“One eye looks within, the other eye looks without.”
Window in the Duomo in Orvieto, Italy.
The panes in this equisite window are very thin slices of alabaster. They allow a sacred glow into the sanctuary of the Duomo.
“The artist must train not only his eye, but also his soul.”
My recent concentration in the studio has been a consideration of what I’m choosing to call “Looking in, Looking out.” Robert Genn recently wrote in one of his twice weekly “letters” that his life as an artist is something akin to the monastic life. He wrote: “Art reaffirms life and is in harmony with many universal principles. Perhaps the studio is even greater than the nunnery or the monastery….To be in touch with creativity on a daily, even hourly, basis may just happen to edge you closer to divinity. If our universe is indeed a creation, then perhaps we need to be on that wavelength. Pushing paint is a high calling. To do it well you need humility. You need to walk the walk. You need a well-regulated, simple life so that you might become both servant and student.”
Being the introspective type, I’ve encountered much of that “monastic life:” solitude, soul searching, and simplicity in my cluttered studio, but lately I’m feeling the need to look out also. If the greatest commandment is to love God, and the second is to love others (Mark 12:30-31), my question is, am I loving others when I work in the studio alone? Am I “looking out” enough? Creating images is a task I consider to be an act of love and worship. It is indeed a high calling. But the personal touching of “others” is calling me. I’m choosing windows and maybe doors as metaphors for “looking in and looking out.” As I physically and spiritually “look,” I’m also metaphorically attempting it with paint and paper and glue and a variety of other embellishments.
San Gemini Window
“Above all, be patient. One looks, looks long,
and the world comes in.”( Joseph Campbell)
I’m looking long, prayerfully and meditatively, both inwardly and outwardly and I’m seeing more.