Posts Tagged ‘Art’

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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.

“Quantum physics tells us that nothing that is observed is unaffected by the observer. That statement, from science, holds an enormous and powerful insight. It means that everyone sees a different truths, because everyone is creating what they see.” ~Neale Donald Walsch

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"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

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head-vs-heart

Dear Heart,

I have a vein to pick with you, as I’m feeling pretty insecure and unsafe about a few things.

As you know I cut you out of my life for years because your desires were too big for me to handle and I was not strong enough to support and manifest them.

However after a painful game of tug of war, your strength eventually outweighed mine.

I surrendered respectfully and we re-connected. I listened to your every wish and did what you asked, as much as it broke my ego from every direction. I became your servant and your organizer and everyone thought I was mad for the choices I made.

I left my relationship, my career, I moved, I travelled.

I shocked everyone! I felt love again, true passion. I found my creativity, I found myself.

Things have been great. Now you want change again? You’re teasing me with dreams of far away places as I close my eyes to rest. You whisper in my ear as I’m waking up. You want me to uproot and explore again.

Why? Don’t you think about the future? Do you even have a plan?

If you are all about love, then why do you make me do things that hurt?

Why do you draw me towards people and then ask me to let go? Don’t you realize this breaks their heart? And mine too? It breaks you!

Why do you inflict so much pain on yourself?

Heart, sometimes I wish you were content with clothes, cooking and children like the other women. Don’t you realize people think we’re lost, reckless, crazy?

Heart, you’re too wild for me. But I promised I’d always listen to you. Please just tell me everything is going to be okay.

Yours truly,

Head x

***

Darling Head,

I know it seemed like my desires were too much for you to handle, but they were never too big, you just allowed fear to make the final decision every time until we eventually disconnected.

You see Head, all I see from down here are opportunities to experience love and to grow. This requires change, movement. Either we’re moving deeper into something, or moving on from something.

I’m here to push you out of your comfort zone.

The pain is the cracking open as I become vulnerable, expand to my absolute limits of love, learn to accept love in, or let it achingly pour out.

Love is constantly connecting us to and moving us on from people and experiences. Some connections last a lifetime, others last only a moment. It’s painful to accept that some things don’t last forever.

There is beauty in this pain.

Let other people think we are lost. The truth is, their hearts may be just as wild, they just haven’t been brave enough to really listen. The laws of the heart are too divine for us to understand, they are beyond time and space, they exist only in the moment, they don’t need a plan, they are the plan.

If we continue to be fearless and move with the flow of love, I promise you—everything is going to be okay.

Love,

Heart x

(ref. Annalise McLean)

San Francisco, Pier39

San Francisco, Pier39

This statue i saw during my San Francisco trip, in some small art gallery near Pier39.

Somehow this statue had an interesting effect on me. Very rarely i meet pieces of art that touch my soul. For example, Da Vinci “Mona Lisa” was a complete disappointment to me… i guess i would have to agree, that the point of art is to “comfort disturbed and to disturb the comfortable…”

The emotions in this statue are incredible. Yes, many visual art forms with families, couples and babies are “cute”, but they never really touched my heart, they all were missing something for me, and i never considered them “cute”, but this particular statue somehow is different to me, it feels different…

This particular art piece, radiates pure and unconditional love in my opinion. And not because there is mother and a baby, but the way a male figure barely touches the female, at the same time having the look in his face that any woman wants to be looked like at, pure love.

We all, looking for one thing in life, love.

But not just anyone can allow love in…

“If we listen to our intellect,

we’d never have a love affair.

We’d never have friendship.

We’d never go into business,

because we’d be too cynical.

Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got

to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down”

             ~ Annie Dillard