let your soul be your guide.

Hello everyone,
I realize that I haven't posted a blog in like what... a month maybe more, but I am here to make it up to you. :)

I have five photos that are my absolute favorite and there are specific reasons for it. The biggest one is that they all speak to my soul. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever seen something that has had such an impact on you that you feel as if it could bring you to your knees? If not you have not lived. To experience life and I mean really experience it you have to let your soul do your talking, you have to let your soul be your guide.

Mona Lisa by Leonarda Da Vinci.

Now look at this picture and I mean really, really look at it. Study it, push everything out of your mind and let you soul think for once. Paintings aren't about logic and they aren't about math, they are about feelings, emotions and most importantly your soul.

What do you feel when you see this picture? The first time I saw this picture was when I was five, my grandma was showing me her old photo album and a black and white printed copy fell out of the book. I stared at this photo for hours, I wouldn't eat or take a nap, I just stared. It is one of those young memory's that stay with you forever. I wanted to understand it, I wanted to understand why someone would like to paint. What was the point? I was thinking with my mind not my heart, it took me hours to realize that there was a point to it, that it speaks to people, that when people look at it they smile because it is their impulse to do so, because it touches there soul so much that they have to smile. I have this that black and white photo in my bookshelf and everyday I stare at it. And everyday I smile.

What do you see in her eyes? Do you see happiness? Do you see pain? I, I see sadness, I don't know whether she was sad but she looks as if she is. I ask myself every time I see this painting why is she smiling if she is sad? I think it is because it is easier to mask pain than to show it, most of the time no one cares. They have other problems to deal with, you have work, kids, a new promotion in which you have to beat out the younger guy or girl. Right. These are our excuses for our everyday mishaps, this is what we tell our kids or friends. "I have work honey we'll go later." or "I can't go I have to take Carry to soccer practice." You are not just subjecting your friends and family you are subjecting your soul and if you read this and say "So what." Well then you still haven't gotten it. What does money matter when we are just going to die. We live a very, very short life to begin with if you waste years of your life doing something you hate then that "so what" is going to become "Where did I go wrong?"

Titus by Rembrandt Van Rijn.

When you look in his eyes what do you see? I see happiness. I see a child's eyes, I see joy and exictiment his smile tells me he is bored from standing for so long because it is slightly tense in the right hand corner. This picture is my favorite of all time, I have a color copy in my first leather bond journal and will get a blown up on day to put on my wall. So every time I see it I will be reminded of my childhood, so I will be reminded of the joy I had constantly in my eyes. This picture reminds me of everything. My childhood, my memories, my happiness, my family, my passions, my loves, everything.

When I first saw this picture, I was googling Rembrandt Van Rijn after reading a book and when I clicked on the blown up portion of it, it literally took the breath out of my lungs. If I wasn't sitting on my bed I would have feel to my knees, It is an amazing feeling and if you have never felt it before than you need to because it is something you will remember for the rest of your life. I stared at it once again for hours searching for something, like I search everything I come across that has a major affect on me. I searched for myself. I didn't find it. But what I did find were my memories. Rembrandt Van Rijn is my favorite artist for one reason, he brings his paintings to life.

When you look in this boys eyes what do you see? You can't tell me that this painting doesn't make you smile, you can't tell me that when you see this boy here with his rosy cheeks and a slightly bored smile you don't remember your childhood, that you don't see anything but a nice photo because this is something much more special than just a nice photo. Do you think I would be spilling my soul out over the internet to total strangers if I didn't think that.

Philosopher in meditation by Rembrandt Van Rijn.

What do you feel when you look at this photo? This photo is a favorite not because it shows the intensity in ones face, not because Rembrandt brought a mare human in a photo to life, showed that behind the eyes was an actual thought process. No, I like this picture because he brought the environment to life, when I look at this photo a sense of ease sweeps over me and I feel as if I am floating. A slow smile spreads across my face because I can feel what Rembrandt felt when he was painting this, I can feel the ease of the philosopher, the warmth of the fire, the glow of the afternoon sun hitting my face and eliminating the small room. I can feel the painting and that is a gift that Rembrandt gave to us, he shared something that is so special because he knew that what he felt when he was painting his paintings or looking at them other people would also feel.

Rembrandt astonished people by the emotion his portraits portrayed and shocked them when he began to use rough strokes instead of smooth. He changed the way people viewed art, though he dead without a penny to his name and his social status dropped from the once great Rembrandt to the crazy Vader he continued to paint as he wanted. Though he sold painting for one guilder rather than the thousands the smooth strokes would have gotten he was stubborn and persistent and because of that he changed my world.

Beatrix by Dante Alighieri.

Though Dante Alighieri was known for his writings he also painted, he is not as famous as Rembrandt or Van Gouh he still has a gift. A gift I wish immensely I possessed. This photo is different from them, it speaks to my soul in a totally different way than the others. Look at this painting and I mean really look at it. What do you see? It's not a trick question, just tell me what you see when you look at this. When I was fourteen I promised myself I would read 'War and Peace' and 'The Divine Comedy'. I ended up getting twenty pages into 'War and Peace' before switching over to 'The Divine Comedy', in there is quote that I have written in my journal "The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." We do this all the time, everyday in fact. Everyday, each one of us do this. The earthquake in Hati I did not give any money to them, I admit that, simply because I had none to give, though if the earthquake had it California and fifty thousand people had died I would want people to give. Yet I didn't give to Hati. Most of us weren't even bothered by it, we continued as we always do, we go to work, take the kids to soccer practice, and go on about our days as if nothing happened. Why? Does anyone really know the answer to that question? This painting reminds me that selfishness is not something to be prided on. It reminds me that I can still help. That it's not too late.

When I look at this painting I see life, I see color and I see love. Beatrix was Dante's virgin, the one he said was an angel sent from god to help his damned soul and in this picture she looks at peace. It gives vibrant colors a peaceful aura which is something truly special.

Pinkie by Sir Thomas Lawrence.

I grew up with a copy of this photo on my mothers bedroom wall. She taught me to look outside the box and showed me things I never would have guessed to look at. For example look at her arm, you can't get a pose like that unless you brake the arm, it is almost as if he painted it from a different view, from the view of the backside and then shoulder, where does it begin? It kind is like a round edge instead of the square shape that shoulders normally have. And then the leg, the girl only has one leg. Look at the black ballet flat, it looks as if it is the left leg from where it is positioned, so where is the right leg is it around the corner and hidden. Then you have the wind, if the wind was blowing why isn't the hat flying off, how come only the straps are moving? And finally the right arm why is it positioned like that, it is a weird place for an arm to be just right in front of everything, it kind of sticks out there.

These flaws, some may call them, are what make this picture special to me. It reminds me of home, every time I would go in my mom's room I would stare at it trying to find new things wrong with it so I could mention them to my mom. I never seemed to tell her anything that she hadn't already known about the picture, but it only served to push me harder. I use to go in there and just stare at them for hours, my favorite part of this painting is the sky. I love the contrast colors, there are five different colors in the sky and it makes me wonder. Has Lawrence ever seen a sky like this in his life time? His paintings are different from others, they separate themselves from the others by there uniqueness just like Rembrandt Van Rijn's do. It is that uniqueness that makes them so special to me.



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