Keeping Thyme with Mozart


With this newfound understanding, I immediately turned to Herr Mozart and his Little Serenade to energize me with its uplifting tempos and remind me of my love of adventure and all the courage it took for me to make the trip

Winter Lessons from Vivaldi


I felt as though I were in the midst of the Blizzard of ’76 stuck outside in the ice and cold as the snow poured from the sky,

Capturing Nature’s Art


Recently, I had the pleasure and the privilege of being able to join some friends on a scenic, meandering drive along Maine’s coast, among tiny, hidden coves, past endless acres of pasture draped over the earth like Sir Walter Raleigh’s velvet cape over a puddle, the ocean lapping against the verdant fringe. During the drive, I noticed an interesting phenomenon. The further along our drive we went – and the further away from centers of activity – the quieter and more introspective we became. The excited chatter of friends catching-up gave way to silence laced with internal expressions of awe that couldn’t be contained.

The Golden Thread: Five Artists. Five Approaches. One Goal.


In my last post, I stated that this year I would write about the discoveries I made, the lessons I learned from the artist whose birthday fell on the date of the post. As February did not see a posting, I decided to look collectively at the artists who would have had their own, separate posting to find a commonality, a creative thread binding random strangers through the ages. …

New Year, New Possibilities: Through the Eyes of Kees van Dongen


Change is hard for those who are comfortable in their surroundings, for those who have closed their eyes to their gradually decaying environment in an effort to preserve the familiar and the security that familiarity brings. Change creates fear at the realization that one cannot stop the change, therefore the loss of one’s safe, familiar haven. With this fear comes criticism and obstinacy, a lashing out at those leading the charge for change. …

Patience and Persistance: Revisited


While looking for the quote to accompany this post, I encountered innumerable quotes about how life is not worth living in the face of repetition; that there is something inherently wrong with repeating a task, a statement, theme; that repetition in art is a sign of stagnation and a lack of talent. I beg to differ.

Local Treasures


 Local Treasures By Cathleen Elise Rossiter  “The home should be the treasure chest of living.” – Le Corbusier – I once had a friend who moved to another part of the country when she married. As her husband was in the military, therefore away from home for long stretches, she had frequent visits from family…

Presenting Reality


Sitting at my table by the window on this hot, summer day, I glance up and catch the alluring stare from across the room. Perfectly tanned, well-dressed, oozing charisma – …

Wishing Revisited: Same Message, Different Voice


My last post dealt with the concept of wishing; how easily it can take over our lives if we let it, stopping us from actually doing what is necessary to make our wishes reality, as I had been doing with my garden – wishing it were neat and trim while watching it grow out of control.

The story I relayed about The Girl Who was Quite Fond of Wishing is the story of me in grammar school. The revelation that I was wishing my life away came upon me suddenly,…

Wishing It Were So


This week, while finally trimming the verge after weeks of wishing the garden were not so overgrown, the song “Wishin’ and Hopin'” sung by Dionne Warwick kept running through my head as well as the painting of the little girl gathering flowers by Jessie Wilcox Smith (above). The following fable with its corresponding lessons is the result of my latest encounters with art.

The Little Girl Who was Quite Fond of Wishing

The Fine Art of Blooming


As spring marches steadily toward the moment when she hands over her mantle to summer, my garden persistently puts forth waves of blooms from the daffodils in April to the rhododendron, lilac, and apple in May, and the peony and iris in June. Some blooms are brand new; others at their peak, while still others rapidly fade. …

Artistic Remembrances


Artistic Remembrances By Cathleen Elise Rossiter View of Tantallon Castle and the Bass Rock by Alexander Nasmyth, NGS   “Now are the woods all black, but still the sky is blue.  May you always see a blue sky overhead, my young friend; and then, even when the time comes, which is coming now for me,…

Four Lessons I Learned from Antonio Vivaldi: Spring’s Fourth Lesson


This fourth time around with the spring season in musical form, I find a wave of sadness wash over me, for it means the final installment in our four-part series. These frequent visits with a now dear friend have become a source of joy and comfort in the midst of a busy week. For in order for me to learn something new from each visit with a work of art, …, I must sit with the piece for a while.

