Tag Archives: art

Your Spark | Aspire to inspire, express that glint inside you, and fire up the world. | HartHaiku.com

Your Spark | Light a fire

Your spark lives at the core of you. It’s your passion for life, love, and all that good stuff. But sometimes the tedium of life can dim our sparks. We get mired in the humdrum existence of “the grind”, working to make a living, paying the bills, all those responsibilities of “earth life” that can weigh down our souls. And our flame burns low.

Look inside yourself. There is at least one thing you’re really good at. You didn’t really have to learn it; you were just immediately good at it when you tried it. And, it makes your heart happy when you do that thing, whether it be cooking, singing, playing an instrument, building something from wood, painting, and on and on it goes. There are a million things you might be good at and that make your heart sing when you do them.

And here’s the thing. You know that joy that you feel when you do them? It vibrates outward and brings great joy to others. It also tends to fire people up and inspire them, so they do the same. And that’s our purpose. That’s the thing we each came here to do, to express those special things we each carry inside of us, and to create, color, enrich, uplift, energize, harmonize, beautify.

So sing your song, paint your picture, play your guitar, cook your food, build your furniture. And if your purpose also becomes your work (that thing you do to make money), so much the better for you. You are then truly blessed. But until then, just create and play. Make your heart and the world happy. Those things you love to contribute, and the people in your life, are what give life meaning.

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Photo courtesy Brett Sayles, Pexels

Your Spark | Light a fire © Susan L Hart 2019 | Hart Haiku

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Water Nymph | Lily you enchant, Monet muse immortalized, etrancing the world. | HartHaiku.com

Water Nymph | Monet’s Muse

Many great masters in art history had their muses, their sources of inspiration. For a male artist this often meant a particular woman; Picasso collected a veritable harem. For Monet, his greatest muse was not a woman at all, but rather a beautiful flower. “Her” name was Lily.

Water Lily, to be specific. The scientific name for water lily is “Nymphaea”, derived from from the Greek word numphé, meaning nymph, which takes its name from the Classical myth that attributes the birth of the flower to a nymph who was dying of love for Hercules. Monet’s sprite muse resided in the extensive Japanese-inspired water gardens he created on his property in Giverny, France.

During the last 30 years of his 86-year-life, Lily became Monet’s burning obsession. He painted almost 300 works of his beautiful muse, over 30 being very large format, immortalizing “her” beauty for all time for the world to love. And we do.

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Inspirational Quote:

The crowning glory of the water lily collection may be the 8 monumental canvases that reside at the The Musée de l’Orangerie. Quote from the The Musée de l’Orangerie website:

The Musée de l’Orangerie  houses 8 of the great Nymphéas [Water Lilies] compositions by Monet created from various panels assembled side by side. These compositions are all the same height (1,97m) but differ in length so that they could be hung across the curved walls of two egg-shaped rooms. The artist left nothing to chance with this set of paintings that he had long pondered over and that were displayed according to his wishes in conjunction with the architect Camille Lefèvre and with the help of Clemenceau. He planned out the forms, volumes, positioning, rhythm and the spaces between the various panels, the unguided experience of the visitor through several entrances to the room, the daylight coming in from above that floods the space when the sun is out or which is more discreet when the sun is masked by clouds, thus making the paintings resonate according to the weather..

…Thus, the representation of a continuum in time and space is materialized. In an equally suggestive way, the elliptical shape of the rooms draws out the mathematical symbol for infinity… More here.

You’ll find a mini virtual look at the l’Orangerie gallery collection here.


Water Nymph | Monet’s Muse © Susan L Hart 2019 | Hart Haiku

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Artful Soul 2 | Saucy sunflowers, bright golden faces laughing, bound for Monet fame. | HartHaiku.com

Artful Soul 2 | Monet

Monet v.s. Van Gogh. Is it a competition? Paul Gauguin, one of their (also famous) peers thought so. The quote below is from The Met Museum website:

In November 1888, Van Gogh wrote: “Gauguin was telling me the other day – that he’d seen a painting by Claude Monet of sunflowers in a large Japanese vase, very fine. But, he likes mine better. I’m not of that opinion.”

