Monday, August 1, 2016

Mary Heilmann: Looking at Pictures








I went to see the Mary Heilmann exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery today. I loved the vibrant, playful colors, a sense of a certain measured carefree quality in her work.
I liked this quote from the Guardian's review of the exhibit:

"Paint drips accidentally, like when you get a bit of sauce on your nice clean shirt when you’re enjoying a meal too much. Entire paintings go over the edge and round the sides of the canvas stretcher, like those cartoon characters who run over a cliff and don’t fall until they recognise the drop below. It is good to sidle up to Heilmann’s paintings, to see what’s going on around the side, as much as it is to confront them head on....
Heilmann’s paintings aren’t the best in the world, but they don’t need to be. To me, they seem to contain a lot of happiness and pleasure in the act of looking. The human details and imperfections count. A hand and an all-too-human brain made them."

Sunday, April 10, 2016

On Starting Over


A lot can happen in two years.

At the age of 30, I'm starting from scratch.
A few weeks ago, I quit my job, moved out of my apartment in New York City, and packed up a suitcase and moved to London, a city that had always loomed large and beautiful in my mind. A place I'd often thought, dreamed, talked about. And now I'm here.

It is at once surreal and challenging. Surreal because it's still sinking in, and at first, I found myself gliding on the surface of the moment vs. actually being in the moment. (Sometimes, your brain needs to catch up to your actions, though of late, I quite prefer this than the other way around - I tend to overthink things.) And challenging because it's quite lonely to be on one's own and not have any choice in the matter. 

A few nights ago, I fell asleep listening to British / Irish philosopher-poet David Whyte wax poetic about the need for solitude but also the need to belong. I woke up remembering lines wondering if I'd dreamed them. It was a nice to wake up that way. 

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

From "Sweet Darkness" - David White

I found these lines comforting because they're true, which means my decision must have been the right one...that my other life was too small for me and I needed to ask more of the world.

But these are also lines that hover, because I want to continue to live up to them.
Why is this harder than it should be?

Because "alive" doesn't mean comfort, routine, familiarity. Because "alive" could also mean discomfort, vulnerability, and fear.

It takes a brave soul to dive headfirst into it anyway.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

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