Gathering Around the Art

Photography: Unknown

Photography: Unknown

The hearth used to be a symbol of ones home which provided a space for a collective congregation of people for practical reasons. However, now a days, with central heating, the practicality of its use has changed. It has now become more form then function.

However, I firmly believe that a fireplace does not need to be functional to bring warmth and design interest into a space. I personally like faux mantles that bring texture, art, and visual interest into a room. Its structure offers many display opportunities for pieces that bring one joy.

You can still bring intimacy to its purpose through art, making it yet another informal place in your home to just be. -tM

The Power of One

wp-1487285142914.jpg

If you are able to believe in a higher source of power, with faith being at the core of that trust, then why not believe in yourself? There is evidence of your existence, and the proof also lies in your very ability to have moved through life thus far, so why not believe in your own potential? -tM

Water and Persian Rugs

The Water and Persian Rug series by self taught photographer Jalal Sepehr is an interesting sequence of photographs that merges both the traditional and contemporary way of life and being.

Of his series, Water and Persian Rugs (2004), Jalal Sepehr says ‘I take unexpected environments to create new moments, contrasts and diversity – the rugs float and dance.’ 

There is always something beautiful about the unanticipated. I believe it inspires and calls on all of us to think outside of the box. -tM

 

The Three Accent Pillars

The three pillars of every religion have found their artistic expression in these three accent pillars/walls which can be seen from every room and vantage point in this modern Mongolian apartment. What a brilliant and artistic way to add sculptural allure and modernist sheen to a space.

Ancient allure meets modern aesthetic. -tM

Photography: Ha Da | Yatzer

Fin des Jours

Photography: Michael Marker | End of Day

Photography: Michael Marker | End of Day

"Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don't forget to exhale. -tM

 

Street Snaps

Social documentation.

I have always appreciated the raw capture of life, style, and culture that street photography seems to conquer in one fell swoop. Who could ask for a better backdrop, or for more interesting participants.

A palimpsest of detail, it's life, unabashedly staring you in the face. -tM

Photography: Jamel Shabazz | 1980's, NYC

The Smallest Eye

Possibilities,

that is what I see when I look at this sketch of a needle and thread. The entire garment industry rests on the smallest eye of creation. There is no substitute for what the human hand, eye, and creative spirit can accomplish. There is more here then meets the eye. Pun intended. -tM

Artist: Man Ray | Needle and Thread, c. 1965

Tapping Palm

Fresh,

tapped sap from coconut spathe is used as a refreshing drink, and fermented sap is consumed as an alcoholic beverage. It is not an easy feat, on average one would tap 50 trees, twice a day proving to be much more labour intensive then tapping maple trees for syrup. There is so much beauty and bounty in passing down tradition and artisanal crafts that respect the delicate ecology of our surroundings. -tM

Photography: Kyle Weeks | Himbia People, Namibia

The Next Level

Photography: Unknown | A simple, beautiful, and utilitarian way to display such treasures.

I have always found that simplicity in architecture, design, make-up, fashion, food, and in thought is hard to do well, especially when you want it to be beautiful and functional.

Leonardo da Vinci once said that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." This is easier said then done in our North American culture where more is more, and consumption is king. There is no room for less in our society.  We need to fill our lives up with stuff so that the stuff in our lives can take the place of our lives.

As I grow older, simplicities of all kinds, especially thought, has become remarkably important to me. Eliminating the unnecessary in order to give the necessary room to speak. These days I really appreciate Steve Job's point of view on the whole process of simplification: "Simple can be harder then complex:  You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it is worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains."

My conscious internal shift is also reflected in the design of my home, the clothes I choose to wear, as well as in the rest of my aesthetics. The external is reflective of the internal and vice versa. It helps to keep me in balance and on the path I believe to be right for me.

How about you? Is less is more your personal philosophy or do you abide by the there can never be enough of this good stuff kind of rule? -tM

 

 

 

Love Letters

Ahhh, the almost forgotten and long gone romantic gesture of the art of writing; the love letter.

As everything else in our world changes and evolves the loss of what once was is inevitable.

I suppose distances are no longer an issue with all the modes of communication available to us. We can whip off a love email, or text, in matter of minutes. Love letters came to evolve over distances, as soldier's went off to war, there was no other way of professing the longing, desire, and love they had for those they left behind.

Great letters brought about by great loves.

I suppose that is why I am a sucker for anything written by hand, you need to make room and time to sit down, to think about what you mean to express. There is no such thing as a delete button when writing by hand. It is a completely different kind of engagement and process, both physically and mentally.

I still have all of my love letters, neatly tied and scattered throughout the pages of some of my favourite books, only to be discovered when the book is uncovered once again.

