Beaded ring, Watercolours, and Illustration in May

 

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Bookmarks and cards to encourage friends during coronavirus days

 

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An inspired illustration featuring characters from Ruth Krauss’ book Open House for Butterflies

Inspired illustration from listening to the song Highlands (Song of Ascent) by Hillsong United one morning meditation before work, and I then proceeded to take the illustrated characters from a children’s book I love called Open House for Butterflies by Ruth Krauss to help depict the scene I imagine the song is singing about: to sing when the mountain’s in our way, and to sing when we’re on top of the mountain 🙂

Recycled unused accessories: deconstructed all the materials, organized them in colors, and then began to make things out of them. Here’s a ring, my favorite kind of accessory.

 

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Love letters are the best kind of letters, don’t you agree? 🙂

Part of a love letter I made for my younger sister waiting it out in Cambridge.

 

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Don’t know what’s going on here, looks like some kind of pulmonary situation bearing fruit (a la the tree that reaps) – air to my lungs?

When It Comes To Looking At The Future

There’s a model (originally economics) called hyperbolic discounting, which speaks to the human tendency of choosing a reward now over wanting the greater reward that will happen later. In liberal application, this law can allude to our relative inability to see beyond the seeable, comprehensible distance over the things up close: what is happening or might happen in the immediate future or present. I believe this rings true for the scenario we find ourselves in in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The pain, the discomfort, and the anxieties of the circumstances we find ourselves in are absolutely real. But, we (I) can choose to see beyond for what could happen that could be greater and more meaningful in magnitude over the mess in the immediate– see the good being written even now.

The motifs and the arc defining this story remain to be set in stone. We don’t know what lies ahead for us. We don’t know what the larger picture will be. I’m not referring to the next 2 or 3 years. I’m talking about the next 10, 20, and 30 years.

We must press on in hope, thinking and choosing to look to more hopeful outcomes– to where the real story might be. And in the meantime, be present and do as as much as we can for our family, our friends, and our people.

Some quotes from my journal that I’ve leaving for added contemplation:

“You cannot draw on the future. Impossible to get into debt! You can only waste the passing moment. You cannot waste tomorrow, it is kept from you.
You have to live on this 24 hours of time. Out of it you have to spin health, pleasure, money, content, respect and the evolution of your immortal soul. It’s right use…is a matter of the highest urgency.”
– Arnold Bennett
“We become, neurologically, what we think.”
– Nicholas Carr

On Respecting Authority or Differences in Opinions and Considering the Harm Done If We Choose Otherwise

"I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them:
1. To vote... for the person they judged more worthy.
2. Speak no evil of the person they voted against, and
3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side." 
- John Wesley, English cleric, theologian, and philanthropist
The following are questions I entertain and often, given the current climate of our country:
  • What does it mean to really respect instituted authority, respect entities, and respect individuals despite encountering drastically differing opinions, values, or personalities?
  • What does it mean for our mental and emotional states when we choose to do the opposite?
Surely the thoughts we express can be of potent criticality without adding to toxicity.
I wake up this morning desiring to understand how to do this better and authentically in all circumstance… how about you?

My Faith Grounded Musings:

Romans 13:1 on Submission to Governing Authorities

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

As a Christian, I can rationalize the validity of this command or “rule”. When one considers the grounding tenets that define Christianity, a quick survey will reveal some very constant albeit complicated narratives that frame our faith: an everpresent dance and balancing act between the subject of God’s sovereignty, having free will and its impact, and the concept of time that is not linear or as we see it according to modern physics. Following God is not about always having the answers and the whys to everything from the start (I would say I struggled with this question as a believer my whole life until maybe about last year!). Sometimes a situation requires obedience before we are able to see and understand 20/20, even with a controversial verse and command such as this that many Christians either outrightly ignore or struggle with (including myself!)

The fact of the matter though is that God’s word is God’s word. When we say we give our life over to him, we are surrendering our right to picking and parsing things we like and dislike, accept or reject, and that includes where we stand on the merits of the Bible’s commands. When one accepts the truth of the Gospel, the only requirement for being “Christian,” this implies a full and total acceptance of the Bible as the living word (Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”).

*For context, the word of God referred to the written or spoken word of God, and the Bible is accepted as the word of God.

