From Georgia O’Keeffe to Louise Bourgeois, Agnes Martin and Luis Barragán—throughout history artists, poets, and creatives of all disciplines have not only sought out, but found great refuge in solitude.
Read our thoughts and musings on celebrating stillness as creative preparation.

“Cradled on the mountain I can rest
Solitude and freedom are the same
under every fallen leaf
Others do not really exist in solitude, I do not exist
no thinking of others even when they are there, no interruption
a mystic and a solitary person are the same…”
—Agnes Martin, The Untroubled Mind 

It takes true courage to succumb to solitude.
It is not melancholy, but essential to the creative process.
It is both revealing and reflective;
a balance between confrontation and letting things rest.

Luis Barragán described solitude—soledad—as “a point of intersection, a state in which someone might meet and make peace with themselves, thereby preparing both to enter the world, and to leave it behind.”
During this period of isolation, in the absence of travel and conversations we are no longer consuming nor questioning, but are filling our reservoir.

Mount Angel Abbey Library, Saint Benedict, Oregon
Alvar Aalto, 1970
Flooded with harnessed, natural light and nestled within a wooded knoll upon a hilltop,
the library brief was simple:
“Give us a building that will fill our needs in a beautiful and intelligent way.”
The library is balanced in all ways; secretive and revealing, warm and cool, comfortable and quiet, intentional and restrained.
It celebrates stillness.
“The monastery is, in effect, removed from the world but with and in full view of it.”
—Architectural Record, May 1971

We are celebrating stillness by candlelight, with books, on long walks, and in quietness. In solitude—this transitional time between thinking and doing—we are letting things rest; preparing our head, mind, spirit, and hand.

“To do a line in one brushstroke, you have to be ready.”
—Fundació Joan Miró

Casa Luis Barragán, Mexico City
Built 1948 / Visited February 2020

Mount Angel Abbey Library, Saint Benedict, Oregon
Built 1970 / Visited October 2020