One would think that a constant repetition of a single piece of music would eventually make one sick of the music. Well, when viewed in the light of developing a friendship with the music, I ask you, “Does one ever tire of spending time with one’s true friend – the one who knows you inside and out and who has been there for you in all of the lovely and messy moments that make up your life?

Four Lessons I learned from Antonio Vivaldi: Spring’s First Lesson


With spring upon us, I thought it fitting that I explore what Antonio Vivaldi has to say to me through the first concerto of his Four Seasons, Spring …
Signor Vivaldi, I have learned, embodies the theme of Art Life Connection in that his music, particularly The Four Seasons, was inspired by the landscape paintings (the creative expressions of) Marco Ricci, a contemporary artist of Signor Vivaldi – in fact they both appear to have lived in Venice around the same time. Signor Ricci’s landscapes created a desire in Signor Vivaldi to replicate the scenes on the canvas in musical form. Art imitating life as imitated through the art of another – a beautiful cycle of creation.

When It Comes to Our Artistic Judgements, We’re All Freshmen


In the realm of the creative endeavors of others, our cocoons-of-the-moment wrap themselves around us readily, and often, without notice. We become so caught up in our interior universes, which we rule with the withering authority and dry wit of the Dowager Countess of Grantham, seeing all from the lofty heights upon which Superiority perches. We echo the sentiments of Clark Kellogg when faced with art that challenges us, our way of thinking, our superiority, our surety in life-as-we-know-it, “I don’t want to go to Palermo Sicily!”…

Art Inspiring Artists: A Literary Idea


Of the great artists of the world, the community of the uninitiated would immediately bring to mind names of artists or works of art from countries such as France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. Some slightly more initiated may recall the names of artists from North or South America and England. The one country that surprises in its abundance of truly great artists, lush with talent, skill, and influence, is Ireland.

People generally remember Ireland for her wealth of literary geniuses…

Facing Facts About Art I Don’t Like


In my journey to discovering the art that I enjoy – art that has something to say to me about my life, life in general, mankind, or what-have-you – I invariably encounter art that has the opposite effect on me. Not being one blessed with an effective Poker Face, my impression of the art in front of me is quite clear by my expression. Although I always try to be diplomatic (“my Mamma taught me right,” as my friend Nancy always says), the writer in me who simply must describe the precise reason or reasons why the art repulses me too often wins out – to the chagrin of those in my party (“Who’s she? Is she with you? NOT ME!”).

My high-mindedness regarding art began in grammar school…

Fried? Scrambled? Baked?: What Julia Roberts Taught Me About Art


In many ways, art can be intimidating. I remember my first visit to an official museum (as an eight-year-old, the various living history museums we regularly visited were too much fun to be seen as a museum to which sophisticated adults went)….The overriding feeling of that day, for me, is one of being swallowed by greatness, beauty, and the souls of the people who created everything around me. I could not tell you the specifics of which pieces were my favorites, although I do remember…

Balancing Act: Balancing Your Individual Identity While Developing a Relationship


Each of us struggles to find our way in the world, to get to know who we are at our core. Some struggle harder than others to unearth the treasure of our Me, the treasure of our true self that we seem so afraid to display. Oftentimes it is easier to become what others say we should be because experience has shown us that others cannot be trusted to value our treasure properly. So, we never take it out, we bury it under someone else’s vision of who we are.

Making the First Move: Stepping Out on Unsure Footing


Lately, I have been binge-watching Hallmark movies. Invariably, one of the main characters responds, “It’s complicated” when questioned about his or her reasons for either not expressing his or her feelings towards the other main character or for not clearing up a misunderstanding that is damaging the relationship.