Notes on Conscious Leadership ft. Bob Iger and Jim Dethmer

Notes from a podcast interviewing Robert Iger

While I respect Iger’s mind, the podcast was not strong (felt the interviewer was ill prepared and the conversation was not original, so not leaving much here from what I listened to and will not leave link)

Be generous and efficient
Have great teachers
Never, ever complain about work
Iger worked 30 years with the top bosses and mentors
“You must be in the business of changing with or ahead of the times”

Notes from Shane Parrish’s Farnam Street’s Knowledge Project Podcast Episode 60 ft. Jim Dethmer (coach, speaker, author, and founding partner of The Conscious Leadership Group)

Fantastico. First 20 minutes are a lot of common sense, and then for the rest of the podcast, Dethmer proceeds to unpack familiar concepts with great originality of reasoning – conversations that really excited and inspired me! Such a thought provoking man and highly recommend you listen to the actual podcast recording.
State of Beings (Always operate out of a place of love and play over fear, rage, anger, guilt, or shame):
Being “above the line” vs “below the line”
Above the Line: Open, curious, trusting, open to learning, presence of candor
Below the line: Contracted. Curtness came from contraction. Contracted living can lead to self-criticism, which will probably lead to even more curtness. Defensiveness, Being in a state of threat, attached to proving you are right.
Acting below the line can lead to short term desired outcomes/results, but will leave toxic residue.
Can I accept myself for being where I am? (Acting out from below or above the line)
  • Acting out from below or above the line.
  • Can I accept myself for being reactive?
  • Order of states: acceptance follows awareness
    • Self-awareness in his words: creating a feedback rich environment/ or developing feedback rich tools for self-reflections
      • ‘If you are constantly getting feedback you are on a rocket-ship to self-awareness
    • Constructive Self-acceptance
      • Susan’s view: Centering on God’s delight in you, regardless of your state of being, mistakes, or how you acted. That you can accept and just strive to be better.
      • Dethmer’s view: Being present with “I am okay just the way I am” Kill the belief that something at the core is missing.
On Motivations
Purpose/Calling: 1st level of motivation that doesn’t lead to toxic residue
  • Jim Dethmer calls this level the “zone of genius” – what it is that lights me up to do in the world
Play: 2nd level of motivation
  • When work can start to lookalike play
    • Ex.) Dethmer’s: “When I am coding, it is like a child at play. I love it.”
    • Ex.) Susan’s “When I am designing or making new products, it is like a child at play. I love it. When I’m creating or solving something challenging, I get a huge adrenaline rush.”
  • The sooner you return to PLAY, the better for best leadership or results or work
Love: highest level/form of motivation
  • the love of the thing
    • Ex.) Dethmer’s “I LOVE LANDSCAPING!!”
    • Ex.) Susan’s “I LOVE MY CUSTOMERS I LOVE SEEING ATEM IN MORE PLACES I LOVE PEOPLE GETTING HAPPIER FROM ATEM AND COMING BACK FOR MORE!”
Teams of the future must be motivated by intrinsic rewards, play and love. However, so many people are motivated from desiring approval (Susan: this was me until 2016!! and I decided to start fighting it!)
  • On desiring approval: “The core of this motivation too lies in fear”
At 36 minutes:
On Integrity in Work/Leadership/Relationship to Others and Yourself
“There’s no such thing as a small breach of integrity” – Jim Dethmer
Reconsidering the term “AGREEMENTS”
  • Definition: agreeing with oneself or with 2 people+ to do something.
  • What does it mean to make clear agreements (commitments)?
    • Agreements need to be incredibly clear.
      • Not, let’s plan to meet around noon/in the morning, but let’s meet at x at y for z and we’ll do r, t, and c.
        • Who, what, when
  • Only make agreements you have a whole bodied agreement to
    • Wholebodied agreements: When it’s a yes from you in mind, body, and heart.
    • If you don’t do this, you make agreements you don’t want to make
      • This includes little details even with things like times that are less convenient for you. Either be whole bodied agreeing in compromise, or say “if we could do it at 7:30 that would be better for me”.
  • Most organizations keep between 40-60% of agreements
Broken agreements are a broach in integrity
Integrity is about my agreements
  • How impeccable I am about making and keeping my agreements
  • How impeccable I am about renegotiating agreements before I break them OR if I break them, cleaning them up
    • If you break an agreement, immediately acting: “Before we go on I want to say sorry for being xyzzy. I was to see if there is anything I can do to make it up for you.”
    • Taking acts of responsibility is the commodity of trust.
  • High integrity people will meet this 90% of the time
On Having a Victim Mentality
Do you live by a victim mentality or a creator mentality?
Victim Mentality: Is this happening to you?
Creator Mentality: Is this happening by you?
At 1 hour , 11 minutes:
On Improving EQ
Step 1. Decide if you are willing to improve your emotional intelligence
Step 2. One must be emotionally literate before one is emotionally intelligent
  • Being emotionally literate: Capable of knowing what you yourself are feeling, when you are feeling it. (Susan: I struggle with this, and naming my feelings and the why in the “present”).
    • Something people often do, thinking it’s their feeling “I feel you are wrong” “I feel overwhelmed” – A thought followed by a feeling is not a feeling.
Step 3. Can I feel my feelings?
  • Dethmer: Statistics support that feelings last less than 90 seconds if one doesn’t feed the feelings.
Creating a Feedback Rich Environment
  • Identify your feedback filters
    1. This person needs to give me feedback by this deadline, I need experts in the subject matter, this person isn’t smart enough” etc etc
    2. Dethmer: your state of mind should be about “I want feedback given any day, any time, by anybody
  • Being thoughtful about your feedback filters and being conscious about which ones you want or decide to keep
  • When asking for feedback, ensure the other person if they are concerned abut reputation or junior; “don’t worry about being right, constructive, or giving actionable feedback” “Anything I did less than 10, tell me what I can do better.” “Anything I did better than 1, tell me what I can do better.”
    • Susan: Things I can do: Ask family “What is one thing I can do to be a better sister?” “What is one thing I can do to be a better daughter?”
  • When receiving or getting feedback, always, ALWAYS ASK: “How is their feedback about me true about me? (Feedback is based off their projection of you or your work, but how is it true?
  • When you give feedback or give out a projection of another, take that feedback of yourself in and see how it is true about you.

