*snuggling in with*winter*

“In the depths of winter, I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer” Albert Camus

kZWJePCAtyak

We are influenced by nature- our environments, weather, seasons, etc. They all carry their own energies, symbols, comforts or discomforts- all of which effect our own energies, our emotions, perceptions and in turn, our behaviors. When I was young and would take Myspace surveys, I remember always struggling with the “Favorite Season” question. I thought for sure it was summer. It’s sunny and warm, I have no school, I got to explore a lot more.. but I would always stop myself torn, as every season holds such intimate personality and beauty/fun/mystery of its own.

Nklq1DMDDJ3w

sjAsF3w9bT3G5YpV8g

Now that I am a bit older and happen to be in a very introspective, reflective, committed-to-personal-growth era of my life, winter has become a special friend for me. Its resonance feels to parallel my own and leaves me feeling so free, supported, motivated, with confidence and manageable stress. Winter and I can also feel isolated and lonely but I feel a deep “okay” with that; aware that just as life’s cycles continue like spring returning each year- so too will new life bloom in my world, in its own time.

tumblr_mfzr6jWLQV1r0hslko1_500

SnowFlower_1920x1200

Winter is now here in full swing. The neighborhoods have been blanketed in ice from sunrise to sunset for about a week now and many areas have received snow. The temperature last night was 28 degrees (-2 degrees Celsius for readers in other countries) and now at 2:30pm the next day only 33 (1 degrees Celsius). I really hate being cold, REALLY, so it is a bit surprising for me to be so in Love with winter, but it’s just so cozy and reflective.

tumblr_mgg2ko1yLK1rtgpsxo1_500

Snow_Flower_by_scotto

Winter is beautiful for it’s scenery

But most of all for me,

Winter is beautiful for being a nurturing catalyst to growth.

tumblr_mg2r5ac2uf1qe3vrko1_500

zc4lzyV95Yr7ZBdy82

In such a busy, commercial American city it can be difficult to find true peace and quiet. With winter in the city I observe a slower pace, a greater awareness of appreciation, holiday good cheer and deeds, more quality time with loved ones, more quality time with ones self, cultivating creativity and more opportunities to “just be” alive, cozy, live simpler. It’s refreshing.

tumblr_m29j9jdVDV1qhfxyxo1_500

SnowWalkwayNight

“I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future – the timelessness of the rocks and the hills – all the people who have existed there. I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.” -Andrew Wyeth

rCIh2DVe3X1f

tumblr_mdwmr3etEp1reyhuco1_400

“In a way Winter is the real Spring- the time when 
the inner things happen, the resurgence of nature.” -

Edna O’Brien

SunriseColdDark

Advertisements

()communication()

It can be frustrating to find “the right words” to express feelings to the outside world – especially when they don’t exist… One of many reasons why I love and believe traveling and cross culture integration is so interesting and important.

nonEnglishWords

>> S t r e e t . A r t <<

The two final quarters of my Bachelor studies were done on contract in Europe. No classes, teachers or classmates; just me exploring a dream, soaking in all I possibly could. I wrote many papers, one of my finals being a 16-pager on “European Happiness: An Eastern Perspective on a Western World” where I focused on certain aspects of European culture that I observed contributing to their expression of identity and search for happiness. Some areas of studies were public art, graffiti and architecture. I have included pieces from my paper below on street art (don’t mind the citations) and pictures of pieces that I love from around the world.

by Eelus, "nesting" in London

by Inti in Paris. Photo: Yoyolabellut

In an age of such complex political systems governing over so many people, many are left feeling oppressed, unheard and hopeless in their individual voices. Although a crime in almost all areas of the world, graffiti is gaining serious respect as an art form and popularity as a powerful means of self-expression. It can be careless defacement, but at its heart exists as public expressions using pictures and words carrying artistic or political messages.

by Herakut. Portsmouth, UK

by Fintan Switzer, "Adam". Killarney, Ireland

by Iemza. Reims, France

Painting on our surrounding environments has been fulfilling our need of  expression for thousands of years. Graffiti comes from the Italian word “graffiato” which means “scratched” (Bingham, 2010). Forms of graffiti can be traced all the way back to ancient cave paintings, hieroglyphs, and even sayings, names and drawings of politicians found on building sides in the remains of Pompeii (Barbieri, 2008). It has since become one of the largest artistic movements of the 20th century.

3D street painting:

by Edgar Mueller. Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. Geldern, Germany. by Julian Beever

Edgar Mueller. Russia

Many artists say it is not out of boredom or personal vendetta, rather a way for an individual or group of oppressed people to get their message to the masses in a way that cannot be ignored.  Often intelligent, shocking, powerful and/or humorous pictures and slogans are used to gain attention and make people think. A famous example of this is the Berlin Wall in Germany. After its construction separating the West from communist East Berlin, the people of the West protested the Wall by defacing it in some of the most powerful, political and emotional graffiti of modern times (Bingham, 2010).  The messages and styles within graffiti speak of the cultures they reflect at the time of creation.

This is Banksy… An unidentified British graffiti artist who has traveled the world leaving his famous marks behind, including on the Israeli West Bank barrier. Banksy is very popular and controversial. I recommend watching his film called, “Exit Through the Gift Shop”.

Do the times shape the artist, or does the artist shape the times?

West Bank barrier

^^^ Banksy section. End ^^^

When we take an art history course, or buy an art history book from a store, we are told about the same artists over and over and are directed to what is “good art” and what is worth our time and energy to focus on. I am not sure who made these determinations, but some may argue it is an opinion of a few that is being shoved down the throats of many (Howells, 2003). Regardless of their medium, graffiti artists are able to reach a certain depth of human emotion and experience, which is exactly what art at its best does. It makes you think and feel in real, powerful ways. It opens doors to release emotion and lets others know they are not alone in their human or political frustrations.

Unknown. East London

ROA. Vienna, Austria

Moose. Reverse graffiti

by Alberto de Pedro. Aranjuez station Madrid, Spain

<<>.<>>

Definitely future posts to come on technique, artists and other pieces…

<<>.<>>