Tag Archives: Fine Art


“Let yourself be open and life will be easier.  A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable.  A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.”  Buddha Siddhartha Gautama Shakyamuni

English: Henry_Ossawa_Tanner_-_The_Annunciation

English: Henry_Ossawa_Tanner_-_The_Annunciation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do you feel about new ideas that appear in your life?  Do they frighten you?  Do they offer you a new perspective that broadens your thinking?

Re-evaluating Your Life

As I mentioned last week, I don’t make resolutions any more, but I do think about the New Year and what I hope will happen during it.  I try to notice what I may be hanging onto that I really need to release.  As I evaluated all of this last week, I realized that I mainly want to continue on the track I’m on now—writing and promoting my book and speaking.  I feel a real passion for it, but I also realize each year offers its own challenges, and I want to be open-minded about what comes my way so I can learn the lessons and expand.

New Information Opens the Mind

I had an experience during Christmas week that really brought home the need to be open.  My brother showed me a painting by Henry Ossawa Tanner called “The Annunciation.”  I was drawn to it because Mary was depicted in a way that grabbed my attention.  As the angel Gabriel appears to her, she looks like an ordinary young woman, sitting on her bed, pondering an important decision.  Virtually all the pictures of Mary I’ve seen depict her looking angelic and other worldly.  Perhaps this is why I never felt drawn to her when I was growing up and attending a traditional Christian church.

When I commented on how different this Mary looked, my brother pointed out that this was the moment when she had to decide if she were willing to become the mother of Christ.  I was surprised.  “You mean she had a choice?” I asked.  “I never knew that.”  Perhaps I’d just forgotten after all these years or maybe I had never been presented with this version of the story, but it made a huge difference to me.

Spiritual Awareness Inspires and Expands Us

As I stared at this painting, for the first time, I sensed Mary’s humanity.  She was no longer a mythical character to me, but a vital, intelligent being who had to make an unprecedented choice, one that would take her on a very challenging journey.  “There’s a story there,” I thought, feeling chills run up my spine.  I don’t know what the story is that I will write, but this experience opened a new door for me.

I immediately thought of a friend of mine who is a devout follower of Mary although she isn’t Catholic.  Perhaps I had glimpsed part of what has always drawn her to Mary.  But most importantly, I have a new perspective on this subject that has opened my mind in a way it was never open before.

Art Offers A New Perspective

That’s the beauty of art too.  As Edgar Degas said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”  When I look at a painting or experience any of the fine arts, I am taken out of my own mind for awhile and into the heart and mind of another, and that allows me to see in ways I never have before.  At a deep level, it changes my perspective if I give myself totally to the experience.

The Class of Dance by Edgar Degas (1874)

The Class of Dance by Edgar Degas (1874) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Frankly, I was very surprised by my reaction to the painting of Mary.  I don’t usually feel moved by religious art.  I often admire the artist’s technique, but again the subjects are often so ethereal that my mind, not my heart, is moved.  Maybe I’ve been missing something and my lack of interest in organized religion has created a block I don’t know is there.  But I think one of my intentions for the New Year will definitely be paying more attention when I catch myself quickly dismissing something or someone.  A second look never hurts.

Just a reminder:  I’ll be reading and signing Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness at Malaprops Bookstore, Asheville, NC on Thursday, January 17 at 7:00.

Have you gained any new perspective lately?  Please comment.

Notes on comments:  I’m getting huge numbers of spam and don’t have time to check through them all to look for  legitimate comments.  But if you comment from a business site that sells a product (other than books or service related to my blog post), you are automatically put in the spam folder.  I have to approve people who comment for the first time, and I only approve comments that relate specifically to a post. It may take me as much as a day to approve a comment.  I welcome all genuine comments.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                    ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Own Your Spirituality:  Your Own Mind is a Beautiful Thing, What Do You Believe: The Power of an Open Mind (Deepak Chopra), Spirituality and the Power of Being Open-minded


Art is a shadow of what a person is thinking…a small glimpse of what they hold inside.  Little secrets, regrets, joys…every line has its own meaning. ~Sarah, Los Cerros Middle School, 1999

A Glimpse of Artist’s Visions

This past weekend I gorged on a feast for the soul, a series of the most tasty fine arts dishes that I’ve consumed in quite a while. The feast began on Thursday night with a unique event at the art museum, a PechaKucha Night where several artists each showed 20 slides of their work, making a 20 second comment on each piece.  These were the hors d’oeuvres.  Each was a small delicious sampling of the artistic vision of each artist, and like all art, each vision was a glimpse into the soul of the artist.

Art Awakens the Soul

That is why I love art: music, dance, visual art, literature and theatre.  I am uplifted by this soul connection and by seeing the interior of another human being expressed through art. Twyla Tharp, the wonderfully innovative choreographer, once said, “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”  We can leave our rational minds and the mundane aspects of our lives and attend the dance of life, exercising our mental, emotional, and spiritual selves in new ways. Art awakens us to a different point of view, one we might never have experienced had we not seen a particular piece of art.  Art may take us to a depth of knowing beyond words.

The main course of my feast each day was the arts walk in the River District, a buffet of sensory delight.  Overloaded by color, texture, and design, I could only embrace what was there. I let it seep through my pores and become a joyful energy that awakened me to the diversity and uniqueness of human expression.

Having looked at art all my life, I have long since giving up the need to attach meaning to what I see.  It is interesting to talk to artists about why they use a certain color or image, but often the artist doesn’t have a rational explanation.  Images for a sculpture or painting may arise in the artist’s mind mysteriously just as the ideas I receive for my writing are frequently surprising gifts from Spirit.

Going Deeper Unites

My soul was further awakened on Saturday evening, when I ended the day with a dessert even more satisfying than chocolate.  While I enjoy the intensity and brief pleasure of dark chocolate, the flavor of Anam Cara’s music has lasted for days.  Listening to Mary Davis’ soulful ballads, especially “Life Moves,” reminded me of the depth and width of human emotion taking me to deeper places within myself.  Listening to her sing of challenges in her own life reminded me we are all One and how our love for one another can heal so many wounds.

Dancing With the Divine

On Sunday evening, my feast of the soul ended with the Dances of Universal Peace based on a cycle of seasonal invocations to the Goddess.  Like strawberry shortcake, there were many divine layers to these dances.  We learned basic steps, then layered on symbolic gestures and ancient chants, each enriching the experience in some way.  As we danced, our individual energies created a community connection that carried us all along, blending with the chanting.  As I moved, there were moments when I was lost in the energy of the dance, imagining the goddess presence in our midst and being in touch with my own Divine Feminine and the source of my creativity.

Since the weekend, I have felt renewed in some deep way.  Spiritually sated by the wide range of sensory experiences spiced by innovation and originality, I feel grateful for the abundance of soul awakening experiences that stretched and opened my perceptions.  Today I feel like there is more of me to express and share and give.  I am more awakened to the dance of life.  That’s what art can do if we are willing to take it in.

How will you dance with the Divine and feed your soul this week? 

© 2011 Georganne Spruce