Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibition at the AGO in Toronto April 26, 2018.
The 60’s were an explosion of creativity, protest, civil rights and war. Yayoi was right there in the heart of it all from Japan to New York city. She was born in Japan 1929 and still paints in her studio every day. Here are a few quotes from Yayoi Kusama.
“Self-destruction is the only way to peace”
“Stop nuclear bombs and wars, now/Live your shining life/forever eternally/I sincerely hope that you would view the works I have created with my utmost strength. Let’s sing a song together in praise of humanity facing the universe.” (2011)
Letter to President Nixon, (1968)
“Our earth is like one little polka dot, among millions of other celestial bodies, one orb full of hatred and strife amid the peaceful, silent spheres. Let’s you and I change all that and make this world a new Garden of Eden.
“Let’s forget ourselves, dearest Richard, and become one with the Absolute, all together in the altogether. As we soar through the heavens, we’ll paint each other with polka dots, lose our egos in timeless eternity, and finally discover the naked truth: You can’t eradicate violence by using more violence. This truth is written in spheres with which I will lovingly, soothingly, adorn your hard masculine body. Gently! Gently! Dear Richard. Calm your manly fighting spirit!”
A beautiful water plant with an uninspiring name. You will find Pickerelweed in lake and river edges throughout Northern Ontario. Delightful purple flowers with distinctive arrow point leaves. This one was in Bell Lake, Killarney.
My daughter is starting a tradition. Every fall we visit Silver Water to pick sweet apples from a roadside tree, followed by a hike along the shore of Silver Lake with my grandson Cole. Traditions create a rhythm of seasonal life. Last year I painted Cole on the beach with an apple. This year he leaped and danced along the shore with an apple in his hand. I have an idea for my first triptych inspired by those photos. This painting here is a warm-up… so stay tuned.
This little stray showed up at our place about 4 years ago. Unfortunately, our older cat Spike (very territorial and now 17), did not want to share his home with her. The only solution we found was to keep her in the spare room in the garage which we called the taj and is now known as Mocha’s apartment. The room is also my painting studio/guest room and Gary’s favorite napping place so she gets lots of company. Mocha loves to stalk and hunt outside.
A bit of summer heat stored up in this painting. The subject was dried and placed in the box. This is a playful painting… the little pepper was freshly picked and really quite cute. So I painted ‘er up just in time to take down to the Cathy Boyd Fine Art Gallery in Midland. Cathy is one of my teachers and she is having a student art show this November. Thanks for the encouragement Cathy, we are all very excited!
I am currently reading “Vincent Van Gogh and the Birth of Cloisonnism” (another loan from Gerry). I used this technique in this painting where you see the black outline.
A painting inspired by the image of a freshly picked pomegranate from Bahji posted by Sandra Lynn Hutchison. She was on a pilgrimage of healing for her beloved sister Heather Hutchison. I painted it all in one session. I had created the canvas with the little box with the orange and pine cone (both from the holy land) a few years back but it never quite worked out. Then this beauty of a pomegranate appeared and I made the connection.
“Of all pilgrimages the greatest is to relieve the sorrow-laden heart.” – ‘Abdu’l-Baha
Photo credit: Sandra Lynn Hutchison. Materials: oil on canvas 12″ x 12″
This summer I read Vincent Van Gogh: The Life and a two volume set of all of his drawings and paintings (thank you Gerry for lending them to me). I know why when you think of art or painting, Van Gogh comes to mind, as do sunflowers. His dedication to the art life and painting was intense. A drop of his spirit is enough to keep me going.
The book here is a Baha’i prayer book and was inspired by the books painted by Van Gogh. Sunflowers turn to the sun and in this case the sunflower is turning to the Word of God. “Those who in truth adore the sun itself will recognize it from whatsoever dawning-place it may appear, and will straightway turn their faces towards its radiance.” (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 130)
Sunflower photo credit: Bernice Pleta. Materials: oil on canvas 24″ x 36″.