Making Things With Fruit Peels

Artboard 2 copy 3Hi Sunshine_square format

I was catching up with Christine over ZOOM because we haven’t seen each other since the Corona Virus started hitting New York City very hard and was eating a lot of clementines.

I started making a little square mound of it while we were talking (I always find I need to do something with my hands to stay focused :D)

When my sister came over to the table to see what I’m up to, she laughed at the little mess I made and joked about it being art.

I laughed too, and then thought, “why not?”

And so I whipped up this draft for the day

My cute orange peels :). Thanks for feeding me today.

 

 

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March 29, 2020

MoMA’s Creativity Lab, Donald Judd, and a Little Tomato Farm Out Front of the Guggenheim

At one point did it enter our heads that we can no longer play with arts and crafts… create.. that art making is an activity best left for kids? Getting back our creativity as adults… waking up dry bones…. a hope I have for the city of New York.

“Make use of the empty space, child”

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“Make use of the empty space, child,” (Donald Judd inspired thoughts in my head)

Always leaving inspired by the rich histories of typography

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New MoMA: Things I Love That Can Be Easily Missed

Gratitude_2.22.2020

 

Today, I am grateful for the abundance of love that God has showered onto my life through the people he brought into it.

I know I am loved by God and that is enough, but as a young, and often childlike woman, being blessed with such beautiful humans to walk with me in life during the good and the bad days is something I wake up grateful for every day.

I am grateful for how strong of a bond my sisters and I have cultivated, through effort, through grace, and through compassion.

I am grateful for the times they bring wide grins to my face and make me temporarily forget whatever stress or illness I might feel consumed by.

I am grateful for Victoria who inspires me with her passion for fashion and aesthetics, and for her devotion and generous love and support to me, her friend.

I am grateful for my mother who’s sacrificed much in her love for us, and in her obedience to the God she believes in with her whole heart and soul.

I am grateful for being 6 months seizure free! I am grateful for being healthier than I’ve ever been in my entire life.

I am grateful for the chance and the spirit to try again with new mornings, new days, when fear or anxiety takes hold of me because of the uncertainty of the future or because of circumstance.

I am grateful to be refined day by day in my twenties, whether it be through fire or gentle breeze.

