Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

blog-logos1

Over this past Labor Day weekend, I found myself reading excerpts from distinguished professor of psychology and management Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s (pronounced me-HIGH chick-sent-me-HIGH-ee) seminal book Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People (HarperCollins, 1996).

He writes:

“I have devoted 30 years of research to how creative people live and work, to make more understandable the mysterious process by which they come up with new ideas and new things. If I had to express in one word what makes their personalities different from others, it’s complexity. They show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an individual, each of them is a multitude.”

Mihaly describes ten traits often contradictory in nature, that are frequently present in creative people. In Creativity, Mihaly outlines these:

1. Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but they’re also often quiet and at rest.

They work long hours, with great concentration, while projecting an aura of freshness and enthusiasm.

2. Creative people tend to be smart yet naive at the same time.

“It involves fluency, or the ability to generate a great quantity of ideas; flexibility, or the ability to switch from one perspective to another; and originality in picking unusual associations of ideas. These are the dimensions of thinking that most creativity tests measure and that most workshops try to enhance.”

3. Creative people combine playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.

But this playfulness doesn’t go very far without its antithesis, a quality of doggedness, endurance, and perseverance.

“Despite the carefree air that many creative people affect, most of them work late into the night and persist when less driven individuals would not. Vasari wrote in 1550 that when Renaissance painter Paolo Uccello was working out the laws of visual perspective, he would walk back and forth all night, muttering to himself: “What a beautiful thing is this perspective!” while his wife called him back to bed with no success.”

4.Creative people alternate between imagination and fantasy, and a rooted sense of reality.

Great art and great science involve a leap of imagination into a world that is different from the present.

5. Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted.

We’re usually one or the other, either preferring to be in the thick of crowds or sitting on the sidelines and observing the passing show. Creative individuals, on the other hand, seem to exhibit both traits simultaneously.

6. Creative people are humble and proud at the same time.

It is remarkable to meet a famous person who you expect to be arrogant or supercilious, only to encounter self-deprecation and shyness instead.

7. Creative people, to an extent, escape rigid gender role stereotyping.

When tests of masculinity and femininity are given to young people, over and over one finds that creative and talented girls are more dominant and tough than other girls, and creative boys are more sensitive and less aggressive than their male peers.

8. Creative people are both rebellious and conservative.

It is impossible to be creative without having first internalized an area of culture. So it’s difficult to see how a person can be creative without being both traditional and conservative and at the same time rebellious and iconoclastic.

9.Most creative people are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.

Without the passion, we soon lose interest in a difficult task. Yet without being objective about it, our work is not very good and lacks credibility. Here is how the historian Natalie Davis puts it:

“I think it is very important to find a way to be detached from what you write, so that you can’t be so identified with your work that you can’t accept criticism and response, and that is the danger of having as much affect as I do. But I am aware of that and of when I think it is particularly important to detach oneself from the work, and that is something where age really does help.”

10. Creative people’s openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment.

“Perhaps the most important quality, the one that is most consistently present in all creative individuals, is the ability to enjoy the process of creation for its own sake. Without this trait, poets would give up striving for perfection and would write commercial jingles, economists would work for banks where they would earn at least twice as much as they do at universities, and physicists would stop doing basic research and join industrial laboratories where the conditions are better and the expectations more predictable.”

Paradoxical or not, what I have learned most is that there is no formula for individual creation. As Mihay says, “creative individuals are remarkable for their ability to adapt to almost any situation and to make do with whatever is at hand to reach their goals.” So, more than anything else, what it takes to be creative is resourcefulness and the courage not to give up.

Advertisements
"Shells"

“Shells” by Lina Way

“Masquerades disclose the reality of souls. As long as no one sees who we are, we can tell the most intimate details of our life. I sometimes muse over this sketch of a story about a man afflicted by one of those personal tragedies born of extreme shyness who one day, while wearing a mask I don’t know where, told another mask all the most personal, most secret, most unthinkable things that could be told about his tragic and serene life. And since no outward detail would give him away, he having disguised even his voice, and since he didn’t take careful note of whoever had listened to him, he could enjoy the ample sensation of knowing that somewhere in the world there was someone who knew him as not even his closest and finest friend did. When he walked down the street he would ask himself if this person, or that one, or that person over there might not be the one to whom he’d once, wearing a mask, told his most private life. Thus would be born in him a new interest in each person, since each person might be his only, unknown confidant.”
― Fernando Pessoa

interestingly so, it is sometimes said that the four greatest Portuguese poets of modern times are Fernando Pessoa. The statement is possible since Pessoa, whose name means ‘person’ in Portuguese, had three alter egos who wrote in styles completely different from his own. In fact Pessoa wrote under dozens of names, but Alberto Caeiro,Ricardo Reis and Álvaro de Campos were – their creator claimed – full-fledged individuals who wrote things that he himself would never or could never write. He dubbed them ‘heteronyms’ rather than pseudonyms, since they were not false names but “other names”, belonging to distinct literary personalities. Not only were their styles different; they thought differently, they had different religious and political views, different aesthetic sensibilities, different social temperaments. And each produced a large body of poetry. Álvaro de Campos and Ricardo Reis also signed dozens of pages of prose. Who is better that Fernando Pessoa can understand the concept of “wearing a mask”…

