it’s all how you see it…

November 7, 2011 § 13 Comments

This picture (below) proves that my camera does not SEE the way I do. OK, yes, I wear glasses (sometimes) but when I looked through the back yards at this ‘scene’, the colors were so luscious, so nicely burnished and blurred except for the pinpricks of purple morning glories, you would have thought Claude Monet had put the scene together.

But my camera said no, it looked like this.

Kinda ho-hum.
What’s the big deal? you ask.
I don’t know – I just wanted to catch the colors and the way they layered through the trees.
My camera is so objective; I am not.

And so I turned to my MS Digital Image software. Pure cheating. Pure fun. Pure fakery. 

Was this how I saw it?

Nope, the above picture is too “sharp,” too grainy, tho’ I like the contrast.

Um, no, it wasn’t like the above, not a van-gogh-gone-palette-knife-crazy. No.

Still not there with the above filter, called “ink outlines” but I do like this one because the flowers “pop.” See ’em on the right?

OK, yeah, this was more like it, not quite that watery, but closer. Still, I swear, the colors were all much brighter. Ah, well, you get the picture.
Happy rolling-toward-Holidays weather!



June 16, 2011 § 14 Comments

This guy and his twin guard the front entrance to the Art Institute in Chicago. It’s clear by his stance, by the dip-and-curve of his tail that he means business.

And then, get up close to his face. It says: This place is mine and don’t take anything from here, except inspiration and memory and ideas.

It is odd to snap pictures of paintings; you can go through hoops to get the lighting and the color correct, all without flash which understandably is not allowed. You feel like you can and should snap pictures of the artwork, as though in so doing you can take something of it with you. But you’ll never get it right. Paintings are really three-dimensional and taking of photo of them literally flattens them.

(by Toulouse Lautrec)

Still, you may not want to buy the art postcards of any of the artwork that are found in the gift shop. These, too, cannot nearly capture anything of the artwork, except the memory of seeing it, of the way it makes you gasp when you walk from exhibit room to exhibit room, standing there staring at certain pieces that move you particularly, like the Caillebotte you saw here years ago on one of your first trips to Chicago with your husband and seeing the painting now is like seeing an old friend in the midst of this metropolis where everyone else is a stranger…

(by Caillebotte)

…being caught off guard by one of Renoir’s portraits of a child that is so sweet without being saccharine-sentimental…

(by Jean Auguste Renoir)

…getting smacked in the psyche by looking at the original of Van Gogh’s room in Provence, a piece made even headier by the fact that you lived there, in Provence for a spring and summer and you know what he saw and smelled in  the provencal air…

(by Van Gogh)

…and you duck into the “moderns” and think you have nothing to relate to with them, but then  O’Keefe’s skull and bones in shades of white calls from the wall and so does Hopper’s Blvd of Forgotten Dreams and so does that silly old, nearly clicheed American Gothic which is of a man and his daughter, not his wife, and you can hardly believe it. You’re standing there looking at it, and realize the artist stood there looking at it, too, while working on it. And you marvel.

And you realize that if you had to go to school again, you could learn it all here, looking at the artwork and understanding how and why it was created and what it means, suggests or ignores.

And you stop taking pictures and you just try to “get it,” to feel the message, the reason of it all.
And you think that if you could stop right there, sit on one of the benches off to the side and open a blank book, you could fill it with a story, right there in medias res, surrounded by all that history and paint.

summer is van goghing, going …fall

September 3, 2009 § 14 Comments


sunflower on our old oak  table

What should I blog about tonight? i asked HM.
He paused and looked down at his hands folded over his napkin on the table. I wondered for a shriek of a moment if he were going to say “skip it” or “how about letting it go for now” or worst of all ” what difference does it make?” No, he didn’t say any of those things though I might have told them to myself. 
HM said, “The end of summer. Blog about the end of summer.”

I don’t want to admit that summer is fleeing.  Fleeting. Dissipating like the morning mist that rises off the pool. No, no! Don’t cool off. Stay warm. Come on, look! We’re putting on our suits and jumping into the water –  come on! Allow us the dog days of summer we always, always get here in STL. 

It is always difficult to let go of summer. Yet I grew up with the four seasons. Nevertheless, this Pisces woulnd’t mind a Carribean existence.

I love sunlight. I love water, heat-shimmered air,  blues and greens, the ocean, swimming, easy clothes, bare feet, long days.

Yes, I’ll love the leaves and the snappy, smoky smells of autumn. It’s the transition that ‘s so darn difficult. In the meantime, there’s September VOGUE.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with van gogh at This Writing Life ....