Sometimes, it seems to me as though the human race is inherently a race of Drama Queens. We seem incapable

Under One’s Nose


In this month dedicated to declaring affection to those we love, our awareness of and focus on initiating new relationships is heightened. This brings to mind a lesson I learned early on when I was getting the hang of relationships. Today, I leave you with the words I told myself after losing a friend in high school as my wish for you in the year ahead. May you, too, discover that the best relationship you’ll ever have is right under your nose.

Beautiful Imperfections


“Perhaps, that is the way of friends, to love one another for their imperfections, not despite them.”
― Scott Wilbanks, The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster

Upcoming Exhibits Not to Miss


With the New Year in full swing, I have set the goal for Art Life Connection this year to be more informative regarding the opportunities available to me and Art Life Connection readers to experience more art – more of the art we love as well as to expand our exposure and discover more, to…

New Year’s Gratitude


Planning, for me, is an exercise in hope and possibility which always leads to gratitude. Unleashing the possibilities in front of me … through the process of making a plan and it’s accompanying list of things to do to achieve it … helps me to weed out the real from the unreal, the plausible from the unattainable. …

As I see the universe of possibility laid at my feet, I recall all the reasons I have to be grateful. My gratitude begins as a babbling brook with family, friends, basic necessities. Following each related reason for gratitude, my babbling brook becomes a river …

Time Away


to eat breakfast in my car on the way into the office and that I ate my lunch and dinner at my desk.

“When do you breathe?”, he inquired. “Surely you have the time to take a break, to clear your mind and refresh yourself by connecting with your co-workers over lunch? Surely you are not chained to your desk?”

I admit, his question had me stumped. No, I was not actually chained to my desk. I had the freedom to come and go as I pleased. There was nothing physically restraining me in my chair. I finally answered,

What Not to Miss: A Guide to Awesome Exhibits Around the World


I recently received an e-mail from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston reminding me of the Dutch Masters exhibit that will be ending in January, reminding me not to miss it so I thought I would take this time to make you aware of exhibits of note around the world that would be a…

Gratefulness


Today I do not write to you with insights profound or otherwise,  nor with words of wisdom. Rather, today I write to express my gratitude to everyone who has taken the time to read Art Life Connection. Thank you to those who have made the extra effort to comment on what you have read, and…

School Days: Inspiring Greatness


School Days: Inspiring Greatness By Cathleen Elise Rossiter   “Everybody we meet has an influence on us and an impact – good or bad. And I think that’s why we have to be careful with the way we handle people because what we’re doing is making an impact. Ernie Harwell In Cambridge, MA in the…

School Days: Bringing it Home


Still, the impression that seeing these masterpieces in the flesh as it were was a formative experience for my life, one upon which I continue to draw inspiration. In honor of this opportunity that I had, Today’s post is all about bringing your attention to programs dedicated to bringing art, in all its forms, to schoolchildren.

School Days: Making the Most of It


We all take different paths to the thresholds of our life’s work, our calling. Consequently, some arrive later than others do. Coincidentally, the paths we take teach us precisely what we need to know in order to recognize and fully accept our calling as well as what to do with it once it’s ours


Although the opportunity to have a basic education is de rigueur for many people around the world, so many others have difficult struggles to obtain a fraction of a fraction of what we take for granted.

By the Seaside – Learning to Treasure


By the Seaside: Learning to Treasure By Cathleen Elise Rossiter Across the narrow beach we flit, One little sand-piper and I; And fast I gather, bit by bit, The scattered drift-wood, bleached and dry, The wild waves reach their hands for it, The wild wind raves, the tide runs high, As up and down the…

By the Seaside: Discovery


Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Bobby’s hand inch its way towards the ceiling. Calling on Bobby for his question, he asked in all earnesty, “What’s an imagination?”

