The Barre

Beauty upon which to look, a brush stroke, a shade of coloring and the artist’s energy captured in the build up of pigments, this is what brings me joy and pleasure. You can see the haste, the pressure, the fury, the painstaking repetitive strokes laid over and over upon canvas until he steps back and the canvas reveals what he sees so clearly inside his mind. Friday I fly to Washington, DC to see the Degas Exhibit at the Phillips Collection. My tickets allow me to linger and stand and ponder. I can barely draw a stick figure; forget perspective and shadow and depth. I color inside the lines pretty enough but paint and pencil are not my forte. I also have no desire to learn. I know and understand that this motor skill, this transference of imagination into a visible image is beyond me. It is why I love to stand before the work of these artists and imagine. I saw VanGogh’s works while in San Francisco last fall. I saw Botticelli and his predecessors while in Florence years ago. I saw Caravaggio works while in Rome.  I am enraptured by paintings and love the simplicity of a museum. To walk leisurely around an exhibit is delicious. To share it with a friend or a paramour is even better. The shared experience is what makes something truly beautiful. I know a sunset is magnificent. I know the sculpture of DAvid is splendid but to slowly walk it’s circumference with another and be simultaneously enraptured and awed is what makes art worthy. I think it is why the artist paints. They see something lovely INSIDE their head and they want desperately to share it, MUST share it. And they suffer through the rendering of their mind onto canvas or paper. And I am blessed with the simplicity of seeing the final product, the image as they saw so many centuries ago inside their heads. To step so gracefully into another human being’s mind is magic. I can’t wait!

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