Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Panthea Daily Study
White lilies and panthea moth. Charcoal and white pastel on Mylar drafting film, 16 x 12", in vintage frame. The white lily was the signature flower for Oscar Wilde, and I also consider it my own signature flower. I’ve used it as a logo since I started my career as an artist, and also have used the lily often in the Black Butterfly muse series. I love the symbolism of peace and purity.
Wilde writes of lilies in his poem “Panthea.” Wilde’s beliefs were Pantheistic, characterized by oneness with nature. The word pantheism derives from the Greek words pan ('all') and theos ('God'). Thus pantheism means 'All is God'.
Pantheism is the religious belief that Nature is divine (God) and we humans are part of the One, interconnected whole. It is in realizing our connection to the One Universe (Nature, God, Brahman, Tao, Space) that we find truth, spiritual fulfillment and solace. Pantheists usually deny the existence of a personal God (theism) and creationism (a separate God who created the world from nothing).
Many philosophers, scientists, poets and artists have identified themselves with pantheism since antiquity. Spinoza (Ethics, 1673), Henry David Thoreau, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Oscar Wilde, Henri Matisse and Albert Einstein are some famous pantheists.
There is a moth by the same name, and I like the idea of the dusky moth with the white flower.
From "Panthea" by Oscar Wilde
Nay, let us walk from fire unto fire,
From passionate pain to deadlier delight,-
I am too young to live without desire,
Too young art thou to waste this summer night
Asking those idle questions which of old
Man sought of seer and oracle, and no reply was told.
For sweet, to feel is better than to know,
And wisdom is a childless heritage,
One pulse of passion-youth's first fiery glow,-
Are worth the hoarded proverbs of the sage:
Vex not thy soul with dead philosophy,
Have we not lips to kiss with, hearts to love, and eyes
Dost thou not hear the murmuring nightingale
Like water bubbling from a silver jar,
So soft she sings the envious moon is pale,
That high in heaven she hung so far
She cannot hear that love-enraptured tune,-
Mark how she wreathes each horn with mist, yon late
and laboring moon.
White lilies, in whose cups the gold bees dream,
The fallen snow of petals where the breeze
Scatters the chestnut blossom, or the gleam
Of all our endless sins, our vain endeavor
Enough for thee, dost thou desire more?
Alas! the Gods will give naught else from their