Saturday, November 20, 2010

What ART Does to ME

 The Kiss by Francesco Hayez 1800's

Ok, if you have stopped staring long enough at that gorgeous old painting above...then I will write to you about what Art does to me. I have heard, that there are people in this world that don't care for Art, it doesn't do a thing for them...and I am always surprised to hear that. But I do know that the appeal of art is very subjective. We all, the ones of us that love art, all have a certain type we enjoy best. I do not understand the appeal of abstract or even Impressionism art that is so vague an impression of the subject that no one can make it out. Like this:

 Too vague for me, I appreciate fine, intricate details in Art more. Yes, I know you can see it is a boat on water and a city behind...but still too fuzzy for me. Clarity and detail are what I like , personally more in Art.  Also NOT my thang below here...
 I'm sorry, but it just makes me dizzy. It is sort of fun, but not what feeds the art lover inside of me. That would be more this:
Girl standing on Balcony by Carlo Holsoe 1863
 and this:

Aert van der Neer
Moonlit Landscape with Bridge, probably 1648/1650
and of course this:
Jean Auguste Dominique INGRES (Montauban, 1780-Paris, 1867)The Bather, known as the Valpinçon Bather1808
© Musée du Louvre/A. Dequier - M. Bard
I can freely admit I am drawn to the Romanticism period  ( 1790-1850 ) of art
Asher Duran, Kindred Spirits 1800's

, but I also love the Renaissance period ( 14th-17th century ),
Raphael 1500's High Renaissance

Pre-Raphaelite, Neo-Classicism, The Aesthetics, Victorian art, and about 15 other styles give or take a few.

Caravaggio 1500's

 Antique art has always interested me, since age 8 or 9 years old when I 
discovered a giant art book with all the great masterpieces in it. I became so engrossed in a large chair at a distant relative's home, reading it for over an hour ( or 2 ) or so...that they gave me the book. It was almost as big as I was, and I hugged it close when I got into the car for the drive home,so amazed at their kindness and my insatiable appetite to look at all the art I could...when I could.
I still
have that book. 

That has not changed about me, art is still a huge draw to me...if I came to your home, and you were chatting away with me...and as much as I found you interesting...I would completely lose my focus if I saw ANY artwork around your home. I would usually interrupt you, tell you to wait...( and I am sorry to say I have done this many times ), and I would walk all around looking at your artwork. If it was my type I preferred I would look more. If it was not my style, then I would glance briefly, and return back to your enthralling discussion.
BUT...Art usually makes me lose focus , especially antique artwork.  
It is therapeutic in helping me lose my focus on my pain ( over my Sarah )...for very short periods of time. 

Also, I absolutely HAVE to have artwork in my home, blank walls are a waste of space, my eyes and my soul have to have paintings and old prints everywhere I look. When I have been to people's homes or businesses and they have NO art or  anything on their walls...I want to tell them ( and I have ), that they need something on their walls. Art , a mirror to reflect light or a view, something for Pete's sake needs to be on the wall !

I feel as if am drawn into the painting, paintings are my big magnet...original antique prints as well...and antiques in general whether it be furniture, mirrors, sculpture, etc. Anything old, that has history and evidence of age...
I enjoy them so much.
They are an escape , mentally ...for me. 

For  some reason, Art is helping me more than my garden is ...right now. I am unsure why, possibly it is static beauty, while my garden is still alive and moving. I don't really know. I do know that I typically want  to be INSIDE the painting, or imagine I am, or something inside the painting reminds me of something important in my life...or psyche. 

Either it depicts a place , a feeling, a need , or a person( that person can even be myself ), that I want or desire in my life.
I buy art that touches something inside...I always have.

Only people that really love art can understand lovers are very visual , compared to someone who is more drawn and affected by music or a certain activity or hobby. Of course many people are a combination of art/music lovers, music/poetry , gardening/ know.
Gardening is my other big escape, therapy....pleasure in life.
Being without my Sarah during this holiday month , is something I am dreading . I  wish I could stop time.
But nothing stops time, nothing stops everyone from living their lives, going about their if nothing important happened that should stop them.
For me, that important happening, is making it very difficult to think straight and even breathe during this holiday season. Each day that passes, brings me further away from the last time I saw her alive. The countdown for the holidays, is painful and a big reminder of my heartache.  I am simply taking one day, really one hour at a time. 
One hour, is about all I can handle , each day.

Sarah loved Thanksgiving and Christmas.
She loved us, her family...and it showed. 
I still ache for her, continually , always.

That is her above, posing with her little brother on Christmas morning last year. Her big sister was taking their picture from the opposite direction, and I took this one. She was such a beautiful girl.

I hope whatever your ' thing ' , in life is...that you enjoy it and appreciate it fully.

Bless you,


  1. Wonderful and heart-aching post. We do what we need to do. Art in its many forms can bring out such emotions it makes sense that we want to lose ourselves in it at times. 'The Kiss' had me stopped on the page for awhile. You posted some lovely paintings, thank you.

