Saturday, September 19, 2009

Art, museums and all that smushy love stuff us girls love to talk about...

I've always wished that I was an artist.
A painter, designer, a person who could take nothing and create something so beautiful it could transport me into another world. I always envied people who could pick up nothing but a brush and create landscapes or images that stirred my heart.

What a gift.

When I went through my divorce I spent nearly all of my free time at the Cleveland art museum. It became my refuge, my church. The only place I found solace in a time in my life there was nothing but strife.

I went to that museum so often and sat in front of the same paintings for so long I could navigate through the coridors blindfolded and land on the bench in front of every painted image that caused my heart to sigh.

Fredrick Church's "Twilight in the Wilderness" is my favorite painting of all time. I'm sure it seems common, just another landscape, but when you see it in person... twilight is one of the most mystical moments of the day and he captured it perfectly.

My favorite painting as a child was called Romaine Lacaux and was created by Pierre Auguste Renior. I have a copy of the painting that is, sadly, collecting dust in my attic. She was so pretty and I just wanted to be pretty like her. But I always wore pants and was covered in dirt... 

Lot's Wife by Anselm Kiefer is another great piece and all the Egyptian, Islamic, and Asian collections.

Awe. That is probably the only word that seems appropriate to describe what I feel when I looked at these things.
I yearned to be that talented. That brave. That everything that those paintings stood for to me, in me, by me.

But I never had it in me.
Every few years I try. Futile as it is, I do again and again. 

And each time I see these images in my head and I can't ever make them out on canvas.
What comes out is nothing more than childish scribbles and in the end a mishap I throw away because it's mostly just embarrassing.

Photography was the closest I made it in a visual medium and maybe clay - sculpting. I was decent at that.

But the only paintbrush I was ever meant to use was actually a pen and my paint is ink.

Yet still, I still long for the ability to look into myself and see something filled with color and texture or the perfect portrait but that was never my destiny I suppose, but that doesn't mean that I can't dream. 

When I was little I used to draw all the time.
I even won a few contests for random weird images I had created.
I figure that's where the delusion was born that one day I'd become some world renowned painter. 
Ahh... look out Monet, Piccaso, and Van Gogh... I even changed the spelling of my name so it would add a bit of flair to my pieces.

It has added flair to my life. My parents get comments on how creative they were to pick the spelling they did.
I let them have the gratitude - I figure they had to deal with me as a teenager - the least I can do is give them credit for my name. (even though I was an angel so they don't need more than that ;) )

I took my son to the art museum for the first time last week. Mostly he was great. Yes, he did realize that the place echoed and if he squeaked it went on for a while and then there was how he was eyeing the floor, as if saying to me "Mom, do you see these floors. I mean, DO YOU SEE these floors? I could crawl for miles and MILES!"  I just laughed, hummed to him a bit and then took him outside to look at the sky.

Baby steps.

Now, I don't want you to get me wrong. I'm not ungrateful for the gifts I have.
I love them
I want to do more with them
But it's just one of those things.
To me painting was and still is something perfectly emotional and even romantic.
To capture a moment in time and have that moment take you months to complete. To see where you start and how it looks when you're done. To be able to stand in front of a finished canvas as see an entire store in one little spot...
There is something just so naked about it
In words I can still hide - idioms and soliloquy -  taking that beating of my heart and using three pages of words to tell you all I'm trying to say is that my heart feels love - loved - in love - mad - angry - hatred... peace.

How much they are the same
How still they remain completely divided and different

All art really is in the end is another way to convey to the world that we all have many layers of emotions.
Maybe I can't paint, and I may find that a travesty, but in the end I am still an artist - and for that I am grateful.

time to dream

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