Critics had earlier praised the “brio and daring” of Monet’s technique when he showed this still life, depicting sunflowers that grew along the pathway to his garden at Vétheuil, at the 1882 Impressionist exhibition. 

For me, there is no competition. I find them both beautiful and interesting for different reasons. Monet’s sunflowers are softly idyllic and otherworldly, Van Gogh’s are harder edged, quirky, and less refined.

These two sunflower paintings perfectly illustrate that there are many ways of looking at the same thing. One is no more “good” or “bad” than the other, which is duality thinking and narrow, part of the problem in our world right now. They both demonstrate creativity. In fact, both artists were attempting to break out of the mold of what was deemed acceptable in their time.

Any renaissance requires taking a wider view, thinking outside of the box, breaking the rules. There are several definitions of renaissance. In fact, Monet and Van Gogh did not paint during the Renaissance art period, with a capital “R”. I am talking about the general definition:

A revival of or renewed interest in something. ORIGIN from French renaissance, from re- back, again + naissance birth (from Latin nascentia, from nasci be born).

We have become lazy thinkers, too inclined to follow the crowd and the consensus reality. Our world badly needs a renaissance in creative critical thinking, a broader perspective, a fresh way of looking at things. I’m sure both Monet and Van Gogh would concur. 😉

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Claude Monet, “Sunflowers”, 1881

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Vincent Van Gogh, “Sunflowers”, 1888

Artful Soul 2 | Monet © Susan L Hart 2019 | Hart Haiku

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Artful Soul 1 | Burnished swirls of gold, proud ochre orbs draped in grace, Vincent we're smitten. | HartHaiku.com

Artful Soul 1 | Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh. Millions of art lovers worldwide revere his name and works. His “Sunflowers” particularly are beloved beyond his wildest dreams.

I love sunflowers – they have long been a favorite flower – so Van Gogh feels like a kindred spirit. He painted 12 sunflower works in all, between 1887 and 1889. In my career as an artist, I have also painted them numerous times.

Vincent created some of the paintings specially for a visit of (the also later famous) Paul Gauguin to his home. Apparently, he proclaimed to his brother Theo that sunflowers would become his artistic signature. Little did he know how true that would be! More here: 10 Facts that You Don’t Know About “Sunflowers”.

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A Vincent Van Gogh quote:

“What am I in the eyes of most people – a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person – somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then – even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.”


Artful Soul 1 | Van Gogh © Susan L Hart 2019 | Hart Haiku

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Artists | Artists keep us sane, bestowing grace and beauty upon a mad world. | HartHaiku.com

Artists | Your soul food

In this modern technological world, some might say that art is pretty useless. After all [they might ask], in a society that prays to the almighty dollar, what true value does it really have?

My reply to them is, “Plenty”. Why did the fire that destroyed part of Notre Dame trigger an outpouring of worldwide sorrow? It was not just about religion or sacredness. Artists and their work touch our souls, in ways that many may not readily see or accept. They raise our lives up above the mundane.

Art speaks to our souls

Some artists paint simple pretty pictures; others create at the level of grand vision and spectacular works of art that the whole world embraces. And, is one any more important than the other? If the little painting rendered by a child touches your heart, it is magnificent in its way as any famous masterpiece that may do the same.

Artists and art are about heart and soul. So I would argue, in this modern but ofttimes cold technological world, we need them now more than ever.


Artists | Your soul food © Susan L Hart 2019 | Hart Haiku

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Monet's Gift | Monet, you always uplife a downtrodden world. Eternal beauty. | HartHaiku.com

Monet’s Gift | To you and me

I came upon a quote by Carl Jung on the Facebook wall of a friend this week. The painter and writer in me responded, “Oh, yes!”

“Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. The artist is not a person endowed with free will, who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purposes through him. As a human being, he may have moods, and a will, and personal aim, but as an artist, he is “man” in a higher sense: He is “collective man”, a vehicle and molder of the unconscious psychic life of mankind.” ~ Carl Jung

Creative people are driven by a need to speak to the world. It may be about any number of subjects; for Monet it was beauty. What a gift he gave us! Even people who are not particularly art lovers know his name.

Thank you Monet, for lifting the world up in the beautiful way that you do.


Monet’s gift | To you and me © Susan L Hart 2019 | Hart Haiku

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