By the Seaside: Focus


“There was a single blue line of crayon drawn across every wall in the house. What does it mean? I asked. A pirate needs the sight of the sea, he said and then he pulled his eye patch down and turned and sailed away.”  ― Brian Andreas, Story People: Selected Stories & Drawings of Brian Andreas I…

By the Seaside: Persistance


By the Seaside: Persistence by Cathleen Elise Rossiter “There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” Sarah Kay Persistence – that life-saving  quality of all who succeed, that life-changing quality of which so many feel the lack even in the…

Transforming the Girl in the Mirror


My image of myself has always been inextricably linked to my hair on so many levels. Even at my most confident and fearless moments, somewhere under the surface lurk the echoing voices of my schoolroom peers as they try to drag me down and pierce the armor of my faith in my abilities and my ever-present trust in the goodness of humanity. It wasn’t until the other day, sitting in the stylist’s chair, mesmerized by the physical transformation, the tangible interior change of the woman in the mirror from

Capturing the Soul: Landscapes and Portraits of Matthew Richards


…perhaps because photography has such an immediateness about it, regardless, I love portraits made with a camera. I love the chance of catching that unguarded moment that captures the soul of the subject, a moment that the paint brush or chisel does not afford.

As I was perusing WordPress the other day, I came across a photographer who has an innate sense of the soul of his subjects and the skill to preserve that essence on film.

Consolation


Consolation By Cathleen Elise Rossiter “I took that smile and I put it right where the hole in my chest was. It was better than coffee, or chocolate, or a perfect pirouette. I clutched it and held it tight.” ― Cecil Castellucci, Rose Sees Red Consolation is a quirky thing. Well, perhaps more correctly, it…

Alighting


Finding your calling in life is oftentimes a painful, drawn-out process. Even when you discover the What, the How, Why, Where, and When may remain elusive. Sometimes we feel guilty for the gift of knowing our What, so we fret over whether we have made the right decision,

Snaking Our Way through Life: Laying Our Journey One Stone at a Time


The work of Andy Goldsworthy has fascinated me since I was first introduced to his work through my local PBS station and his documentary, Rivers and Tides. Lately, his works have been on my mind as my life takes unexpected turns, leaving many unanswered questions in its wake.

I am reminded of late of Mr. Goldsworthy’s sculpture The Walking Wall snaking its way through and around the grounds ofAndy Goldsworthy – The Walking Wall the Storm King Sculpture Park. Oftentimes the wall’s path seems illogical and a waste of effort.

Delicate Balance: Life through the Eyes of Alexander Calder


Delicate Balance: Life through the Eyes of Alexander Calder by Cathleen Elise Rossiter Outside my office window a soft, yet purposeful late spring breeze blows, making forays into official wind-like territory.  As the leaves flutter and rustle in the sunshine, with the sound of neighborhood birds holding lively conversation perched atop all and sundry branches…

Golden Deluge


Golden Deluge by Cathleen Elise Rossiter This morning, as I was putting books away in my bedroom bookcase, I came upon one of my favorite paintings. My friend, Michele Rousseau, an artist whom I met in Monaco ten years ago this August, sent me a handcrafted card with an original, small-scale version of the painting…

Clarity Through Delay: Part Two


Clarity Through Delay: Part Two by Cathleen Elise Rossiter Delay is thought of as a bad thing by a great many in today’s society. We are trained carefully from an early age to “Act NOW!” because “Time is running out!” and if we do not make our move in this “Limited Time Only!” we will…

Clarity Through Delay: Part One


This past December, I went to two major exhibitions here in the Boston, MA area – Alexander Caulder at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA and Fransisco Goya at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. My intent was to attend these exhibits, pick a piece that speaks to me, then write about what I learned. I was not prepared for what happened next.

