Homebound, with the last dusting of snow covering the Carolinas before spring, I found much needed time to think. It is always in the quiet that childhood memories seep into my mind. My mother loved art, and on one occasion she explained to me that some people were “touched by the hand of God.” They had “gifts” she said, and they were important to the world. It did not dawn on me until much later in life that those gifts were truly a collaboration between God and the “creative mind.” It is to the “gift receiver”—the innovator, creative, or artist—a responsibility to respect and honor that gift.
This Spring issue is dedicated to the gift of creative exceptionalism and spotlights the abundance of artistic achievement. Whether we are the creators or the observers, in art there is energy and movement. Throughout the Spring issue, we have–through images and words–attempted to capture that energy. In “Art and Beauty” we explore through the ages the inspiration of the muse on renowned artists. “Modern Master” is a celebration of the most important woman architect in today’s world, Patricia Urquiola. “The Psycho-Gustative Odyssey of Chef Paul Pairet” explores the culinary journey of one of the most inventive culinary visionaries in the world today. “High Fashion Under the Influence of Art” is a homage to couture designer Elsa Schiaparelli who used fashion as her way of expressing her art.“The Passion of Isabelle Van Zeijl” explores the photo-artist who explores the deepest recesses of her spirituality as the model of her own work. “Art in the Eye of the Photographer” allows us to see through the lens of photographer Leslie Williamson the heart of the homes and studios of famous Mid-Century artists and architects. “Baroque and Beyond” is a spectacular tour of the Netherlands through its art and museums.“The Power of Art for Personal Healing” shows the force of art as a method of revival and fresh focus. “For Women Only: The National Museum of Women in the Arts” cultivates, preserves, and champions women in the arts as a singular force in the arts. And finally, our book review on some of the most beautiful books published today lauds the many nuances, platforms, and directions art can influence our lives. These artists and creators have all “been touched” with their remarkable and unique gifts.
I have also been privileged to interview many women for ELYSIAN that have been defined by their creative success. Artist, author, and sculpture Edwina Sandys is the first name to enter my mind. While her career as an artist started later than some, her work is acclaimed world-wide, with her mammoth sculptures displayed in front of the United Nations and beyond. Interviewing Breegan Jane, the cover of this issue, I saw a pattern, which started me thinking . . . Much like Edwina and many other artists and creators I have interviewed, Breegan triangulates her focus and time between (commercial and residential) design, home décor and authoring children’s books. Carla Groh an art collector, dealer, broker, and gallery owner also moves between different pursuits, with regularity. While their stories are unique, it is undeniable that these women “innovators and artists” toggle between distinct, unending interests and projects. It is as though their “flow” grows exponentially with purposefully “creative multi-tasking.” Within the soul of a creative woman is the strength to push through the impenetrable. But it is the awareness that allows the inventive mind the flexibility to multi-task and continue moving forward. What results from inner agility is self-actualization, a trait these women all share. It is their gift.
Nothing is more inspiring than beauty. And though she is no longer here to say the words, through this publisher’s letter, my mother encourages every innovator, creative and artist “touched by the hand of God.” Your gift is without end.
Thank you for joining us as we embark upon this life journey together.
With much love,