Posts Tagged ‘quote’

color my world…

“Of all God’s gifts to the sight of man, color is the holiest, the most divine, the most solemn.” John Ruskin

To my memory, I grew up in a pretty colorful environment. In  the 1950’s, our  house was turquoise,  and our car was fushia. In our living room – bright lime green chairs and flamingo pink curtains. In the kitchen, colorful Fiestaware dishes. But the experience of color that lit the fire of an artist in me, was watching my mother paint a trio of circus themed paint-by-numbers for my soon-to-be baby brother’s nursery. I watched at her elbow daily as the paintings took shape, mesmerized by the tiny color- filled paint pots, the smell of turpentine, and the magic as she placed one color next to the other until forms took shape as a giraffe,  an elephant, a circus pony. It was nothing short of magic to eye of a six year old. I watched till the very last brush stroke was placed ever so perfectly on the end of the giraffe’s tongue  – a tiny dot of  shiny white. My mother was a genius! I wanted to do that someday too, and as time passed, I did that and much more.

Fast forward to me an artist in 1972,  a new mom, setting up my soon-to-be son’s nursery, hanging that sweet and colorful memory on his wall. I still own that treasured set of paint-by-numbers, and they have photographs taped to back of them.  One of my mother proudly propping up her new son in his blue polka dot diapers with the circus paintings on the wall behind them and another, me with my new baby boy, and  the same set hanging behind us.

Now, it’s 2013 and that set  of paint-by-numbers hang in my Texas studio as a constant reminder of  how color can in fact, be the greatest gift to the sight of man, and a nod to my mother, for raising me in such a colorful, joyful environment.

There is a Hindu festival called Holi, during which crowds of celebrants hurl colored powders at each other in commemoration of Krishna’s pranks. It’s a frenzied scene of crowds with whirls of color and the faces of people covered in hot pink, yellow,  and orange. So as solemn and holy as John Ruskin’s comment on God’s gift of color is, I prefer the Holi celebration where worship is a loud and joyful festival of color. But he is most certainly correct on the divine part.

May you live in a world of  joyful color.

sit loosely

Posted in explore, journey, ponder, travelComments Off on sit loosely

There is a wonderful neighborhood at the edge of downtown Reno on Wells Street, that has a huge Hispanic centric street fair each year. My favorite part of the event is the magnificent march of the caballeros in their full equestrian Spanish regalia. Their outfits are only rivaled by the horses’ saddles and bridles. They are precision riders on equally precision trained horseflesh. I admire the history behind this group and the discipline it takes to keep their story alive. Our personal stories may not be so glorious, but they  can be enriched by having the courage to adventure into the unknown or unfamiliar now and then. Have an adventure – sit loosely in that saddle of life and take a ride down an unfamiliar trail. Let me know where you end up.

” Sit loosely in the saddle of life.”

(photo by Catherine Massaro)

now & then…or then & now?

Posted in family, memory, nature, notice, ponder, time, Uncategorized1 Comment

I like to say that art is all about noticing things, making connections. I haunt antique malls for this purpose. It’s sort of creepy to some people, the idea of going through other people’s things. Voyeuristic I suppose, creeping around the edges of others’ lives by virtue of the things they left behind. Still, I am unapologetic about my habit, and find it an irresistable pastime.

It’s the same attraction I have to clotheslines. Clotheslines connect me to the past while grounding me to the present. When I hang clothes, sheets, towels on a clothesline, I’m my mom, my grandmother, and countless women who came before me doing this mundane chore. I’m a child again, and a grown up too. I’m a pioneer woman and a modern day version of same. I never, ever cease to enjoy the activity. I can experience how the sun connects us all, and  the basic things we all have in common, just from the simple act of hanging wet clothes on a clothesline.

And that’s not even the best part, as you all know. The best part is burying your face in that dry, sweet, sunshine infused laundry. There is an old Zen saying:  

After ecstasy, the laundry.

I think about this saying whenever I’m taking warm laundry off the line, and have to laugh to myself … because I’ve got it reversed—After the laundry comes my ecstasy.

( photo detail of LONG LIVE THE SUN, canvas collage by Catherine Massaro)


Long Live The Sun


Once Upon a Time…

Posted in beginnings, journey, memory, nature, notice, ponder, time5 Comments

A most beautiful excerpt from my favorite new book, “When Women Were Birds” by Terry Tempest Williams.

“Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.”

( canvas collage by CATHERINE MASSARO, “Bird on the Wire”)

through the pines

Posted in nature, ponder, religion, timeComments Off on through the pines

” Nature is PAINTING for us, day after day, pictures of infinite BEAUTY.”

John Ruskin