Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Love Alive in Art: Sparks of Genius in the Marriage of Science and Art

Ana's Thought: "Art Quenches the thirst for knowledge of the unknown."

On 6 August, the latest blossom in the worldwide Love & Peace Campaign will be unveiled, making its debut at Singapore's ArtScience Museum. This remarkable institution explores the many intersections of two realms often viewed as utter opposites. As history proves, such could not be further from the truth!

For centuries, scientific progress has strengthened artistic technique, just as art has enabled science to speak beyond tangles of data. When science and art converge, the results are illuminating. Their dance of discovery, with interweaving steps of trial, error, and success, brings enlightenment to the world's culture.

Those who doubt the connected nature of science and art need not look further than the fantastic work of Leonardo da Vinci. A man whose curiosity with the ways of the universe saw no limits, da Vinci poured his heart into both fields completely. His thirst for learning was beyond compare, with countless paintings, sketches, designs, inventions, and compositions in his legacy. Da Vinci's inquisitive mind and incredible skill made him a master of his day and a legend to all time. Equal parts scientist and artist, his passion defied the limitations of categorization.

The name Galileo is emblazoned in history's shining halls, a guiding light in the pursuit of wisdom. He was famed for revelations in astronomy, mathematics, and physics, a noble scholar who stood with firm conviction beside his beliefs. Though he is held in a place of reverence for his role in the growth of science, art was a notable player in his story: Galileo was a student of fine art, eventually coming to serve as an instructor at Florence's famed Accademia delle Arti del Disegno. His studies of the moon were a point of inspiration for the painter Cigoli, who became a close friend. Galileo's appreciation of both aesthetics and logic capture art and science in harmonious balance, not at odds.

Our modern era is brought to life by sparks of genius born of the marriage of science and art. My own work could never reach across the vastness of the globe without both working in tandem. Technology is what allows my Love & Peace poppies to show their bright faces to the world. Technical skill and careful craft transformed them from scale models in clay to immense flowers in glistening fiberglass and bronze. Science is the secret to what strengthens them before nature's elements and lets them shine. It is the force that allows the sculptures' message to be shared, as images of their joyous forms are instantly transmitted across borders and into welcoming hearts.

When science and art collide, a sea of possibilities opens before us. To uncover such wonders, you must become a creative adventurer. Be dedicated and curious. Let your imagination be your compass and, courage, your constant companion!

Love Alive in Art: Creative Love in Our DNA

Ana's Thought: "Artist - stop searching for perfection. Creativity is a natural gift."

Before I knew a career in art was waiting in my future, I could feel that it was my calling. The urge to create was a latent gift in my heart, remaining unopened until the perfect moment. When I first began to paint, it was before no audience but myself. It was my private sanctuary, a place for me to grow before reaching out to the world.

Detail from Ana Tzarev's Merchant Ship Arrives.

Little did I know that, at this same moment, my sister also answered the creative call growing louder within her own heart. Before this time, our desire to paint was unspoken. We pursued the goals of education, love, and family - I lived all around the world, she remained in our home country of Croatia. In a single, precious instant, we discovered our shared destiny. Our divergent lives led to divergent styles, as distinct as can be: my work glistening with joyous flowers and cultures of the globe while hers swirled with heady seascapes and expressive portraits. Today, we can proudly stand to offer our visions to the world. We are sisters bound by the art pulsing through our lineage and casting colour into our DNA: Ana Tzarev and Milijada Barada, painters of emotion and of life.

Detail from Milijada Barada's Jedrenjak po uzburkanom More.

Milijada and I are part of a grand tradition, a familiar tale. As we gaze upon records of art history, we find that this phenomenon - the drive to create being coded into sisters, brothers, fathers, and mothers - is more common than one would imagine! In the Renaissance and Baroque periods, art families were scattered over Europe, as 'artist' was viewed as a trade like any other. One of the more famous among these families, the Brueghel clan, spanned four generations.

Detail of floral work by Jan Brueghel the Elder and The Corn Harvest by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

Starting with patriarch Pieter Bruegel the Elder, this Flemish family found success not only through serious dedication and training but also through their inherent aptitude for painting. If we are to look upon this family's body of work as a whole, our eyes fill with gorgeousness: bright flower arrangements, lush landscapes, skillfully rendered scenes from myth and reality. Their gift is one to be savored for all time.

Detail from Octave Tassaert's The Temptation of St. Hilarion.

From the mid 15th century to the early 17th century, the Tassaert family was a strong presence in the realm of visual arts. Among the numerous relatives who made their careers as artists, we find painters, sculptors, engravers, and miniaturists, providing the world with decades of elegant beauty. To find such adeptness in bloom along the branches of a single family tree, we muse, "It simply must run in their blood!"

How glad I am that my sister and I did not ignore that call within so long ago - without taking a leap of faith, the gift in our DNA would never be opened and shared with others. I encourage you to listen close to the longing in your soul, the gentle song of destiny that guides each of our paths. You will be amazed at where your abilities can take you - even into history!

