Still Lifes
by Michelle Christides

copyright 2004, all rights reserved

2010 & 2011 Paintings

Brain Fitness: Jungian Workshops in Creativity and Conscious Aging

World Soul Gallery and Limited Edition Giclées

Hommage à Cézanne II: Piquenique au lac d'Annecy 24 X 36 " or 60 X 90 cms.

Georgia (O'Keefe) on My Mind 24 X 36 " or 60 X 90 cms.

"Les Feuilles mortes" or "Autumn Leaves." 27 X 23 " or 68 X 58 cms.

Hommage à Cézanne -- les Belles choses de l'amitié. "Ruth's Nice Things -- copper pot and embroidered cicim" (pronounced "jejim") from Turkish coast (land of my paternal Greek ancestors). 28 X 36 " or 70 X 90 cms.

I painted this during the week after Christmas 2004, when the tsunami in SE Asia had claimed 150,000 lives. I heard how in Europe people were restrained in their New Year's celebration, and in the US people turned their attention from Iraq and it dawned on us to consider how lucky we are that 3000 is the largest mass death on this continent. Twice as many people died last summer in the Sudan as by the tsunami, but murder by our own species somehow seems more acceptable than the arbitrariness of Nature. I read that Cezanne turned to painting still lifes because of his acute sense of being isolated from his society (in French still life is expressed as "dead nature") and it occurred to me that the artist has a sensitive neurology that makes us acutely aware of reality.

In Memoriam Vincento -- non illegitimi carborundum. 24 X 36 " or 60 X 90 cms.

In this painting dedicated to Vincent van Gogh, the bee is the archetype I feel in kinship with him. According to the classic Chevalier and Gheerbrant Dictionary of Symbols, the bee, like the ant, would simply symbolize the inexorability of submission to our social destiny, in masses to materialism, if the bee did not also change flowers to honey, just as the life force incarnates the soul. Collective and individual, material and spiritual -- the creative transformation of art is all that distinguishes the soul of the Dervish dancing to the Divine Reality underlying direct experience. Priestesses of Eleusis and Ephesus took the bee as the symbol of the power of the word to initiate the soul through inspiration, the sacred breath of life, the spiral of sacred energy up the spine from the Kundalini at its base, to relate through the Enlightenment of direct experience to this universe. To the Greeks, musikos is this ability to relate to the powers that awaken the mind to this relationship.

Van Gogh drove himself, half starving, unknowingly poisoning himself with lead impasto and turpentine, like a Dervish whirling to the beauty of all, painting even the shabby boots of coalminers. His brother alone believed in him and gave him what he could to buy paint, brushes, and canvas. Yet his art is sold and resold for millions by speculators and auctioneers without paying royalties in their drive to spend their precious lifetime in profiting materially. He drove himself to suicide, considered madness. And the world goes on creating suffering instead of art.

Bread sticks, wine, and veggies 24 X 36 " or 60 X 90 cms.

Les Belles choses de l'amitié, II "Ruth's Nice Things, II" 24 X 36 " or 60 X 90 cms.

The Glory of Sight 24 X 36 " or 60 X 90 cms.

Bouquet pour Monet 16 X 24 " or 40 X 60 cms.

Summer Tea by the Pool 16" X 20" or 40 X 50 cms.

Rock Garden 24 X 36 " or 60 X 90 cms.

Michelle Christides
5214 Winchester Drive
Sarasota, FL 34234


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