We are all to a certain degree, if we are willing to admit to it or not, are wearing masks, hiding in our “shells”, afraid to show our true selves. Is it the society pressuring us to oblige and fit in, our our own minds what to be accepted?.. Yes, many try to “stand up” to majority of the society by being accepted in minority part of the society, which is still trying to be accepted in this or that “popular” club…

Why can’t we be just ourselves? isn’t that the ultimate freedom to be YOU, not to try pleasing coworkers, friends, family, loved ones (especially loved ones, they love to abuse their right they have in our hearts 🙂 ) why can’t we say that this we love, and this we hate and be perceived by our circle as just truthful person, not a “crazy nut”?!.. Why can’t we all as human society accept that each and every person has its own free will and just be ourselves, not hide behind “masks” and “shells”…?…

"Blue Love" Oil on canvas, framed

“Blue Love”
Oil on canvas, framed

“But dear, don’t be afraid of love, it’s only magic.”

“Lights”
Original Oil Painting on burlap canvas
“There simply is no pill that can replace human connection. There is no pharmacy that can fill the need for compassionate interaction with others. There is no panacea. The answer to human suffering is both within us and between us” – Dr. Joanne Cacciatore

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-Abstract-Oil-Painting-on-burlap-canvas-lights-by-artist-Lina-Way-/151644214904?ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT

IMG_3052lights

A week ago, i had a very interesting conversation with a friend, and he mentioned theory about biological aspect of the beauty. I have thought about Plato “golden proportion” theory but to hear it from male’s perspective was quite interesting.

Over thousands of years philosophers devoted a great deal of time to prove or invalidate the biological side of beauty.

In ancient Greece, Helen of Troy, the instigator of the Trojan War, was the paragon of beauty, exuding a physical brilliance that would put Cindy Crawford to shame. Indeed, she was the toast of Athens, celebrated not for her kindness or her intellect, but for her physical perfection. But why did the Greek men find Helen, and other beautiful women, so intoxicating? 

Image

Guido Reni 1635, situated in Louvre Museum, Paris

Maybe i am wrong, but i think, one of the first philosophers that considered biological and mathematical aspect of beauty was Plato. Plato wrote of so-called “golden proportions,” in which, amongst other things, the width of an ideal face would be two-thirds its length, while a nose would be no longer than the distance between the eyes. Plato’s golden proportions, however, haven’t quite held up to the rigors of modern psychological and biological research — though there is credence in the ancient Greeks’ attempts to determine a fundamental symmetry that humans find attractive.

6:9 :: 8:12

In which 9 is the arithmetic mean, and 8 the harmonic mean between the extremes 6 and 12.

Plato’s writings on beauty are based on his doctrine of ideas. He explained that what we know from everyday experience is not knowledge but only belief or assumption (Gk. doxa) and we should try to find behind it the permanent real knowledge (Gk. episteme) which consists of “ideas”. One of the ideas is “beauty” (Gk. to kalon), or the permanent property which belongs to all beautiful objects. This property remains the same irrespective of whether somebody admires the object or not.

“That which is apprehended by intelligence and reason is always in the same state; but that which is conceived by opinion with the help of sensation and without reason, is always in a process of becoming and perishing and never really is.” (Plato: Timaeus, trans. Benjamin Jowett).

“That which is always the same” or the constant essence of beauty might consist of e.g. proportions of the dimensions. This idea is attributed to Pythagoras (ca. 532 BC) who is said to have discovered the fact that certain arithmetical proportions in musical instruments, e.g. the lengths of strings, produce harmony of tones (on the right, an illustration from Gafurio’s Theorica Musice, 1492). On the basis of these musical harmonies the Greek tried to explain also the beauty in the proportions of the human body, of architecture and other objects.

Vitruve (I:III:2) said that a building is beautiful when the appearance of the work is pleasing and in good taste, and when its members are in due proportion according to correct principles of “symmetry” (where “symmetry” means “a proper agreement between the members of the work itself, and relation between the different parts and the whole general scheme, in accordance with a certain part selected as standard. — The definition of symmetry is found in I:II:4).

