On Art

Day 113 of 365

Today, we went on a trip to the coast to visit an art museum that has been on my wish list for several years. It’s the Farnsworth Art Museum, and it’s much bigger than I had expected. I adore Andrew Wyeth’s work, and seeing some in person was just such a treat. I could stare for days at the paintings of the Maine islands that were featured in the exhibits. They also had an exhibit on Ashley Bryan, and I adored all of his art at well. What interesting humans–both of them.

This was one of my favorites by Andrew Wyeth. It’s called “Goodbye,” as it was his last work before he and his wife left this particular Maine island.

There was a print for sale in the store from Andrew Wyeth’s son, Jamie Wyeth, and it was of chickens! Of course, it was out of my league at $3,500, but it was magnificent to me. When I left the store, I went to find Ron. I told him, “There’s a piece in the store that I love. You’ll know it when you see it.” Later, he knew exactly which one it was. I do love chickens in art. I took pictures of the chickens I saw in the art all day. There was one that was too sad, and I couldn’t take a picture of it. But I found several beautiful chickens to photograph, mostly from Ashley Bryan. My magnificent neighbor, the flower gardener and the one who gives us a Monarch caterpillar every year, met Ashley Brya one time. She told me the story of how wonderful and kind he was, and I ate it up. How fortunate for her to get to meet him–and how fortunate for me to get to hear the story.

One of the most interesting things that happened today was that there was an exhibit of massive woodcuts from artist Leonard Baskin, a Holocaust series. It was powerful but it was painful. I started to feel so sick in the room and had to leave. I couldn’t look at the art anymore. I was surprised I had such a physical reaction.

My reaction certainly speaks to the power of art. I feel like I am an artist in my soul with no real talent. I love music and the arts more than I can say, but maybe it’s okay that I’m just a great admirer. After all, these talented humans need someone to adore their work to keep them motivated, right? I think I’m okay being an admirer.

But I do have to say that I was thinking all day that I wanted to try to take some classes one day and learn to draw a little bit. I wish to draw chickens of my own. Interestingly, after we finished our museum visit, we were walking to an outdoor restaurant when our son veered off down a side path. I turned around and went back to find him. He had found an artist painting in the park and started up a conversation. When I came upon them, our son was getting information on the online classes the artist offered on YouTube. He told the man, “I’ve been thinking all day that I would really like to learn to sketch in pencil.”

The man told him that he had videos on sketching and then said, “Hang on, let me get you something.” He reached into his art supply bag and took out a small box of pencils. “Here’s a professional pencil to help get you started.”

My son was so thankful and excited. The pencil is Czech and is very interesting looking. My son admired it all evening. I’m hoping he starts trying to sketch tomorrow. Maybe I will join him.

*I should add a quick note that photography was allowed in the museum. I thought it might not be, but lots of people were taking pictures. I looked it up, and apparently, art museums have moved toward allowing people to take pictures with their phones.

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