The colors were brilliant. There is no comparison between the real painting and a photograph. The painting is alive. It took my breath away. I could not get enough of the texture, the rough layers of his paintings. I had no idea what I had been missing until I experienced the real thing. It only made me love his work even more.
That was my first "art moment". That moment when a piece of art fills my soul and I am taken away by its beauty, and I marvel at the ability of a person to create such richness. I marvel at the gifts of creativity our Creator has given us. It happens when I listen to music, read something, or watch dancers. It is very emotional. It is very fulfilling.
And yet, I don't get enough of it. So when my dear friend, Alicia, wanted to celebrate her birthday by brunching at a french cafe and then visiting an art museum, I was more than ready to join in. It sounded like a birthday party for me!
We went to the Norton Simon in Pasadena. As soon as we entered, I felt a sense of calm. And excitement.
I love museums. I don't get to them often enough. Visiting one always makes me feel like I am traveling. Probably because we always visit museums when we travel. Some of my favorite memories are of museums: the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, filled with some of my most favorite art of all time, the photographic exhibits at the Getty, which always leave me spellbound and seeing the David in Florence, my most powerful art moment ever.
And how can I not love room after room devoted to the celebration and enjoyment of beauty?
Here are some of my favorites. These grapes, although you can't tell in this picture, are transparent. How does one achieve that? It is utterly amazing.
These rough sculptures by Degas are still so lovely. They made me smile and think of the very rough sculptures James has been working on this week.
I also loved the modern art. The colors are spectacular. And I love how there can be so many different kinds of art, the very old, very ornate paintings of Christ and the virgin, the Impressionist and their scenes of every day life, and the modernists, exploring shape and form and color. They are all so different and so beautiful.
This one was a hands down favorite. The colors draw you in. It is just so beautiful.
As I walked around, I wanted more than anything to bring James back. I knew how much he would enjoy it. How he would study the painting of David and Goliath in all its gruesome detail. How he'd look at some of the modern paintings and say, "hey, I could make that!". The scale of things would impress him. He'd have fun.
And then I got kind of panicky. I haven't even taken him to an art museum yet. We've done lots of other kinds of museums, but not strictly art. Unless I take him alone, bringing the 3 of them seems daunting to me. (as discussed here) He's almost 6. Have I failed him in this area of his development already?
It is hard not to be overwhelmed sometimes by all the opportunities I'd like to give my children. There are so many fabulous things in our world that I want to show them, teach them, and help them to enjoy. I know I just have to take a deep breath and do the best I can. We will only scratch the surface of all that's out there for us to enjoy. And that my friends, will still be a lot.
So, we'll be spending more days, at the art museum. And who knows, I might even try to take all 3 of them. Do I dare????