381. Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Painting is poetry
that is seen rather than felt,
and poetry is painting
that is felt rather than seen.
~Leonardo da Vinci

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COLORS OF MY BRUSH

Blue for the eyes that loved my calm sky,
green for the soft grass we slept on,
white for the lilies we picked,
yellow for small daises,
purple for sunsets,
red for wild lips,
pink for skin,
rose for
you.
~by Andrew Crisci

Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is created. And no matter whether it be by painting, sculpture, architecture, music, writing (poetry, prose, drama), performing arts (theater or dance), film making, photography, or printmaking, the maker of whatever inspired the creative endeavor, has felt, experienced, and/or seen things so moving that the urge to give life to artistic expressions has erupted in his/her very soul. Why?  Because inherent in each of our souls is Yahweh’s creative abilities since we are made in His creating image.

Art is a collaboration
between God and the artist,
and the less the artist does
the better.
~André Gide

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. ~Genesis 2:7  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

** Image via Pinterest.

355. Forget diamonds, wear a crown of daisies. ~Sandra O’Connell

… At my feet the white-petaled daisies display
the small suns of their center piece their–if you don’t mind
my saying so–their hearts. Of course
I could be wrong, perhaps their hearts are pale and
narrow and hidden in their roots. What do I know,
But this: it is heaven itself to take what is given,
to see what is plain;
what the sun lights up willingly…
~Excerpt from “Daisies” by Mary Oliver

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He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me… It’s funny how some things, even those learned in early childhood, never fade from memory. I’ll bet most, if not all of you, remember pulling the petals off a daisy and reciting this ditty over and over again until the final petal gave up the supposed truth. Georgia O’Keefe, the American artist who painted those amazing, large-format pictures of enlarged blossoms, said of them, “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for a moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in a city rush around so they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” Why would she feel that way? I think it’s because there is just something in the “world of a flower” that exudes sanctitude and goodness, a revelation that sheds light into the mysteries of life. And its words seem to say over and over again, “I speak of a divine and devoted lover. I tell tales of a garden created in a faraway place, a long time ago. I describe a tragic fall therein from divine Grace. I relate attempts to redeem the lost children of subsequent generations. I narrate stories of a Savior who did His father’s bidding. I share the story of the Christ’s sacrifice and His magnanimous offer of redemption. I talk of holy men bound to spread the Messiah’s story who, as they moved from one monastery garden to another, spread species of my kind from place to place. I inspire men of rhymes to write poetry about me that speaks to human hearts. I sing hopeful, prophetic melodies of my faithful return year and year, millennia upon millennia. I whisper words from above of unending love into listening ears. Quite simply, if you look at me and hold me, cherish me and revere me, I will make known to you the Creator of heaven and earth, and you will forever bless His holy name for He is the One who answered once and for all your childhood query.

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. ~Psalm 52:8 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

328. Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

We are mosaics–
pieces of light,
love,
history,
stars–
glued together
with
magic
and music
and words.
~Anita Krizzan

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Wordsmiths we are, we who pen our thoughts and feelings upon the page, scribes who search the depths of our hearts to share the terrors in our “dark nights of the soul” and the heights of ecstasy in our glad times and victories for if we touch such things in others, we connect in our vulnerable sameness, grief is halved and joys doubled. The artist who paints upon a canvas or sketches on paper does the same with the images he/she creates as does the musician who marks notes upon a staff. The creative urge is deeply rooted in the human soul, and our yearning to bring what’s inside to the surface is a way of getting to know God, our Creator, for we are, after all, made in His image.

This is what God the Lord says–the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it… Isaiah 42:5  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

251. More than anything, I must have flowers, always, and always. ~Claude Monet

When we look deeply into the heart of a flower,
we see clouds, sunshine, minerals, time, the earth,
and everything else in the cosmos in it.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

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 Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment.  ~Claude Monet

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 The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration.  ~Claude Monet

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I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.  ~Claude Monet

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Like Monet, I must always, always have flowers, and I’ve discovered that cut flowers do little to satisfy that hunger.  I need to have flowers that, as in nature, are alive and growing, and to that end my greenhouse is a godsend.  From my chair in our family room I have a clear shot at the back shelf through the window in its door, and so that space is reserved during the winter months for potted flowers that aren’t suited to our Texas climate except as cool weather annuals.  Also like Monet, I must have color, lots and lots of color, and so the more bright and colorful the flowers are the better.  And again, like Monet I wanted to become a painter, but that’s where the likeness between us ends.  I may have found a way to have flowers and color but not the talent to translate that beauty onto a canvas.  However, the Lord in His gracious goodness did not let it end there.  During my years as a teacher I was asked at one time to sponsor the high school’s yearbook.  During that 5 year period I learned from the book’s professional publisher how to take photos,  how to edit and crop them, and how to lay them out on a page in an eye-appealing manner.  Then after I retired, with that training still in place, I discovered the amazing technology of digital photography, and voila, who’s to say an artist of sorts wasn’t born.