  2. Oh Gina! I feel your pain even though I don't know you and I haven't been through what you're going through. I can only imagine, but your heartfelt words are so real and draw your reader into your emotional space in the same way that you are drawn into the paintings you love and to which you feel especially drawn. Your daughter was very beautiful (as evident in all the photos you've blogged) and it is abundantly clear that the bond you shared ran to the depths of your being, which makes everything so much more heart rending, even to those of us who've never met you or your beloved Sarah. All I can say is that, in some unfathomable way, you have reached out to your readers in a most profound and honest way and that is something really special and unique. I know my words will not help you, but I feel the need to express them in my own feeble effort to reach out to you across the great divide. Thank you for the time you've taken to share these beautiful works of art with us and for being so forthright about what does, and does not, appeal to your sense of beauty. I am learning a lot from you about so many things. Your Sarah had an amazing Mother in you. Your surviving family are truly blessed and I know you feel deeply blessed to have them in your life. Hold on to each other as the memories of Sarah fill your hearts throughout the upcoming holidays. With loving hugs, Des.

  3. Your post is powerful and heart breaking, as you and your daughter have a powerful bond, which continues on forever. I too love art, and read carefully to make sure you mentioned my favorite school, which is Pre-Raphaelite, which you did. Their subject matter is often love or faith, and their paintings are jewels. You write from the heart, dear blog friend.

  4. That's a thoughtful post. I'm almost tempted to write a few pages on the subject my own blog.

    I'm sure there's a connection between liking a painting of mountains and lakes and clouds, and messing around in a garden. In a painting, the painter or viewer is simply looking, but in a garden you engage with nature in reality.

    For me, the most interesting paintings are those which evoke mythological ideas, such as The Judgement of Paris, or The Lady of Shalott. There are lots of symbols in the paintings you've shown above. We don't need to understand the meanings intellectually for the paintings to affect us.

    On your other blog you've got a Frank Dicksee. On one hand, that painting is just a romantic painting. But it's also symbolic. The man's outstretched arms form a cross, and the woman above is like the Mother of God... without mercy.

    Paul-Jean Gervais does some, rather saccharine, images which are full of symbols, like this one:

    I didn't used to have much patience with very surrealist art, such as Dali and Fuseli. But I've changed my views on that. Dali depicts strange images that people can actually experience in dreams. I've seen some commentary by psychoanalysts praising some of the images of Dali and Fuseli. I like some of the weird depictions of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

    In dreams you can imagine fantastic landscapes and things which are unlike anything in real life. It's supposed to be theraputic to paint one's own dreams. I believe you can 'paint' using PhotoShop. I might try to work out how to do it, if I can find the time.

  5. I simply had to return to this post for another visit. I actually find myself doing this fairly often with your posts, as it's not always possible to digest all you've shared with us in a single viewing. I do have a question for you, Gina - do you paint, yourself? Just wondering... as you've clearly got so much inside yourself to express through art (as well as through your garden, of course!).

  6. The girl on the balcony is one I most like. Dreamy and deep in thought. Abstract for me is too busy, I like something thats easy on my eyes and soothing.
    Such a moving post, feeling your hurt as I read.
    I will be calling my children to tell them I love them.
    Thank You for sharing,

  7. That first piece is stunning and can see myself in it. I love art but know little other than what the eye can see. I mostly like landscapes and that is what I paint.

    I have been thinking of you. You are the one person I think of more often than most any other blogger. I've been wondering how you were doing with the holidays coming up. I know this is such a difficult time for you. You will be in my prayers Gina all through the season. Blessings to you sweetie.

  8. Hi Gina,
    Although my favourite painting are by Camille Pissarro, I must say that I agree with you about a lot of 'alternative' art. I remember going to the Tate Modern in London once and coming across Andy Warhols 'Toilet', and it was just that, a toilet on a stand. While art students stood around 'mmmm'ing and pondering from different angles, I must admit to just bursting out loud with laughter, much to Amandas embarrassment. Picasso and the like for me is a big no no as well. I love the ones in your post, particularly the girl in the pink and grey, and the photo of your daughter and son is really lovely.

  9. When talented artists create, they become intimately involved with their creation. And I believe you can tell a lot about the artist themselves. For example, if I look at a weird Picasso painting, I say to myself " What kind of crap is he trying to pull here?? Are we supposed to be suckers to think THIS is art Are we supposed to FEEL anything? When I look at that type of art, I feel an emotion, it is disgust, with the artist. But when I experience beautiful art, ( as in the paintings you portray here) I have positive, uplifting emotions and respect for the artist as well. To me, a painting needn't be dazzling to the eye, but rather, touch the heart. As an illustrator and artist, I am always pleased when someone turns the pages of my books and tells me," Oh, this takes me back to my childhood, I just want to go into this picture and this little world!" That is what I want to do when I experience some ones art, I want to "go into that painting" and feel it. You know exactly what I mean, because you are an art lover too.

  10. I came back for a second look and you have added many more pictures!! Fantabulous !

  11. I can't imagine being surrounded every day by such a wonderful collection, Gina! It was impossible to move quickly through this post...the emotion and beauty are like "speed bumps" that stopped me at each word and picture to pause, breathe deeply, and "feel" the art...

  12. I have not stopped by your blog in a long time because I've been going through a year-long divorce. What's interesting is that I thought of you during the holidays, and as I mourned the loss of my marriage, and of my role as a wife, I knew that it could not in any way compare to the loss of a child. I wondered how you were and I barely know anything else about you.

    Art has soothed me recently too. It has had to do so because in my case I will likely still need to move, and I will lose the garden that healed me during my darkest moments. If my garden can no longer be my rock, I need something more portable and economical. Art can take us anywhere and it can warm us and give us hope and all kinds of other things too.

    I'm proud to see that you're still here and that your beautiful daughter is too. I hope too for your continued healing and happiness in 2013.


I love comments , please leave one if you like. I try to respond to comments,but if I'm running behind, please know that I read each one before they are published. Thanks much, Gina