Monica D. MurgiaArt, creativity, and fashion
Archive for the ‘art’ Category
In 1784, Mr. Jean-Baptiste Huet, an artist employed by the Oberkampf works located near Jouy, France etched this design. This type of copperplate print, known as “Toile de Jouy” illustrates the various processes used in printing textiles.
Wesley Simpson presents a group of new scarfs from his collection of designs by famous artists. Included are scarfs by Marcel Vertes and Salvador Dali.
Existence is musical. I heard this expression a few weeks ago, and it left a big impression on me. The idea that life doesn’t have a destination, a goal, is really liberating. For a long time, I felt trapped in an endless corridor of goals. I became enmeshed in the idea that success is a far off destination, achieved only after years of school, tedious jobs, and walking over hot coals. The dream is to one day arrive – whenever that is – save up a bit, retire and then enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Image courtesy of Work of Heart Studios. (And available for purchase!)
Interestingly enough, I “arrived” a bit early and realized that it was all a hoax. At 25, I had finished a graduate degree, was teaching college, and had all the outer trappings of success. But inside, I didn’t feel one bit different at all. I had arrived at the finish line, only to realize that life isn’t a race. Life isn’t a journey with a serious destination. To think this is to cheat yourself out of happiness in the present moment. You delay happiness and tolerate situations to hopefully, one day get there at the end.
In music, the end of the song isn’t the point of the composition. We don’t dance to arrive at a specific spot in the room. The point of music and dancing is to enjoy the experience. And so is life. Life is a musical thing, and the point is to dance or sing along the way.
Image courtesy of Deviant Art.GHTime Code(s):
Life is spontaneous. It happens by itself. This is one of the fundamental principles of Buddhism. While it is good to make plans and set goals, it’s important to make time for life to unfold before you. This isn’t living life according to whim. There is more to spontaneity than caprice and disorder.
As an artist, I can tell you how this is true. I can’t tell you where my ideas come from. They happen spontaneously. It’s difficult for me to approach a canvas or piece of paper with an expectation. When I try to make something specific, it never seems to turn out right. So my approach has been to let the materials “speak” to me. I mix the paint right on the canvas. I see what shapes start to appear on their own.
I sprayed and sprayed several hued paints on this board. I noticed how the colors mixed together, how each can sprayed differently. The only method I had was that I would keep painting until it felt right. I did countless layers of paint. The yard was filled with a thick cloud of fumes that made me dizzy. I stopped and mixed some oil paint with stand oil and dripped it over the board. I started thrashing the paint brush wildly at the board, giggling and having fun at not caring what the outcome would be. I turned the board to let the paint drip from one end to the other. Then I alternated between layers of spray paint and oil paint. From the photos, you can see how wildly different the painting looked at each stage.
Suddenly, almost magically, I knew the painting was finished. There was no way for me to schedule the right amount of time. I just had to feel it. To me, painting is like playing a game. When we play games, we get most fascination out of games that combine skill and chance. Games like poker or bridge. You don’t feel completely at the mercy of chance, and you don’t feel completely at the mercy of skill. It’s exciting and fun to not know the predictable outcome. Order and randomness go together, creating surprise. That’s how I define spontaneity – the perfect harmony of order and randomness.
One of my favorite Buddhist philosophers is Alan Watts. He has a great recorded talk called The Art of the Controlled Accident. He consistently compares Buddhist philosophy to painting. Life should be lived in a manner like painting. You can’t have calculated expectations for everything in your life. You have to approach situations with an open mind, only to search for possibilities and opportunities that present themselves. Never force something. It will only elude you. Instead, take the approach of letting the beautiful things around you emerge on their own. You will be surprised – and happy.
If you liked this post, you should consider reading my previous posts :
Showing UpGHTime Code(s):
Storing fashion and accessories can be a major challenge, especially in a New York apartment. Space is limited. So is time. You need things to be orderly yet easily accessible. I find this especially true of accessories like bags and jewelry.
I’ve had jewelry boxes before, and found them really counterproductive. My jewelry was virtually hidden from view, making me forget to wear it. The first time I moved to New York, I adopted the practice of displaying my jewelry around my room.
Here I am, back in the city. I had the same idea of displaying my jewelry, but wasn’t sure of the approach to take. I wanted it to somehow be part of the decor. After looking up some ideas, I came across this idea on Pinterest:
I decided to make one for myself this weekend. With the help of my friend Riley (see photo) I went searching for a piece of wood in Central Park.
After our walk in the park, we headed over to Paper Source. This store has all kinds of sumptuous materials for making visual presentations. I found some decorative pushpins that were perfect for my project.
Having two varieties made displaying the pieces more interesting. The silver pushpins were great for organizing chunkier necklaces and rings . The floral pushpins were better for more delicate chains. Take a look:
The piece of wood I found was narrower on one end. This was brilliant for adding my bracelets and cuffs. Earrings are usually difficult to store, but this design made things simple. The jute twine I bought for hanging the piece was perfect. I mounted two adhesive hooks to the wall and voilà:
The twine in between the hooks was the perfect spot for earrings. No wasted space and everything is easily accessible. The best part? It looks pretty and reminds me to wear my things.
