Remembering Phyllida Barlow (1944–2023)

"There's a lot about the art world and the way we experience art that's fantastic. But I think there's a lot that's not entirely spoken about or recognized, which is the unseen and the unknown and the creative act as a deeply private experience." Phyllida Barlow

I loved her work and her continual drive to pursue her passions.

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road.”

—Helen Keller

“Ultimately, it comes down to taste.”

“It comes down to exposing yourself to the best things humans have done, and then incorporating those things into what you are doing. The way we’re going to ratchet up our species is to take the best and spread it around, so everyone grows up with better things, and begins to understand the subtleties.” -  Steve Jobs

WANTING Today 3/11in my mind I am making a/ marked a dramatic shift in Cheryl Johnson’s art to a reductive palette and simple geometric shapes. 

Frank Stella: There’s always been a trend toward simpler painting and it was bound to happen one way or another. Whenever painting gets complicated, like Abstract-Expressionism, or Surrealism, there’s going to be someone who’s not painting complicated paintings, someone who’s trying to simplify.  Read more  and more

45. “The painter should be solitary, and take note of what he sees and

reason with himself, making a choice of the more excellent details of

the character of any object he sees; he should be like unto the mirror,

which takes the colours of the objects it reflects. And this proceeding will seem to him to be a second nature.”

46. -“… In order that the favourable disposition of the mind may not be injured by that of the body, the painter or the draughtsman should be solitary, and especially when he is occupied with those speculations and thoughts which continually rise up before the eye, and afford materials to be treasured by the memory”.

47. -“… The mind of the painter must be like unto a mirror, which ever takes the colour of the object it reflects, and contains as many images as there are objects before it. Therefore realize, O painter, that thou canst not succeed unless thou art the universal master of imitating by thy art every variety of nature’s forms, and this thou canst not do save by perceiving them and retaining them in thy mind; wherefore when thou walkest in the country let thy mind play on various objects, observe now this thing and now that thing, making a store of various objects selected and chosen from those of lesser value. And thou shalt not do as some painters, who, when weary of plying {103} their fancy, dismiss their work from their mind and take exercise in walking for relaxation, but retain fatigue in the mind, which, though they see various objects, does not apprehend them, but often when they meet friends and relations and are saluted by them, they are no more conscious of them than if they had met empty air.”

“If thou art alone, thou wilt belong to thyself only: if thou hast but one companion, thou wilt only half belong to thyself, and ever less in proportion to the indiscretion of his conduct; and if thou hast many companions, thou wilt encounter {102} the same disadvantage. And if thou shouldst say: “I will follow my own inclination, I will withdraw into seclusion in order the better to study the forms of natural objects”–I say thou wilt with difficulty be able to do this, because thou wilt not be able to refrain from constantly listening to their chatter; and, not being able to serve two masters, thou wilt play the part of a companion ill, and still worse will be the evil effect on thy studies in art. And if thou sayest: “I will withdraw myself, so that their words cannot reach and disturb me”–I, with regard to this, say thou wilt be regarded as a madman; but seest thou not that by so doing thou wilt be alone also?”

through the gift of the online Gutenberg.org site, I downloaded and enjoyed reading Leonardo da Vinci’s “Thoughts on Art and Life”  I discovered this by going to a charming site called. https://playamart.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/channeling-da-vinci-timeout-for-art/

 – Leonardi da Vinci  Thoughts on Art and Life – Translator/Maurice Baring via Gutenberg.org

“The arts embody who we are as a people,” President Obama proclaimed in a 2016 statement marking National Arts and Humanities Month. The arts “lift up our identities, connecting what is most profound within us to our collective human experiences,” he continued. They “reflect our national soul.” What to make of the national soul after a year in which artists and writers called for the destruction of art: for paintings to be torn down, sculptures dismantled, videos removed from museums, exhibitions closed?  Read more.

For the artist herself, there was so much more. She could be alternatively minimal and maximal, geometric and gestural, a weaver in and out of styles with amazing fluidity. About Perle Fine

“Pain is a pesky part of being human, I’ve learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart, something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here. Pain is a sudden hurt that can’t be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart. But then healing feels like the wind against your face when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air! We may not have wings growing out of our backs, but healing is the closest thing that will give us that wind against our faces.”

— C. JoyBell C.

"after a while, if you work on a deeper level, you will discover that whether male or female, you're ultimately dealing with human nature. In other words, the deeper you go, you move further away from gender but you get closer to human nature."xiang jing

"You look out into the world with one eye, and into yourself with the other. " 


People who give, Cheryl, are given to.


People who care, are cared for.


And people who love... age slower, run faster, jump higher, eat healthier, tend to live in cottages, are as happy with friends as they are alone, climb more trees, skip when they could walk, kiss when they could talk, take the odd Friday off, experience faster manifestations, and are really popular with animals. The Universe. TUT

As we learn the gentle progression of brush strokes, our eyes begin to see what our heart already knows.