For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.  Psalm 92:4   ✝

 

 

236. Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale till its appropriate liberator comes to set it free. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Poetry is not always words.
Poetry is a layering of meanings…
Poetry evokes emotional or sensual responses…
Poetry creates musical or incantatory effects…
Poetry forms connections not previously perceived…
~Audrey Foris

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There are “wordless voices,” as Foris suggests, and they speak in a variety of ways.  Some are heard in music instead of poetry while others are witnessed in the spectacle of a drama or ballet, or they may be perceived in the steps and rhythm of a dance routine.  Humans can’t help but find a way to express what profoundly breaks into their inner silences and urges expression for they, being made in the image of a limitless Creator, are innately creative in some way.

As for me an artist or a poet I am not, but the desire to be gifted in such a way inhabits my soul.  I’ve tried my hand many times at being both but any real talent for either continues to be imprisoned within me.  So now with no “appropriate liberator” in sight I try only with my camera to satisfy the yearning of my incarcerated artist, and from time to time, at least in my own eyes, I achieve a marginal level of success.  How could I not for in its vast array of choices, the earth is a wondrous wellspring even with nothing more than a point and shoot camera.  As for my jailed poet self, her craving is partially satiated because life and the natural world have a way of writing their own poetry even in a photograph and because accomplished others have published readily, accessible poetic works.

So God created humankind in His image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.  ~Genesis 1:27  ✝

172. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell–some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power. ~Northern Advocate

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune they jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
~William Blake, English poet

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*Photo courtesy Mike Bizeau

Lusty indeed is the dance of the year’s 4th child!  Escalating as she goes, she regales herself in glorious colors, and whilst strutting her hour upon earth’s stage, she reigns in majesty.  As she prepares the land for its Sabbath, her chariot enters the eastern sky at dawn with pink and purple banners flying high or she comes veiled in gray from a fog or torrents of rain.  Then after day is done she exits on the western horizon in mellow twilight, or in a blaze of red and gold, or swallowed up in the wetness of massive clouds.  When not thundering “mournful melodies” for all to hear, she’s belting out songs of joyfulness until she perishes in deep December softly playing “the harps of leafless trees.”

There is pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is rapture in the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar;
I love not man less, but Nature more,
~Lord Byron, English poet

It wasn’t until Mike Bizeau posted this photo of fall-colored succulents along a beach north of Mendocino, California, that I realized lusty autumn not only sings in forests and gardens but also in places on the “lonely shore.”  What a splendid artist is the holy Yahweh!

Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell all of His wonderful acts.  ~1 Chronicles 16:9  ✝

168. A garden without its statue is like a sentence without its verb. ~Joseph W. Beach

Man becomes aware of the sacred because it manifests itself, shows itself,
as something wholly different from the profane.
In each case we are confronted by the same mysterious act–
the manifestation of something of a wholly different order,
a reality that does not belong to our world,
in objects that are an integral part of our natural “profane” world.
~Mircea Eliade, Romanian historian, writer, and professor

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Although I dearly wish it were, the statue in the photo is not in my garden.  She is one of several scattered around our city’s Botanical Gardens.  The captivating sculpture in her quiet reverie and reverence is not unlike a “be” verb in that she expresses a state of being, and I think she does it ever so engagingly.  In fact, when I look at her, especially her bowed head, I get the feeling I’m observing someone deep in contemplative prayer.  Given that, I’m always a little reluctant at first to move in too close for fear of disturbing her petitions.  William Faulkner said that “the aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.”  How successful then was the artist who crafted this bronze “lady of the garden!”  I’ve always sensed life and movement in her, and as an admiring observer, I am moved inwardly in her presence.  Her movement is not flamboyant; instead it is more of a faint in and our movement of breath.  Another thing that fascinates me about the statue is that there is a warmth in her presence even on bitterly cold, wintry days.  It’s a kind of glowing warmth that speaks of life, holy and not in the least profane.

Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts.  Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.  Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.  ~1 Chronicles 16:9-11  ✝

131. All gardens are a form of autobiography. ~Robert Dash

In his garden every man may be his own artist without apology or explanation. Each within his green enclosure is a creator, and no two shall reach the same conclusion; nor shall we, any more than other creative workers, be ever wholly satisfied with our accomplishment. Ever a season ahead of us floats the vision of perfection and herein lies its perennial charm.  ~Louise Beebe Wilder

**(blooming currently in several places in my yard is Physostegia virginiana)

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Where does imagination come from?  It was spawned in the mind of God, and it is the conduit that connects us to our Maker.  I can think of no better place than a garden to let one’s imagination run wild.  It can be loosed over and over again in the ever-changing shapes of the beds and paths, in the kinds of plants that are introduced, and in the garden’s supports and structures.  My imagination has also led me over the years to include pieces of yard art into my garden.  For me it adds whimsical levels of interest that feed my inner child and would-love-to-have-been- an-artist self.

The LORD God placed man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.  ~Genesis 2:15