Time is finite. Time is so precious because none of us knows how much of it we have. Being fully present in the current moment can be difficult, but it is the only way of truly living. Regrets are a consequence of living in the past. Anxiety is a consequence of living in the future. Being here, now, is the surest way to make every moment count.
Creating is the process that allows me to be fully present. It gives me a way of allowing everything to melt away: no distractions; no worries of the past or future; no clinging desperately to ideas, people, or things. It’s my way of enjoying my immediate environment. Its my way of appreciating the gift of being alive. Recently, I’ve been interested in recording where I stand in a space. It really makes me present in capturing the moment, feeling, and perspective of my day.
This week something happened that made me realize I may have become a bit complacent with my life. A friend of mine from college died. Her name was Maureen. She was only 29. Maureen was brilliant, vivacious, and an inspiration. She was passionate about everything she did. Maureen was great at designing the life she wanted and making it a reality. She had the ability to make every moment count.
I was so sad to hear of her passing. It was too soon. Thoughts flooded my mind after receiving the news. Each thought pointed to the same message: make the time for the people you care about, make the time for living the life you dream about. We are not promised a tomorrow. Don’t delay the important things. Chase your dreams. Don’t be afraid to fail. Fall in love. Be present in creating the life you want, even when the risks are terrifying. Because in the end, your life is more important than your fear.
In memory of Maureen Abboud.GHTime Code(s):
Do you make the time to observe your surroundings? I mean really observe your surroundings. It’s easy to let the day slip away, a passing blur like in the passenger window. Constant distractions are literally at the tips of our fingers.
Today I got to see one of Banksy’s pieces today. I saw a few days ago that he made this in the UWS. It was a stone’s throw from my new apartment. As soon as I found out the location, I made my way there. I hopped up the stairs of the subway, eagerly anticipating what I’d see.
At the corner, I saw a guy with headphones. I tugged at his sleeve to tell him the news. Excitement tumbled out of my mouth like a really long hast tag:
He was happy to hear about it, and see it from afar. But he didn’t stop to see it.
I stood in front of it for a while. People stopped to look. It started with children, asking their mothers about it. They seemed the most observant. Then, the adults would get engaged, explaining the concept. A small crowd started to form. I started talking to a man and woman, taking photos for them in front of the piece. I went on and on about Banksy’s artist residency here in New York. When the man came back for his camera phone, he remarked:
“The painting is so simple. It doesn’t take a lot of skill. I think I could do it.”
I couldn’t help but think:
“If you can barely take the time to look, how can you take the time to create?”
I mentioned in my last post that I started a new job. Part of my training took me to Richmond. After work, I decided to roam around the city for a bit by myself. My only plan was to check out a few vintage stores, figuring that fashion would somehow lead me to an adventure. I hopped into the hotel shuttle bus and gave them the address to a local vintage retailer in Carytown.
I had no real desire to buy anything, but just wanted to walk around – absorb some of the local scenery during my short time in the city. Chatting with the driver, I looked out the window. We passed an old bus terminal that was absolutely irresistible to me. It was covered with hundreds of the most evocative, brightly hued art I’d seen. Set against the warm, sunny late afternoon the setting seemed dreamlike.
Cooing while trying to snap a few photos from the van, the driver sensed my enthusiasm. He didn’t really know what the site was, other than it was an old bus terminal. I asked him if we could take a quick detour and investigate the site.
Everywhere I looked was beautiful! The space has previously belonged to the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC). Built in 1902, the structure housed trollies and buses that were not in use or needed repair. The site was abandoned back in 2009. Residents were unhappy with the crumbling buildings. They pushed for a creative use of the space, hoping to install stores and restaurants to boost the local economy.
The city’s response was to create a Street Art Festival, inviting artists from around the world to create large scale murals. Since the time frame was limited, it became a hotbed of creativity. Artists were working side-by-side, helping and inspiring one another.
Hamilton Glass, a Richmon-based artist, likened the festival is like a jam session for artists:
“We feed off each other,” he said about five hours into his mural. “It’s great painting next to someone who’s being creative.”
I could have spent all day here! There was no evidence of any businesses within the compound. But there was a young couple walking around taking photos. They took a photo of me, which shows you the scale of the work. It’s really massive and overwhelming!
Like a kid in a candy store, I ran down the empty streets eagerly taking in as much art as I could. Every mural was so interesting and unique. Some were even 3-dimentional. One of my favorites was a blue wall filled with metal birds.
After closer inspection, the birds are decorated with names and poems. If you’re in Richmond, I highly recommend stopping by to see it for yourself: 2501 W. Cary St.
To see the rest of my photos from the Old GRTC Bus Terminal, follow me on Instagram!