 Lawai Center Kauai

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

However long your dreams take to come true, Cheryl; no matter how prickly, thorny, or bumpy the path; and whether or not you even remember these words, if you stay the course, I can promise you this:


1. They will come true.


2. You'll recall the entire journey with fondness.

 Sure as sugar.


I know you,

  The Universe 

Thoughts become things... choose the good ones! ®

© www.tut.com ® 

Both Roosevelt and Lincoln understood that the life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction, in the life of a nation, is very close to the center of a nation’s purpose—and is a test of the quality of a nation’s civilization . . . art is the great unifying and humanizing experience.

– John F. Kennedy

Art can reflect the diversity of America, our commitment to freedom of expression, our appreciation for the past and our hope for the future.

– David Robert Kamm

Art used as a form of cultural diplomacy is more important now that ever because art can transcend language and cultural barriers and helps us focus on positive and peaceful alliances.

– Maya Freelon Asante

2 Corinthians 9:10–11 (NIV) 10Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

 T.S. Eliot’s Little Gidding, the last of the four quartets

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

Through the unknown, unremembered gate

When the last of earth left to discover

Is that which was the beginning;

At the source of the longest river

The voice of the hidden waterfall

And the children in the apple-tree

Not known, because not looked for

But heard, half-heard, in the stillness

Between two waves of the sea.

Quick now, here, now, always–

A condition of complete simplicity

(Costing not less than everything)

Moving toward a great dream summons from life's jungles the fiercest lions, the scariest tigers, and the grizzliest bears... who eventually turn out to be the noblest teachers, the bravest guides, and the dearest friends?


You're on your way,

   The Universe

"When the years condemn us, age our faces and break our bodies, only the connection and love between us will supports and sustains each other and is evidence of our worth. " Xiang Jing  Read More: 

“Living in a house without art is like living without flowers. It’s not life. I encourage my clients not to just purchase art that’s pretty, or easy to place, but that really makes them think, hopefully forever.”


“Every morning, I pick up a brush and do some work, even just a little bit. Without it, I wouldn’t feel quite alive, or I wouldn’t feel like I should be living without doing some work. You could say it’s a sense of responsibility. It’s the proof that I am alive.” 

-Toko Shinoda (104 years old).

 “Abstract (art) is the most realistic, because what is real is not the exterior but the idea, the essence of things.” 

Constantin Brancusi

"Freedom is not doing everything you want but everything you can within limitations... Your job is to be the most like yourself." Brian Rutenburg


IF you can keep your head when all about you 

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools: 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings 

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,

if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!  

Rudyard Kipling

What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.  John Updike

"When you wake up in the morning, you never know what a day will bring."  Grandma Grace

"Art Is the Place Where You Can Reinvent the World”:

Christine Macel

Edith Schloss once said, “Art is nourishment which is made from the fabric of our daily life but lifts us beyond it to make us see a world bigger than ourselves.” 

"What do best of show paintings have in common? Though there are never any absolutes, the best paintings tend to be very simple compositions that draw you in. They have big shapes, and are not overly busy or cluttered with extraneous details and distractions. One painting I selected did not fit into that description at all — it just worked — but overall, in a sea of paintings, I noticed that simplicity stood out." Eric Rhodes Outdoor Painter

Why do two colors, set next to each other, sing? 

Can anyone really explain this? No. 

Just as one can never teach anyone to draw.

Pablo Picasso

"I’m intensely influenced by color. I look at a color and think how great it is that yellow exists. My front door is the most bright yellow you could imagine — like the yolk of an egg, like a dandelion and the reason behind it is that the brightness of yellow makes me smile. I like to greet people with a smile so my front door is a kind of smile. Yellow is a very gracious, welcoming color for me.


I can’t believe in the intensity of red and the thousands of nuances of red. When I see a bright red car, I’m just happy. For me, color is one of the great joys of my life really.


I like looking at sheep and I love the subtle color of natural wool. Sometimes it’s brown, sometimes it’s white. There is more shadow in the coarser textures."

 Michael Wolf Designer

"If you slow down and closely examine a single work of design, you begin to see. The more elegant the design, the more deceptively easy it appears. Look closely and you find the design. What comes across first is not the design, but the surface, or the look of it—the design lies in the creation of that object. " Gerstner

Worth the read and a very interesting site. http://lubalincenter.cooper.edu/   or http://flatfile.lubalincenter.com/

Lubalin’s elegance lies in his uncanny ability to find clever ways of fitting type into spaces that are quite challenging. Letters have varying proportions, lines are frequently of different lengths, as evident here, but none of this stood in the way of this particular design.

"I am interested in making good work, more than money." Cheryl Johnson

"You have to risk going too far to discover just how far you can really go."  T.S. Eliot