Image

Carle Vanloo, Elizabeth Petrovna 1760

On the other hand, it seems senseless to say that beauty has no connection to subjective response or that it is entirely objective. That would seem to entail, for example, that a world with no perceivers could be beautiful or ugly, or perhaps that beauty could be detected by scientific instruments. Even if it could be, beauty would seem to be connected to subjective response, and though we may argue about whether something is beautiful, the idea that one’s experiences of beauty might be disqualified as simply inaccurate or false might arouse puzzlement as well as hostility. We often regard other people’s taste, even when it differs from our own, as provisionally entitled to some respect, as we may not, for example, in cases of moral, political, or factual opinions. All plausible accounts of beauty connect it to a pleasurable or profound or loving response, even if they do not locate beauty purely in the eye of the beholder.

Nevertheless, eighteenth-century philosophers such as Hume and Kant (my personal favorite) perceived that something important was lost when beauty was treated merely as a subjective state. They saw, for example, that controversies often arise about the beauty of particular things, such as works of art and literature, and that in such controversies, reasons can sometimes be given and will sometimes be found convincing. They saw, as well, that if beauty is completely relative to individual experiencers, it ceases to be a paramount value, or even recognizable as a value at all across persons or societies.

Hume’s “Of the Standard of Taste” and Kant’s Critique Of Judgment attempt to find ways through what has been termed ‘the antinomy of taste.’ Taste is proverbially subjective: de gustibus non disputandum est (about taste there is no disputing). On the other hand, we do frequently dispute about matters of taste, and some persons are held up as exemplars of good taste or of tastelessness. Some people’s tastes appear vulgar or ostentatious, for example. Some people’s taste is too exquisitely refined, while that of others is crude, naive, or non-existent. Taste, that is, appears to be both subjective and objective: that is the antinomy.

Both Hume and Kant,  begin by acknowledging that taste or the ability to detect or experience beauty is fundamentally subjective, that there is no standard of taste in the sense that the Canon was held to be, that if people did not experience certain kinds of pleasure, there would be no beauty. Both acknowledge that reasons can count, however, and that some tastes are better than others. In different ways, they both treat judgments of beauty neither precisely as purely subjective nor precisely as objective but as inter-subjective or as having a social and cultural aspect, or as conceptually entailing an inter-subjective claim to validity.

There is social aspect, for example every country has its own criteria that counts as “attractive”. For example, Chinese men prefer women with small feet. In Shakespearean England, ankles were the rage. In some African tribal cultures, men like women who insert large discs in their lips.Aside from symmetry, males in Western cultures generally prefer females with a small jaw, a small nose, large eyes, and defined cheekbones – features often described as “baby faced”, that resemble an infant’s. Females, however, i read a study, have a preference for males who look more mature — generally heart-shaped, small-chinned faces with full lips and fair skin. But during menstruation, females prefer a soft-featured male to a masculine one. Indeed, researchers found that female perceptions of beauty actually change throughout the month.

 

In my humble opinion, i think real beauty of the woman is in her qualities, her actions, spark in her eyes, her smile, her grace and kindness, her confidence and her knowledge…. There are so many aspects that makes a woman beautiful in my opinion… that we cannot objectively say someone is beautiful or not until we actually  get to know a person. Yes, inner world is so cliche, and human beings are such a visual creatures, but i still believe that the beautiful “shell” of the woman is only one third of the actual beauty of any woman, or even less… Symmetrical and proportionate face is great, 90-60-90 body is fantastic, but physical attributes can be accomplished in this world quite easy, gym and possibly if necessary minor cosmetics, but what is inside cannot be hided or changed. You can look like a proportionate Barbie, and the moment you open your mouth – well guess. Yes, most males attracted to such type, because as i said we are visual creatures, but normal, self sufficient and smart male would never go with such woman beyond just “play”, so i positively encourage young generation of women to not be lazy and rely on their nature given gifts but pursue something more substantial.

Image

 

 

 

I know i have been “lost” for awhile and have not been writing as much as i wanted… Actually i have written a lot, but they all went in my “diary”-like pile… It seems like somehow i get sidetracked and my posts become way to personal as to what is going on in my life, so i keep mum for now 🙂

Yesterday, i was too lazy to go out to the art supply store, so instead i took my “bamboo” tablet out and draw that way… it took me two days (out of which 4 hours of sleep – talking about being a bit obsessive, lol), almost a heart attack (when my laptop froze and i thought i lost my work) and now with all done… i cannot choose which one i like the most so i post all of them!

I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think.

Was I the same when i got up this morning?

I almost think I can remember  feeling little different.

But if I am not the same, the next question is “Who in the world Am I?”

Ah, that’s the greatest puzzle!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Inspiration: leaves

Inspiration: Leaves…
by Lina Way