I am grateful to know that the God who has me and my life in the palm of his hands loves me so much. I am grateful to be walking in his love. And that because of this, my path is sure. Regardless of whatever life throws my way.

I am grateful for these people in these photos. They bring me such deep, deep joy. I can not begin to explain in any accurate manner just how grateful I am to have them in my life.

Stellar David Zwirner Exhibits, and Art I Like, January 2020

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Family Portrait, Florine Stettheimer, 1933

 

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20200125_133045 Multichannel video installations to expose and explore alternate histories

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Burnt Umber & Ultramarine, Yun Hyeongkun (윤형근), 1989 

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The stoicity of nature / Minimalism

 

Very emotive figurative works by Noah Davis:

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Mary Jane, Noah Davis, 2008 / Striking textures 

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Bad Boy for Life, Noah Davis, 2007

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Woman’s face coloring reminds me of style of Lucian Freud

 

“I found my drive to diversify permanent collections. They are the beating heart of the art world. If you can change the collection, you can change the public story of art.” – Helen Molesworth

 

 

Poem_All Praise

The rain might keep falling

The weather unchanging

but still my soul will keep on singing of your promises to me

 

You Say

you delight in me

that there lie green pastures and a bounty of joy everlasting //waiting at a table for me

Surely goodness will follow, even as this rain continues to fall

And So I Will Keep On Singing

I’ll keep on singing of your goodness, your goodness, your goodness….

Until this rain transforms, these dry bones rise, I will keep on singing of your goodness to me.

5 Habits I Picked Up in 2019

2019 has been a year: My first brand, ATEM, turned 1 year old, our cosmetics R&D startup is going into our 3rd year, and I turned 27.

In this time and despite my work taking most of my attention on my days (excluding Sabbath, Sundays!), I developed some new habits that have supported my betterment.

1. I started exercising regularly: 3 to 5 times a week!

Result: Exponentially increased physical health, increased mental fortitude (ie. focus), and emotional wellbeing

2. I started flossing daily, after setting up my daily habit tracker in July, 2019: I now floss every day without needing a reminder or a checklist to tell me I have to!

Result: Increased self-control: A developed appreciation for discipline and keeping to some “orders” of the day

3. I started regularly writing down things I am grateful for, or allocating a protected time to visually go down the the things I am grateful for.

Result: Increased mental and emotional wellbeing – rewiring the “space” for automatic negative thoughts to come in to a space for positive, gratitude filled thoughts.

4. I started making my bed more regularly: This is a habit to solidify in 2020 as I still do not keep to the habit.

Result: Increased self-control: A developed appreciation for discipline and keeping to some “orders” of the day

5. I started being more careful and controlled about the things I utter about myself or my life: Saying less “I can’t,” or “I’m not,” and more “I hope,” “I can,” and “I believe.” I hope to continue this habit into this year, and applying this principle as I speak of and to others as well.

Result: Increased mental and emotional wellbeing – rewiring the “space” for automatic negative thoughts to come in to a space for positive, gratitude filled thoughts. As Carl Lentz one said, “change your mind, change your life.”

A habit I would like to change completely in 2020 is not letting my moods dictate my actions as much, particularly in the physical with my waking and sleeping times. I had experienced a season of mild depression, and because of this, it was difficult to get out of bed at times I wanted to on a daily basis over a span of 2 some months. I felt like I was chained to my bed, and sometime woke up feeling like 2 tons of cement were lying atop me and I’d go to sleep again because it felt like too much of a struggle to try to fight it.  During this time, what I lost in time/productivity, I made up for, but this was not great for my overall health. This year, for my wellbeing, I would like to commit to regularly sleeping a number of hours per day, and waking up consistently at an earlier hour of the day. I write these down, as writing my intentions down will incentivize me to action.

