The reason I became an artist was that I am most comfortable communicating my thoughts and feelings visually. However, since I am often asked to explain my art through the written and spoken word, I am sometimes at a loss for how to translate them into something equally meaningful.
We can learn a lot from art
When preparing for my last solo art show, I stumbled across the following poem, “Straight Talk from a Fox” by Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets. The poem was the perfect counterpoint for my fox painting “Dandelion Wishes” which will be part of the juried show and fundraiser “Rescue Me” at transFORM Gallery in New Rochelle from July 9-Sept. 24, 2016.
Here is the poem in full so you can enjoy the beauty of the words.
Straight Talk from a Fox by Mary Oliver
Listen says fox it is music to run
over the hills to lick
dew from the leaves to nose along
the edges of the ponds to smell the fat
ducks in their bright feathers but
far out, safe in their rafts of
sleep. It is like
music to visit the orchard, to find
the vole sucking the sweet of the apple, or the
rabbit with his fast-beating heart. Death itself
is a music. Nobody has ever come close to
writing it down, awake or in a dream. It cannot
be told. It is flesh and bones
changing shape and with good cause, mercy
is a little child beside such an invention. It is
music to wander the black back roads
outside of town no one awake or wondering
if anything miraculous is ever going to
happen, totally dumb to the fact of every
moment’s miracle. Don’t think I haven’t
peeked into windows. I see you in all your seasons
making love, arguing, talking about God
as if he were an idea instead of the grass,
instead of the stars, the rabbit caught
in one good teeth-whacking hit and brought
home to the den. What I am, and I know it, is
responsible, joyful, thankful. I would not
give my life for a thousand of yours.
Circle of life
This poem about the circle of life and the fox’s interpretation of the human condition resonated with me. Maybe it’s because I have long admired the inquisitive mind of the fox and the nocturnal creature’s use of subtlety and cunning. As a smaller carnivore, it can’t compete on brute force alone, and prefers to stay behind the scenes. Plus, foxes are incredibly adaptable animals. This adaptability allows them to be successful in many environments.
|Ebony’s Bath →collect cat art|
If we’re just willing to listen and observe, we can find meaningful life lessons in poems, artwork and other creatures.
- Death is part of life
- Trust your instincts
- Love unconditionally
- Be mindful of every moment
- Take naps
You’re Invited: Rescue Me
The Rescue Me event at transFORM Gallery, where my fox painting Dandelion Wishes along with several of my other animal art paintings will be displayed, benefits the Humane Society of Westchester.
The show will be on display through Sept. 24, 2016, and features artwork that is animal themed in nature in an effort to raise awareness for the compassionate care and treatment of animals.
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In Case We Haven’t Met Yet…
My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I’m not working on art in my studio, you’ll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net
What life lessons have you learned from animals?