Painting Summer in New England

Dom already beat me to blogging about Tuesday’s trip to the museum. Seems like that happens quite a bit. I don’t write about a lot of the fun stuff we do, because by the time I get around to it, he’s already written something. And sure I could write up my own take on it; but then I’d worry about being original and not repeating what he’s already said. And once it’s been framed it is harder to be fresh in how I record it. We think too much alike at times.

And that’s one of the great things about our little field trip. There are so many things about a person you find out after you’ve married him. Like the fact that he’s fun to go to museums with. We have a similar approach to going through the museum and it was fun to compare our impressions of the various pieces. We each saw the pieces a little differently, but have similar enough tastes that we weren’t arguing about the merits of the work.

Probably my favorite piece was a small, dark little canvas, maybe 6” by 8” showing a section of a lawn, just dark green grass and a few bright yellow dandelions, it felt like someone had slapped an arbitrary fram down in the grass and painstakingly recorded just what was in that square. Titled “Lawn” by Helen Miranda Wilson. (Thanks to the Resource Library site for providing a list of text labes and refreshing my memory!) I loved the realism, the feeling of depth and mystery. I have frequently sat staring at a little piece of lawn, rapt in wonder at the hundreds of miraculous details. This painting reminded me of that childlike sense of wonder I feel when I slow down to really look at the most ordinary of things.

What was great about this exhibit was it’s great breadth. There were landscapes and portraits, still lifes and street scenes. There were realists and impressionists and abstract pieces (fortunately not many of those). There were famous artists I knew well like John Singer Sargent,  Winslow Homer, Norman Rockwell, Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper, and Maxfield Parrish. But there were many more that were unknown to me. Truly one of the best shows I’ve ever been to, very well put together.

I could go on at length about the many pictures that grabbed me and remain with me. The one that sprang at us immediately inside the door: a large canvas of a forest scene, sunlight falling through crisscrossed tree trunks and landing in startling salmon colored splotches among moss covered boulders, and a forest floor covered in dead branches. I could hear the wind in the leaves, the bird song, smell the crisp of crushed pine needles.

Then a very small miniature scene of a picnic table on the beach, the light dancing on the waves in the background, all of it had an eerie moonlit sort of glow.

There was the woman looking out a window with a pot of geraniums next to her. There was the large portrait of a woman cutting flowers, lost in some deep meditation….

But I could go on all day and Bella is fussing and we need to go to Target for diapers. And there is something less than satisfying in trying and failing to capture with words exactly what it was that made me linger with longing gaze in front of certain pictures.

more about the exhibit here

2 Responses to Painting Summer in New England

  1. mom101 August 27, 2006 at 10:04 am #

    I came to thank you for the nice comment at my place when—look! An entire excerpt! Thanks mama. And yeah, Amalah is right – blocks ARE always fun. Not the ones that talk though.

  2. CherieB August 28, 2006 at 10:26 am #

    Thank you so much for this. I have followed all the links and I can’t stop giggling. We HAVE that drum, and yes, it is VERY annoying. Learn how to get the batteries out FAST because a lot of toys come “pre-loaded.” Also, be wary of the stuffed animal gambit, I think they are breeding as well…

    Anyway, from one Mom to another, thanks again.

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