Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Feature: The Bloomsbury Group

Members of the Bloomsbury Group
Including Lytton Strachey, Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell

Virginia Woolf, Lytton Stracheny, Duncan Grant, Dora Charrington, Roger Fry and Vanessa Bell were a few of the artists in what is now called the Bloomsbury Group.  It was a loosely defined group united by friendships, the occasional dinner party, artistic style, and liberated feminist ideals.

George Edward Moore's book Principia Ethica greatly influenced the philosophical musings of this group.  It focused on the idea that "good" is not a trait that can be rigidly defined but rather is formulated by the "intrinsic" gut feeling of an individual.  Moore wrote, "all moral laws are merely statements that certain kinds of actions will have good effects" meaning that an action in itself is not good or bad therefore morality should not be based on rules of conduct.  For example many of the Bloomsbury group questioned the moral judgement held in much of British culture during that time  that homosexuality was a sin.  They renounced ethics that were based solely on past societal structure and not on the rights of the individual.  Taking it one step further many of the Bloomsbury group members also questioned the idea of traditional monogamous marriage.  Several of them practiced polyamory maintaining relationships with multiple consensual partners.  This notion of redefining morality and where the line can be drawn between good and bad ethics is as fascinating today as it was a hundred years ago during the heyday of the Bloomsbury Group. 

Living Room at the Charleson House

Anyway... back to art.  One of the many places on my bucket list to visit is the Charleson House in England.  It was the home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant two members of the Bloomsbury Group.  Littered with murals and art the Charleson House is a unique example of an English country home.

The prime objects in life are love,
the creation and enjoyment of aesthetic experience
and the pursuit of knowledge.
-G. E. Moore

Virginia Woolf Painting by Roger Fry

"Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?  No, no, no not I."
-Edward Albee

Dora Carrington

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I am a Rock

Copyright 2012 Addie Hirschten
Oil on Canvas
18" x 24"
Prints available on Fine Art America

I don't want to be another wave in the ocean
I am a rock not just another great accent
I want to be the one you turn to when you need a shoulder
-Bon Jovi, Because We Can

All kinds of marvelous things go on,
I don't see how anyone who has looked, and seen,
can do ought but say,
'where I stand, wherever I stand, I am on holy ground.'
-John Wood

Monday, May 27, 2013

Nothing Gold Can Stay

My Grandfather's Roses in bloom once again

The other day I had one of those scary moments when I thought "Shit, I am going to loose it... this thing I love it is going to be gone, and there is nothing I can do about it."  It was an irrational fear- the kind that happens only when I am feeling insecure and want to nail down everything that I love tight to my chest where I know it is safe.  I am so lucky to be showered with so much love- this makes me bloody scared and thankful all at once.

But it will all be gone one day.  In a hundred years everyone I love will be gone.  This is what Robert Frost meant when he wrote "nothing gold can stay."  Then again I transplanted my grandfather's roses to my house after he died.  Now those blooms are a strange paradox... blooming for a short time yet faithfully returning each year.  

So something about all this IS constant... in a North Star sort of a way.


I know that what I am feeling has been felt before by countless folks behind me who were all fabulous in their own way but seriously...
***you are made of gold***


Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.
-Robert Frost

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Feature: Romare Bearden

Chorus Provided by Romare Bearden
Romare Bearden was one of the most influential modern artists in recent American history.  He produced a prolific number of paintings many created with collage.  My favorites are his pieces created on the island of St. Martin.  They truly capture the hot vibrant zest of the Caribbean.

