Monday, May 9, 2011

A Celebratory Toast To The Expression of the Soul

"Portrait sans nom" by Mathilde Gatinois, 2011.  Personal collection of Elizabeth Hellstern, on display at Simply Delicious, 408 E. Route 66, throughout May.
  In August, I resolved to "attend or participate in a cultural happening once a week throughout the semester, and write about my musings every Monday on this blog."
  Guess what peeps?  It's finals week.  Students are running around with coffees in their hand, in a surreal party/studying all-nighter daze.

  That means it's also the last week of my school year resolution.

  I'm taking the summer off.  Literally.  I won't be in Flagstaff, and I won't be at work.  I'll be outside.  I'll still be attending cultural events, but preferably ones in outdoor amphitheaters (and probably not blogging until September.)

  Maybe it's the end of the year, but I'm feeling reminiscent and nostalgic about marking the end of many projects and stages this year.  I went to a lot of cultural events.  I wrote about half of them.  I'm a better listener and a better see-er, and I know how to calm myself down with music and visuals.  I also know that music, art, film and theatre mean a lot to my sense of self.  By giving me so much breadth of experience, they have helped me recognize my own style. 

  I also enjoy looking at my art friend's progress of their own personal style.  As a case in point, and a nice conjuncture within my own personal life, I'd like to leave you with two paintings by Mathilde Gatinois, a local artist and friend.  (Mathilde has a show at Simply Delicious, 408 E. Route 66, throughout May.)  When I had more time, I used to model for Mathilde.  The painting of me at the bottom of the page was done in 2007.  This year, I bought one of Mathilde's painting that she did with a different model (see above.)  The two paintings have the same style--the dreamy eyes and the ethereal faces, but clearly show different phases.  They are both lovely.  They are both expressions of Mathilde's style.

  I do think, though, that the older one is softer, more internal, and the newer one is a more dramatic expression of emotion.

  Looking at these paintings makes me sentimental about Mathilde's talent.  I love how she expresses herself on canvas.  I also know that it's not always easy for her to do so--when I modeled for her, she would voice her frustration with the process and the product.  And having one of her pieces reminds me of the effort of the creative process, and the beauty that can be achieved by such effort.

   It's a good reminder as a metaphor for life.  Even those that may not be artists have creative endeavors that take a lot of effort to express. Believe me, it's worth it!

  I propose a virtual toast to all the artists, musicians, filmmakers and speakers that I saw and heard this year!  Here's to appreciating the past, appreciating the present, and looking forward to as much and more in the future. The expression of the soul is a continuous process, and one that has no quantitative value, but a very real place that gets embedded in another's heart.  Thanks for enriching my life in so many ways!!

"Blue Belle" by Mathilde Gatinois, 2007. Personal collection of Susan Magaziner.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Elizabeth...I love Mathildes is amazing. Haunting....lovely.