 

 

 

 

How a Beef Lover Like Me Is Living With a More Earth Friendly Diet

Most of my friends will know how much I love burgers.
A fundamental component of a good burger is a strong, awesomely seasoned and well packed & proportioned patty. I prefer mine thick over thin 🙂 The Spotted Pig over Shake Shack. Beef over lamb.
Over the past 6 months, I experimented with drastically reducing my red meat intake primarily out of two reasons: 1) to take better care of my physical health and 2) to be more environmentally conscious and responsible in my daily living and actions.
As a civilization, I think a recurring weak point of our peoples is that when we are dealt with an increase in choice, we do not respond well [and by well, I really mean intelligently] to it. Instead of accepting the freedom of choice in a way that elevates, it seems that we often take that freedom and power to extremes, which prove to be detrimental to us in the end, and at a dangerous magnitude.
While I admire my colleagues that have taken out meat entirely from their lifestyle [or adopted zero waste lifestyles, or stopped buying anything new], I am self-aware enough to know where I currently stand in my preferences and convictions. The me now cannot eliminate red meat without it making me sad about not being able to eat burgers, or steak, or raw meat. The me now isn’t convicted enough to stop buying new clothes for the rest of my life and only buying second-hand or recycled fabrics (environmental friendliness on the latter is questionable – but more on that on a later note).
But
I no longer want my talk about sustainability and healthier living to be at stark contrast with the day to day choices and decisions of my life.
I settled on a diet of moderation 😃
Instead of eating red meat for most of the week (which I’ve historically always done and I really strong feel I have never once gotten sick of eating too much beef – basically I am completely besot), I now eat and seek it sparingly.
I found this limitation on my lifestyle has not affected me much, beyond the initial and expected feelings resulting from a sudden withdrawal of any regular habit.
I am not devastated. I am still eating a burger or a red meat based meal once a week or biweekly, which satisfies the part in me that screams and demands “BEEF”, and I am concurrently living more closely in accordance with the values I say I stand for. And I found that I am happier.
Anyways, I just thought to write this as I happily take my work break and eat my pescatarian/plant-based lunch from Woorijip 🙂
My question today: What is something you are doing that is preventing you from living a more peaceful, fulfilling, and content life?

Poem_love letters to a younger self

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love letters to a younger self //
if i could travel time,
i’d tell my younger self how much she was loved.
how perfect she is
how everything will be okay
how much she’ll laugh and smile
how she’ll fall in love
over and over again
how she’ll be surrounded by people that make her grin uncontrollably
how everything will look beautiful to her again
how she’ll come to love her body
how she’ll come to love touch
how she’ll come to love her mind
how she’ll come to love others
how she will become love.

Taking Inspiration From The Life of Marcus Aurelius’ Father

I want to be “most ready to give way without envy to those who possessed any particular faculty, such as that of eloquence or knowledge…, and he gave them his help, that each might enjoy reputation”

I want to work better to be someone ” who looked to what ought to be done, not the reputation which is got by [man’s] acts.” – Marcus Aurelius

Grateful For_Thanksgiving Week(s) 2019

I couldn’t have dreamed of a better holiday weekend for this year.

I am grateful for the close friends and family in my life; I am grateful for all they are and just as they are.

I am grateful for how they keep me– every single day.

They are my angels, “messengers” on this Earth. Angels were messengers of God. I really see the people I am thinking of as I write this currently in my life as those messengers: messengers of joy, of encouragement, or solace, of comfort, of correction and rebuke grounded in love, of entertainment and pleasure when things get rough or dull, of confirmation that sometimes kindred E.T. finger touching like friendships do exist…. my angels.

Is this not something to be unendingly grateful for? To keep and hold fast to.

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Lastly, I am grateful for the healing that’s been observed within my family this past year. It is perhaps what has been most moving in this season of my life. I could not be any less grateful [and lest I forget, this single, answered prayer alone should leave me in a state of permanent gratitude for the remainder of my days].  I am overwhelmed by God’s grace, mercy, and provision in mending broken pieces back together in ways and in an amount of time I could never have hoped for– in ways only he could.

My God is good. I am thankful for the daily reminders he sends to me that his love for me, for my family, for my loved ones is unending– in hardship and in prosperity.

 

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“I’ve walked among the shadows You wiped my tears away And I’ve felt the pain of heartbreak And I’ve seen the brighter days And I’ve prayed prayers to heaven from my lowest place And I have held the blessings God, you give and take away”

Things I Started and Stopped Doing in 2019

2019 is the year I started making my bed every day, not bringing junk [food] to my bed, flossing every day, exercising regularly, saying no more consistently to relationships and activities that are foolish or unhealthy for me, saying yes to healing over bitterness in relationships, choosing more whole foods over dank foods, setting boundaries with things, acquaintances, friends, and loved ones, and keeping regular lists of items and things I’m grateful for at top of mind.