There are roads out of the secret place within us which we must all move as we go to touch others.
-Romare Bearden

Khayam and the Black Girl by Romare Bearden

The artist has to be something like a whale swimming with his mouth wide open,
absorbing everything until he has what he really needs.
-Romare Bearden

The Lamp by Romare Bearden

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sunset Over the White River

Sunset Over the White River
Copyright 2013 Addie Hirschten
Oil on Canvas
16" x 20"

Clouds come floating into my life,
no longer to carry rain or usher storm,but to add color to my sunset sky
-Rabindranath Tagore

Monday, May 20, 2013


Copyright 2013 Addie Hirschten
Oil on Canvas
16" x 20"

A style is the symbol of an overall feeling,
of an era's attitude to life,
and is only visible within the universe of all the arts.
-Peter Behrens, "Celebration of Life and Art"

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Feature: Samuel Palmer

Garden in Shoreham by Samuel Palmer
The saddest part of the story of the artist Samuel Palmer's life is that his son destroyed his personal writings and notebooks after his death.  I have to wonder if Palmer would be more well known today if this desecration had not occurred.  He was a mystical landscape painter who was greatly influenced by William Blake.  We can only speculate on those lost philosophical writings.

The visions of the soul, being perfect, are the only true standard by which nature must be tried.
-Samuel Palmer

Interesting... from this quote I deduce that Palmer viewed the soul of man and the natural world as separate, the natural world being of lower form.  Why then did he focus so much on landscape art?   At any rate I tend to view our natural reactions to be of a higher level and more in tune with the core of our souls, but that is perhaps the transcendentalist influence of my background.

Oak Trees in Lullingstone Park by Samuel Palmer

When less than four years old I was standing with my nurse, Mary Ward, watching the shadows on the wall from branches of an elm behind which the moon had risen. I have never forgot those shadows and am often trying to paint them. 
-Samuel Palmer

Moonlight by Samuel Palmer

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Breath of the Earth

The Breath of the Earth
Copyright 2013 Addie Hirschten
Oil on Canvas
18" x 36"

The wind is the breath of the earth.

It reaches into every corner,
without choosing between high or low,
exalted or humble,
it touches everywhere.

Let us gather here together
from every corner,
from high and low,
exalted and humble.

Let us gather here and everywhere.

Let us mix the dusts of every land.

Let us worship together.

Monday, May 13, 2013

April on the Broad Ripple Canal

April on the Broad Ripple Canal
Copyright 2013 Addie Hirschten
Oil on Canvas
16" x 20"
Prints available on Fine Art America

I have come to believe that there are infinite passageways out of the shadows,
infinite vehicles to transport us into the light.
-Martha Beck

Friday, May 10, 2013


Copyright 2013 Addie Hirschten
Oil on Canvas
18" x 24"
Prints available on Fine Art America
We cannot live only for ourselves.
A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men, and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.
-Herman Melville

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Illinois Street Bridge in April

Illinois Street Bridge in April, Indianapolis 2013
Copyright 2013 Addie Hirschten
Oil on Canvas
16" x 20"
Prints available on Fine Art America

Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes.
-Carl Friedrich Gauss


Monday, May 6, 2013

A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream
Copyright 2013 Addie Hirschten
Oil on Canvas
16" x 20"

You have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream.

Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
-Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

(This past weekend I got to see Shakespeare at the Indiana Repertory Theatre!!!  Sweet.)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Registration for my Summer Classes is Now Open!

Join me for these upcoming classes at the Indianapolis Art Center:

Promoting Your Business through Social Media
Indianapolis Art Center
Saturdays June 8-29, 2013  9am-12pm
Getting the word out about your art has never been easier than it is today. In this class we will learn about the many new options for marketing and promoting your work. We will cover website creation, blogs, facebook fan pages, photographing work, as well as "old-fashioned" methods. Get a fresh start by refining your goals and learning new methods of sharing your message with the world.
Register here:

Expressionistic Painting
Indianapolis Art Center
Thursdays July 11-August 1st, 2013  7-10pm
Join us in this class as we explore the master painters of the Expressionistic movement. Inspired by their methods and philosophy we will create paintings to release emotion and express the beauty of the world around us and within us.
Register here:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Hourglass

The Hourglass
Copyright 2013 Addie Hirschten
Oil on Canvas
16" x 20"

The long unmeasured pulse of time moves everything.
There is nothing hidden that it cannot bring to light,
nothing once known that may not become unknown.
Nothing is impossible.
-Sophocles, Ajax