Tag Archives: Artists

Video of the Week #211: Georgia O’Keeffe

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Creative Juice #128

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Creative Juice #128

May you be full of wonder this weekend.

T is for Titian

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Tiziano Vecellio, born circa 1488, one of the most revolutionary painters of the Renaissance, is usually referred to as Titian. Regarded as the most important artist of the Venetian School, he brought realism to a new level, and devised new ways of applying paint, pioneering oils on canvas. He influenced his contemporaries as well as generations of painters. (His voluptuous female forms preceded Rubens’.)

Noted for the way he used color and light, Titian was a master of portraiture. Here is a self-portrait:Titian self-portrait

 

Titian often painted himself as an onlooker within his compositions. His subjects were often scenes from biblical stories or mythology.

Christ

Christ, from a fragment of a larger work

Salome with head of St John the Baptist

Salome with the Head of John the Baptist

Danae

Danaë with Eros

He is reputed to have used courtesan as models.

Unlike most artists of his day (and most contemporary artists), Titian achieved widespread popularity and financial success solvency his lifetime. He had steady commissions from churches and wealthy patrons, and earned lifelong pensions.

Assunta

Assunta (Assumption of the Virgin), an altarpiece. See how the red robes draw the viewer’s eyes all around the three levels of the painting?

 

This video provides a good overview of Titian’s work:

Sister Wendy puts Titian in context with two other important contemporaries:

The next video explores Titian’s Diana and Calisto in depth:

Titian’s process, as revealed by x-ray:

 

Two guys from Sotheby’s discuss the cleaning of Madonna and Child with Saints Luke and Catherine of Alexandria:

 

If you would like to learn more about Titian, I recommend this documentary:

 

Titian’s works later in life were darker in color and subject. He died in 1576, a victim of the plague epidemic that afflicted Europe. His date of birth is disputed, and some argue he may have been as old as 100 years when he died.

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Review of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: a Portable Mentor by Gail McMeekin

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Review of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: a Portable Mentor by Gail McMeekin

The title of this book immediately captivated me, because I love reading anything that fosters creativity.

Women have unique obstacles to creativity, roadblocks that men don’t encounter. McMeekin says,

We continue to be stifled by a host of factors that cause us to censor our inner voices and follow someone else’s dream.

Her own journey through mazes of obstacles toward creative awakening helped her formulate a process for women to access artistic potential. In her long career as a psychotherapist, career and creativity coach, and human resources consultant, McMeekin crosses paths with amazingly artistic and creative females who have overcome obstacles to achieve greater success. She interviewed thousands of these extraordinary women and interweaves their stories with the twelve secrets they illustrate.

12 SecretsMcMeekin suggests acquiring a beautiful notebook or journal to use while working through the book to record insights and to answer the “Challenges,” exercises she has found helpful to her clients to identify impediments and find ways around them or address life changes necessary to eliminate them. I did not actually do the challenges, but reading through them gave me glimpses of self-knowledge.

I especially found Secret #12 helpful: Planning to Achieve Your Goals. In this final chapter, McMeekin identifies five keys to achievement: deciding about sharing your creative work, setting creative goals, committing your time, tackling procrastination, and celebrating your creative power. She takes the reader through a process of reflection, helping the creator define a path to reach her potential.

McMeekin’s world view is humanistic and new age, invoking the universe. It has not escaped my attention that many creative women also ascribe to that world view. Even though I am a Christian and my world view is Christ-centered, I believe I can still learn from these women, substituting what works for me: asking God to direct my work and use it for His glory.

The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: a Portable Mentor is especially valuable to women experiencing burnout. The steps in this book form an excellent structure for examining inner yearnings and determining a path for authentic occupation. The process is not limited to artists, musicians, and dancers, but also valid for entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists, and any woman who wants to use her unique talents and explore her interests in a meaningful way.

Men who are attuned to their feminine sides could also benefit from reading this book, though there is much other material related to creativity not limited to a single gender that men might find more palatable.

Found on creativesuccess.com

Found on creativesuccess.com

I would recommend springing for a paper copy. I read the Kindle edition, and struggled with disconnection. It took me two chapters to realize the author had interspersed her words with quotes from other creative women—in the Kindle edition, lack of formatting failed to set the quotes apart from the body of the work. Also, two worksheets, reduced to the size of one Kindle screen, were too small to read the print.

All in all, The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: a Portable Mentor is well worth reading.

Is there a book you’ve found especially helpful in your creative pursuits? Please share in the comments below.

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Monday Morning Wisdom #1

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Monday Morning Wisdom #1

“Beware of artists. They mix with all classes of society and are therefore most dangerous.” –Queen VictoriaMMW