To learn more about the art of Ana Tzarev, visit www.anatzarev.com
To learn more about the art of Milijada Barada, visit www.milijadabarada.com

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Love Alive in Art: A Love Affair With Creation

Ana's Thought: "To create Great Art, you must give it your Heart, Body, and Spirit, and all the love you have."
What compels the painter to rise each day and, in her diligence, chase after a feeling? What deep forces shift within the heart of a composer, stirring hidden symphonies waiting to be born? After a brilliant work is finished and praise from others given, why does the creative heart wipe its slate clean and begin again?
It is not the promise of reward that stimulates true artists - no accolade could sate the hunger that sends them back to work. For an artist, there is no urge greater than the desire to create, for it is the energy that lights them up from within. The love of creation is the purest adoration they can offer.

Detail from Ana Tzarev's Queen Lili'uokalani's Quilt.

As I have traveled the world and taken in the sights of so many magnificent lands, I have observed how important the love of creation is to each culture. ln Hawaii, for example, weaving is an intricate and unique art all its own. The love of creating present in this place is both practical and celebratory: from the beauty of woven flowers leis that adorn the island people to the strength of the handcrafted fishing nets that sustain them, this skill has been honed by generations and practiced with joy. Life and art cannot be kept apart from one another - they are braided together in the traditions of Hawaii.

Renaissance self-portraits of artists at work: Sofonisba Anguissola and Joachim Wtewael.

During the Renaissance, there was a flourishing of artists who made their livelihood from their craft. Among the countless portraits they made, steeped in rich hue and detail, history holds a special collection of studies: the self-portrait. Just as royals were painted with their regalia, so were artists shown with the materials that defined them - palettes, brushes, and canvases. ln finessing their work, they provided us with a glimpse into their truest selves. They are remembered for their masterpieces, but the self-portrait of an artist at work allows us to see the life behind their fabled names. They have frozen themselves within a moment, proudly sharing with all time their love of creating.

Detail from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

High above the sea of pews that fill the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's masterpiece shines as radiantly as the day it was completed. Among the most famous paintings in existence is the ceiling's centerpiece, a scene depicting God granting Adam life through the touch of His divine hand. ln that very instant, Man is endowed with endless possibilities to invent, create, and share. lt is the birth of awareness, the opening of a Universe that is still expanding today.
Through passion, devotion, and curiosity, a love of creating is what enables us to reach deep into our greatest potential - bringing us closer to the powers that shaped our world and every blessing that brightens our path. lt is the spark that burns within you and within all mankind. lf you devote your energy to a love of creating, your efforts will not be forgotten - you will take part in a sacred mystery, giving light to the world forever.

Love Alive in Art: An Open Mind, an Open Heart

In this series of articles, international artist Ana Tzarev explores representations of love within art. This article discusses the intersections of art and the love of learning.
Ana's Thought: "Great Art is unlimited in its expression - it is from the infinite bounty of Knowledge and Wisdom."
My whole life has been defined by a tremendous hunger for Knowledge. In my youth, no obstacle could prevent me from pursuing the education I longed for. Dreams of new discoveries, so vibrant and full of promise, danced before my eyes. Without this drive - and without the allure of the unfamiliar to draw me on - I would never have become the artist I am today.
Detail from Ana Tzarev's Serving Lesson.

I have witnessed the passing down of Wisdom in every culture I have studied. My Art of Japan collection features several scenes of geishas and their students sharing sweet treasures of Wisdom, gifts across generations. The love and respect for Knowledge they possess ensures that the grace of such elegant traditions, their divine art, will never fade into the mist of forgetting.
A praise of Knowledge has been woven taut into human existence, found in myths and legends the world over and giving our art its most radiant hues.
Scene from the Ramayana.

For centuries, countless people have turned to the Ramayana for inspiration. This collection of poetic verses, among India's most sacred texts, holds within it an epic tale full of lessons for the spirit and guidance for everyday living. The Knowledge bound in the Ramayana provides for its readers is a beautiful offering, a gem both unique to its culture and worthwhile to all. As its messages resonate over the boundaries of time and nations, it leaves behind a trail of new creation - cinema, sculpture, paintings, and poetry to sustain its legacy.
Sculpture of the goddess Athena.

In Greek tradition, Knowledge is highly revered - philosophy, in fact, translates into love of Wisdom, and a Philomath was what they named lovers of learning! Among the most powerful of Greek deities was Athena, who was known as the goddess of Wisdom, inspiration, and the arts. Her followers were blessed with all they needed to create magnificent works to last through the ages.
Knowledge offers to us unending inspiration - to be truly original, your mind and soul must remain open. But it is motivation that brings Wisdom into our lives! The earth, in her infinite glory, glistens with the promise of rare gems of insight. Those who wait idly to receive them will never know their rich luster. You must be willing to dig for them - through hard work, the treasures of Knowledge will be yours. You possess within all the tools you need to uncover wonders beyond your imagination. With a love of learning to guide you, what kind of treasure will you discover?