How about you, where do you keep your old love letters? -tM

Kintsugi

Photography: Unknown

Perhaps you have seen or even heard of Kintsugi (the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery, using lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum powder).

It's a philosophy that treats breakage and repair as part of the history of the object. There is no desire to hide or disguise its scars.

This statue is a reminder of how the philosophy of Kintsugi could also be applied to our human existence and in what manner we should embrace our imperfections and flaws, accepting change as part of our human condition.

I appreciate how there is no attempt to hide the pottery's fragmented pieces, instead they are brought to life and even highlighted, attracting attention to the repair itself as simply an event in the life of the object. There is no need to discard it, it continues to serve its purpose in its new beautiful form.

We need to apply such compassionate sensitivity to our transitions. Life's changing conditions permit us an evolved understanding of one another. The more one grows, ages, and moves through life taking risks, the more light one let's in and allows to radiate from within. -tM

"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. "  -Leonard Cohen

A Place of Cool

Photography: tM | Port Antonio, Jamaica

Photography: tM | Port Antonio, Jamaica

The place of cool. That was my dad's shop. It wasn't just a place of business but also a place of gatherings. This photograph reminded me of just that.  Friday nights, and Saturday mornings, his small shop in the hood,  turned locale, openly became a place where friends would assemble,  talk politics, life, and women. It became their version of the lounge about town, immigrants welcome, no VIP status required.

The tunes were always spinning, the air was full of smoke, and the coffee was the elixir of choice.

It was definitely no meeting of the minds, but it was a place where everyone knew your name and welcomed your voice, well, until they didn't. People were shoved out just like in any good lounge and told never to come back if they overstepped certain boundaries.

It was an easy like Sunday morning kind of a vibe until it wasn't.

I feel like places and gatherings like that in our society are very far and few between these days as are small businesses.

The photograph is a reminder of simpler days. Nostalgia always has a way of slipping in. -tM

Signs

Photography: tM | Little Portugal

Do you believe in coincidences and free will or are an avid believer of every story already being written and carried forward within us?

Intrinsically, I am a complete romantic right to the core of my soul and am thus even more so inclined to believe that everything is connected. It is my personal belief that no matter how minute the action may be, it will in turn set of numerous different reactions that will vibrate and move things accordingly. I have been witness to too many miracles to no longer pay attention to signs.

Goose pimples never lie, the body knows the answers. Sometimes we just need to quiet our already busy minds in order to give our intuition a voice and pay attention to the outward indications.

I know there are various people in my life who would disagree with me but there is something incredibly spiritually grounding in knowing that everything is happening as it should, even the lessons seem nobler, as I am even grateful for each obstacle (maybe not in the moment of it all, but I know that in this lifetime these lessons in particular are meant for me to grow).

The older I get the more spiritual I become. Mysticism and synchronicity are culturally part of where my people come from and who I am. Often times the roots run deep. -tM

"Well look who I ran into, crowded Coincidence." "Please," flirted Fate, "this was meant to be."

The Moroccan Riad

The word Riad comes from the Arabic term for garden. The Riad is part of a traditional Moroccan home, usually two or more story's in height that centre's around the courtyard (Riad). These types of homes were once only inhabited by the wealthy citizens.

The courtyard was a quiet space. Inwardly focused (both literally and metaphorically) the riads allowed for familial privacy and protection from the weather in Morocco. It had no windows and the walls were mainly constructed out of clay or mud brick. The design adhered to strict religious principles of Islam and the notions of privacy and hijab for women. Personal reflection was also encouraged as all of the rooms were openly and outwardly facing the riad.

The tiles used were usually strewn in calligraphy and had verses from the Quran while traditionally they also encouraged placing four lemon or orange tree's in the garden along with a fountain.

These beautiful courtyards are becoming a wonderful option for growing cities and the downsizing of homes and green spaces. Of course they are only in the likeness of, but nevertheless an incredible inspiration and space away from the noise of the city. -tM

Photography: Unknown | Riad's: Marrakech, Morocco

New

Photography: tM

"New" is a word that can illicit many emotions and impressions. Ultimately it points to something that did not exist before or if it did it has yet to be seen or experienced by you; a discovery; and if you are fortunate enough it may even translate to a first encounter.

I am surrounded by some kind of new each and every single day. I think if we were to all pay attention to what we think have become routine and mundane days of existence we would realize that something as trivial (or not) as a change in point of view brings discovery into our life. Situated among the familiar are new beginnings, discoveries of self, learning alternative ways to cope or survive, regeneration, new laughter, new focus, new day, new intentions, new results, and of course the important firsts, those golden moments that are the hardest to hold.

It is always comforting to know that the new is surrounded by and in the company of the old, it is an artful balance. Trust in its chemistry. -tM

"The best is yet to be." -Robert Browning