2019 was also the year I let go of a life dream that was very important to me, I stopped letting the status of my health determine my happiness, I stopped trying to please everyone at the expense of my happiness and wellbeing, I loosened the hold pride has on me, particularly in asking for help–the severity of which was realized when I was hit by a motorcycle in May and observed myself refusing anyone, friends’ and co’s offer to help at the site of the accident and during my recovery, I let go of “cool friends that make me look cool”, but make me rot inside, I let go of the hold financial security has on my emotional security and happiness, and I finally gave room for all my trauma to breathe so I can now watch it wither in the light of being known.

2020 will be a year of me creating and bearing an influx of seeds and fruit, of no longer apologizing for things I shouldn’t be apologizing for, of being more consistent in my values, and being more consistent in my nos and my yeses, having the self-control to lift myself up in wholeness and dignity, of being more focused, of more of seeing people for who they are rather than what do they do/look like/come from/or have, of being more involved in works of justice and mercy, and of championing good works unabashedly.

I envision

A strong, but young sapling, growing into something a little more. Things withering, falling off to the ground, and other parts strengthening and thickening. Trunk strengthening, branches complicating. And then there will be a great flowering. 🙂

 

I feel like next year will be a year that will be full of a great flowering for me: full of a lot of creating and giving. I hear the rumble of a great personal awakening. I don’t know what it looks like, but I feel it, deep in my soul.

What will your year look like?

“I have always had a quarrel with this country not only about race, but about the standards by which it appears to live.” – James Baldwin

 

Golden Retriever: “I can’t deal with stupid people at work”

Lamb: “Practice mercy, compassion. I’ve lately been thinking

Our work is a chance for us to practice becoming people who are kind, even when people don’t deserve it

And every time we make a choice when it’s really darn hard to show mercy and patience

We change

And it will affect you when you stand before Christ

And also who you are as a wife/a husband

A mother/ a father

A grandmother/ a grandfather

A friend

And aunt/ uncle

I’m saying this not particularly towards you because I’ve been thinking a lot about the role that my every day has in shaping the person I am becoming.”

Day at the Museum: Rijksmuseum

I really attempted to make the most of my short days here and I ambitiously set out to the Rijksmuseum to see as much art as I could. I believe I really did get through almost all the art excluding the Middle East room, as exhausting and unbelievable as that sounds!

I was laser focused.

Below are the pieces that really struck me one way or another for various reasons:

 

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Portrait of Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland, Anne Louis Girodet Trioson, 1805-1809, oil on canvas

Hortense caught my eye for her beauty, but also because of her relation to Napolean. I read up on her husband recently (step son of Napolean, son of Napolean’s first wife, hence my familiarity with Beauharnais his name), and the house of Beauharnais caught my attention as I read the placard to see who this painting’s beautiful subject was. Apparently she did not like the environment of the Netherlands, so even as a ruler there, she spent most of her time in court in Paris. huh.

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Sibylla Erythrea, Maarten van Heemskerck, 1564, oil on pastel

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Sibylla Erythrea, Maarten van Heemskerck, 1564, oil on pastel

Sibylla caught my eye for her beauty, and for her having been recorded in classic antiquity as having given prophesy about Jesus coming. This is news to me. I am excited to read more on it.

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Woman Reading a Letter, Johannes Vermeer, 1663, oil on canvas

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Children Eating a Pie, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1675-1680, pastel

This looks so mischievous, and it made me smile. And so it’s here. Being nostalgic for the things we used to do as kids is good. to a degree. hopefully we can all continue growing up with it kept instead of looking back to mourn what’s good that’s been lost.

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A Rembrandt x Diego Valesquez special exhibition was up, and exhausted as I was by the end of my main museum roundabout, I could not miss this. It ended up being a little questionable. Not the works themselves, but the way they were curated, described, and the way the curators developed the narrative [dare I say it!] was poor, misleading, and unclear– like me during my high school days trying to write essays just to meet deadlines and pass with absolutely Zero intention of actually desiring to convey a point. That is really what it felt like.

The lamb (symbolizing Christ) was great though.

Other Rembrandt pieces were technically lovely, and I felt honored that I was able to see more of his pieces in person, but I’m not adding them here because they didn’t move me. Otherwise that would be an act of compulsion influenced by prestige, which is no bueno.