Taming My Inner Higgins


Taming My Inner Higgins by Cathleen Elise Rossiter Stalwart, upright, honorable. All of these are admirable qualities possessed by Jonathan Quayle Higgins, III, the fictional majordomo of the Hawaii estate of the also fictional Robin Masters in the 1980’s television show Magnum, P.I. (which I have been marathon watching shamelessly of late). Higgins, as he is affectionately known…

Masquerading Normality


Masquerading Normality By Cathleen Elise Rossiter Last night I went to see a movie. During the pre-previews (do not get me started), there was a commercial (again, do not get me started) for the Mini Cooper. Mini’s tagline stated, “Normal can never be amazing”, going further to ask, “Why would anyone want to be normal?”…

THANK YOU


Good Evening, Everyone. Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments, your faithfulness, and your patience. In spite of the fact that I have had to take some time away from Art Life Connection, you continue to visit, read, and share your thoughts and encouragement. I truly appreciate it. My goal is to be…

As You Requested – My Contact Information


I have been reading through your comments (thank you so much) and have had requests for the location of my contact information. My information is located  in the footer bar below the postings. For your reference, I have included it here – Twitter: @cathleenelise E-Mail: CathleenEliseRossiter@gmail.com Thank you, again for all of your support and…

Responses to Your Technical Questions


Good Morning, Everyone! I am reading through the hundreds of comments you have left for me (thank you!) and am encountering a considerable number of questions regarding technical matters. I will attempt to answer them below. If you have any further technical questions, please e-mail me at cathleeneliserossiter@gmail.com since I am unable to reply to individual comments or…

Just a Note


Good Afternoon, Everyone; Just to keep you updated, I have added an RSS feed to the site and a print option to each post. Please let me know if these are working properly on your end. Also, I have received requests to use my posts in your reports and projects. I am happy to allow you…

Just Popping In


Good Evening, Everyone. I am just popping in and saying, “Thank you,” to everyone who has taken the time to let me know how much you love the blog. Just within the past few days nearly seventy readers have commented. Wow! I hope to have a post within a day or so. Thank you also…

A Word of Thanks


Thank you to everyone who has commented (Esubio Lubawy, Electric Scooters, Margaret) and to those of you who have linked to me in your own blogs (Ann Stanley and CreateWhatYouWant). As the current year comes to a close, it is a wonderful feeling to know my efforts have not been in vain. Most Sincerely, Cathleen…

I Am Grateful for the Rain


I Am Grateful for the Rain By Cathleen Elise Rossiter The other day a dear friend of mine from Monaco sent me a Petite Anthologie de la Poesie Francaise. As it happens, I fell in love with the first poem to which I opened (the translation is my own, so be kind to a novice). Il Pleure Dans Mon Coeur Par Paul Verlaine Il pleure dans mon coeur Comme il pleut sur la ville; Quelle est cette langueur Qui penetre mon cœur ? O bruit doux…

Elevating Surroundings


Elevating Surroundings By Cathleen Elise Rossiter The other day I came across a painting my brother, David, had done entitled The Vinegar Cruet. I have always loved this painting yet never took the time to  ponder why. Well, the other day the “why?” struck me. David paints obscure, unseen, oftentimes neglected, everyday objects or scenes. He…

Sculpting Veils


Sculpting Veils By Cathleen Elise Rossiter Isn’t it fascinating the lengths one goes to in order to hide from that which is most desired – personal connectedness with other Human Beings? Lately, everywhere I look, in real life or otherwise, I have been bombarded with scenes of people engaged in the art of carefully, skillfully…

Ripples and Consequences


Ripples and Consequences by Cathleen E. Rossiter Ripples. What immediately comes to mind when you hear that word? For most people, the classic image of a pebble being thrown into the water with the resulting peaceful waves emanating immediately from the circular imprint of the sunken stone is what the mind sees. For me, the…

Connecting


Connecting by Cathleen Elise Rossiter How many times have you heard the saying about art imitating life? How many times have you promptly gone on with your day thinking nothing more about it? Well, one day I was watching a movie that gave me so much to think about in so many directions that the…