles (and yes, even guffaws!) here. Not only was it inspiring, it was uplifting. What could be better than wisdom honed with wit?

Eight Marvelous & Melancholy Things I’ve Learned about Creativity

One my favorite toys as a kid was Spirograph, which led to free-hand doodling, which led to making and selling art professionally as an adult, which led to teaching art, and going forward I plan to write more books with illustrations. Some of my favorite books as a child featured beautiful ink etchings. I’d like to bring that back into style, because even as adults, we tend to enjoy some pictorial enrichment of words.

However you express your creativity, have fun with it! Play. Smile. It’s time to get our smiles back…


© Susan L Hart | HartInspirations.com 

Shop my books at SusanLHartBooks.com

Sunflower Metaphysics

It gives me great pleasure to grow things, although it’s been a few years since I’ve maintained large gardens. There is something so satisfying about dropping tiny packet seeds of life into the ground, then nurturing them to their full-blown potential. Sunflowers were among my favorite annuals, and a few of them always graced my back garden among the perennials.

Sunflowers are magnificent in full bloom, but as an artist I am also attracted to their waning fall beauty. I have drawn and painted them many times, as did Vincent Van Gogh. The other day I was searching for a few Van Gogh images for a short book I am now just finishing on self-realization. There are several large museums worldwide that have given open access to images of their collections. One of them is The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. (Also affectionately known as simply “The Met”.)

They have a few nice Van Gogh pieces, including one of some withered sunflowers lying on a table (Sunflowers, 1887). I have among my own art images several of withered sunflowers at the end of the season.

So here’s a question for you: Is one of the images below a “Van Gogh à la Susan Hart”, and the other “Susan Hart à la Van Gogh”? You may snicker at the suggestion of Van Gogh imitating me, however, that amusement would be based on several faulty assumptions: a) that time is linear, and since he lived before me, how could he “know about me”, and b), that he is famous and I am not, so again, even if time could move backwards linearly, how could he “know about me”?

In actual fact, fame is rather irrelevant to this thought exercise. My message is really about our perception of time, and our conscious awareness of everything. So…

Since time is not really linear (we just measure our lives that way) – all time actually exists at once, and our consciousness can connect to all ideas and knowledge in the ether throughout all time – it is not entirely impossible that he also “knows about me”. We are both huge lovers of sunflowers, so it’s possible (for example) that we have a connection of consciousness simply in a shared passion for giant yellow flora.

It’s a metaphysical puzzle for your Sunday, one that may hopefully make you question why we live in a world that is so intent on keeping our conscious awareness, and therefore our experience of life, so small…


“Sunflowers”, Vincent Van Gogh


A clip from “Waning Beauty”, Susan Hart

Sunflower Metaphysics © Susan L Hart | Friendly comments welcome


Monet Message | Monet soul's passion, graceful lilies of water, blossoms of his heart. | HartHaiku.com

Monet Message | Live Passion

Claude Monet’s driving passion in his later years was creating his garden at Giverny. He captured that passion on canvas, creating what was later recognized as a monumental collection of work, his Water Lilies Series.

Have you ever considered what kind of world would we live in if we all followed our soul’s passion? Do most of us even know how to hear our soul’s messages? Too often we manage to muffle them to the faintest whisper, burying our desire for deep fulfillment in some back drawer of our minds. Maybe later… And then later never comes.

Tuning into our soul’s passion

A quote from Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes:

“…One of the most important discriminations we can make in this [life] is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls…
…When we are connected to the instinctual self,…which is natural and wild, then instead of looking over whatever happens to be on display, we say to ourselves, ‘What am I hungry for?’ Without looking at anything outwardly, we venture inward, and ask, “What do I long for? What do I wish for now?’ Alternate phrases are ‘What do I crave? What do I desire? For what do I yearn?’ And the answer usually arrives rapidly: ‘Oh, I think I want… you know what would be really good, is some this or that… ah yes, that’s what I really want.’
Is that on the smorgasbord? Maybe yes and maybe not. In most cases, probably not. We will have to quest for it a little bit – sometimes for a considerable time. But in the end we shall find it, and be glad we took soundings about our deepest longings…”

Creative people tend to be naturally tapped into their soul’s passion and are driven by a need to speak it to the world. It may be about any number of subjects; for Monet it was his water lilies and the beauty of nature.

But, living passionately is not reserved for the creative ones only. Deep within each of us lies a deep yearning, a need to experience certain things, to feed our souls, and to express our passion to others.

The shift towards living our passion

What dormant passion lies within you, perhaps still untapped and unspoken? Humanity is experiencing a major shift right now, and it is taking place within each of us. Society as it stands says more often than not that we cannot live our passion and practically speaking make a living at it. But what if that’s not true? What if that is an old message, one we can make antiquated, right now?

What is your passion, that thing that makes your soul sing? Use the questions Clarissa Pinkola Estes suggests above, and jot the answer(s) on a paper.

Then start dreaming. Dream big. Claude Monet’s passion for water lilies could not be contained on small canvases, and later his art captured the imagination of the world. Anything is possible within the realm of imagination. Anything.

As the great author Maya Angelou said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Dare to tell your deepest story to the world, starting now.


Monet Message | Live Passion © Susan L Hart 2020 | Hart Haiku


Renaissance | In problems let's see infinite creative seeds for innovation. | HartHaiku.com

Renaissance | Minds

On a scale of 1 to 10, problems we face run in our minds from mildly inconvenient to massively frightening and insurmountable. However, with some time and creative thought, problems can be and are overcome. Even as you read this, there are brilliant minds in the world working on solving our current global challenges.

Consider this: Given the scope of the hurdles that face us, should we not all be contributing to solutions? What if we all started to think of ourselves as Renaissance minds?

I can hear the retort now, “But wait a minute, we’re not all Leonardo da Vincis!” That may true, but, we ARE all endowed with Leonardo’s most basic tools: Curiosity, thought, and intuition. Leonardo tirelessly imagined and worked on his ideas.

Leonardo constantly looked at the world around him and wondered “What if? What if man could fly in the sky like a bird? How far could he go, and how quickly? What if man could swim under water for extended lengths of time? What would he discover?” These ideas and his ensuing drawings richly seeded the collective mind during his lifetime, 1452 to 1519.

So, let’s take Leonardo da Vinci as example and inspiration. Let us look for the genius within ourselves. The definition of a Renaissance person is “one with many talents or areas of knowledge”. I daresay each of us has much more within us than we have dared let ourselves explore.

Let us each take an objective inventory of our own unique talents and knowledge. Let us think of how we can utilize and even stretch those, expanding them beyond the norm into something extraordinary. Let us also think of how we can share them, so others can help to build on them.

When we apply our minds in this way, we will not spend a nano second watching (in fear) and waiting. We will feel empowered. When we believe that we can be part of the creativity and innovation that could positively remodel our world, we will be.

Then just as Leonardo da Vinci envisioned, we will truly soar, together.

Imagine that!


More on Leonardo’s inventions here: Leonardo da Vinci Inventions

Renaissance | Minds © Susan L Hart 2020 | Hart Haiku