It seems that I’m becoming more comfortable with embracing challenges these days. With that in mind, I’m embracing the A – to – Z Blogging challenge, by writing about the things that I most closely associate with being alive, when I show up and engage with life as fully as possible.
And with that, I give you:
My favourite painting is Rembrandt’s “The Return of the Prodigal Son”. I had the opportunity and privilege to see it hanging on the wall at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia and I am not ashamed to say I wept when I first laid eyes on it. The canvas is enormous, measuring almost 7’ by 9’ but its impact on me was bigger than that. Time stood still for me and when the clock started ticking again, I was a different person. It still captures my heart and mind and imagination.
I never understood abstract art in general or Picasso in particular until I saw “Guitar, 1913.” And then I got it. It was a sketch of a guitar but it was a guitar deconstructed, reduced to its most basic elements, geometric simplicity. Abstract art makes me see. I can’t just look at it and expect it to make sense. I have to observe and let it speak to me. I have to be patient, and wait, and open my eyes. I don’t know if this makes any sense to anyone else, but I have to be present with the work and let it lead me. It isn’t something I can necessarily control but, much like writing, I have to show up and do the work and wait.
I don’t pretend to know or understand all the technical terms associated with art. I know I tend to like the Impressionists. I know that I laughed at Dali’s illustrations for Dante’s Divine Comedy (I know, it’s kind of weird, but some of them were hysterical). I know that Rembrandt moves me to wonder. I know that I’m in love with Reubens. I know that I find Caravaggio interesting as all get out. I know that Russian painters in general are under-rated. Beyond that, all I know is that art makes my heart sing and makes me want to linger and let time stand still.