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This a scene depicting Bethsheba and David (in the castle peeking out of the squared piece) desiring after her. It’s a Bible scene (basically for anyone who does not read the Bible or does not remember, David fell in love with B, but she was already married to a guy that was under his rule (as king) so he sent the dude off in “war” (to be killed really) (and there goes another Bible story of how humans as great as kings make terrible, terrible mistakes)

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I loved this painting for its raw sensuality. It just jumped out at me and called me. Venus and her son is asking Adonis not to go. I love the way Adonis holds onto her lips tenderly like that, and that lovers’ gaze is real.

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Venus et Adonis, Ferdinand Bol, 1658, oil on canvas

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Satyr and Nymph, Gerard von Honthorst, 1623, oil on canvas

While this is definitely the more hedonistic counterpart to the former, I still find the scene very beautiful. Love, or love as it moves reveals itself in different forms and ways and meets different ends. While satyrs were mainly negatively characterized in tales of old, there is the wildness and freeness of them that I look to with positivity in part. I just love the play I saw. Even if it probably foreboded some very bad news bears between satyr and nymph (like when Pan chased after a nymph to the point she had to turn into reeds!).

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Lot and his Daughters, Hendrick Goltzius, 1616, oil on canvas

While this painting was technically rendered incredibly beautiful, the substance of it disturbed me very much. It recalls a Bible story of a time people were punished for their mistakes and so all the men were kaputed, except Lot. These are his daughters, who feared not being able to bear children, and so they got their father drunk and seduced him to bear. It conjures in me many thoughts too (like how sometimes, we’re *so* for getting to the end, we forget about the means that we’ve taken to get to the end).

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William II, Prince of Orange, and his Bride, Mary Stuart, Anthony van Dyck, 1641, oil on canvas

“The 14 year old boy is married with the 9 year old girl, and a kingdom is elevated.”

My thought ^ : basically opened a can of thoughts. So many ramifications to be unpacked

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Boy with a Drawing Book, Nicolas Bernard Lépicié, 1772, oil on canvas

This just makes me happy 🙂 And it reminds me of me, inside.

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Portrait of Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck and his Family, Pierre Prud’hon, 1802-1802, oil on canvas

This reminds me of a family I would have liked to have had. Nuclear.

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Storage mirrors of the Netherlands

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Model by Johann Ernst Gotzowsky, 1750-1755, hard paste porcelain

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Ivory

 

 

Joris Bijendijk on Slow Food, Core Values, and the Rijksmuseum

What is the connection between museum and restaurant? How is museum collection translated in the menu?

It’s not translated in a cliché kind of way. I always say that there should be a logic in a fact that we are the restaurant of the Rijksmuseum. When you walk in, it feels like we are the part of the museum, but you won’t see art. The art is in the museum building and here drinks and food are being served. I think we have achieved to create a full experience. If people had a day in the museum and afterwards they come to RIJKS®, they will feel this full experience, all senses are being involved.

 

If people had a day in the museum and afterwards they come to RIJKS®, they will feel this full experience, all senses are being involved.

What is your vision of gastronomy?

We have a very strong philosophy. The general part of the philosophy is that we have the same core values as the museum: authenticity, quality, simplicity. We are open for everyone. In the kitchen we always have four principles. Number one is the choice of products. That’s actually the alphabet of the restaurant, our signature. Secondly – techniques, preparations, continuity and details. These four principles are always reflected in our dishes. And talking about choice of products- quality and Dutch origin.

Before working in RIJKS®I already wanted to work with Dutch products. This restaurant and me was a very good match. To give you an example, I thought that it’s strange that we don’t have farm pigeon in Holland, though a lot of restaurants are working with this product. After negotiations with one of Dutch breeders, the first Dutch farm pigeon was on the market. And now he has one of the best farm pigeons I’ve ever tried. It’s on our menu as well.

In RIJKS® we have the team of three chefs: Jos Timmer, Wim de Beer and me. We are all part of the Slow food alliance of Dutch chefs, meaning that we can put slow food products on our menu. Dutch slow food products belong to the Dutch tradition, Dutch culture and they are almost extinguished. Our job is to keep them from disappearing. We try to work as much as possible with slow food products.”