Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis by Saskia Ozols. Oil on Prepared Panel, 24 x 24 ” Private Collection, Boston. Fist exhibited with the Copley Society of Art, Boston in Conjunction with the Boston Symphony’s performance of Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky. 2012

As the winter months loom and sunlight lessens each day, finding inspiration amidst darkness can be paramount. I will forever owe my father a debt of gratitude for an answer to these dark days…. It was he who taught me Ars longa, Vitae Brevis, that “Art is long, life is short,” that nature reveals gifts to us every morning, that each moment of beauty we perceive is one of those gifts, and that every time we perceive inspiration we need to give thanks and honor our perception  Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. 

My father inscribed this phrase within the underpainting of every major work he created, along with a specific geometry that structured the composition of any given painting. How do I know this ? Because I was there, helping him as his apprentice and assistant, along with another family friend and practicing artist of my generation now dearly departed. 

Remembering the processes I learned as a child, practiced growing up, trained in at university and now research, record, and teach is an homage not only to my own father’s many sacrifices made to maintain integrity in the art form, but to beauty, to nature, to creation, and to the preservation of his legacy. 

He taught us from an early age that life is fleeting, and that the only true permanence is truth and our relationship with it. For our family, that relationship with beauty, with the divine, with all things glorious however difficult they may be, exists in the practice of painting and sharing our perception.

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