Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving Travels and Theodore's brother

available at Nat. Gallery of Art or see it HERE  by Danielle Krysa
On Thanksgiving our wee family of two decided to visit a couple of museums in Washington.
We are relatively close and they are open for our enjoyment 364 days a year. Thank you for culture!!

I loved the cover of this book! My inner critic is loud and obnoxious. And a blowhard! And doesn't stick to the facts!  It says rude things that are just not true and will interrupt my art journey if I give it the time of day.
Sometimes one needs to show this sort the door so they leave.
Back to our afternoon spent together and looking at art. It's so enlightening to look at things differently. We started after lunch, found a terrific parking place right here!
We went into one of my favorite places (National Art) to see this exhibit.

Drawings for Paintings.
No photography allowed, so no pictures of this exhibit,  I'm sorry to say. Lots of pictures tho!

It was interesting for me, since I like to draw but my critic is mean about them.
I like to paint too.

I make fabric art more often, and have made it from my own drawings at times.
Loosely designed from drawings.

Mostly I draw, then wonder how it would look when painted, then wonder how it would look when quilted.
If I enjoyed needlepoint or pottery I'd wonder how it would look in those mediums. (media?)
I loved seeing sketches by famous artists, and the paintings next to them.

Like me, they felt free to change the drawings when painting. The smallest gesture change made the entire tone of the painting change. Small changes can change things including art.

The drawings were often elementary, dot for nose, scribbles, overlapping sets of hands. Like mine!

Let's consider one painter generally accepted as one of the greats. V. Van Gogh
Hello my talented friend!

Very exciting for an artist to see actual paintings in person that we grew up seeing in print.

A person like me wants to get close, to see brush strokes, how paint is mixed to create line and shadow.

About this one. I noticed the green in his face, the mixing of blue and yellow, reddish brown and white.
The intense brush strokes creating lines I might create with quilting.

Look at the background. Bold strokes. Note the shadows. The intensity of eyes. The crooked nose, shown as it looked to him. A nose someone more ego driven might have straightened in painting. The changing of facts might make a person feel better but honesty is better really. I love the brush strokes on his face too.
I wish I could have seen him at work, making choices, mixing color.

I've had students ask if they could come to my studio to watch me work. My inner critic responded no! Why would you?

They must have admired my work and wanted to learn how I approached choice making. My inner critic is obnoxious. It stopped  communication and we all missed out.

Van Gogh made this painting only a year or so later...
I suspect he was tormented by inner critics. He was tormented with strong feelings for sure. I wonder if he chose nature for his paintings so that he could feel calmer. Again I looked at brush strokes. Each painter handles a brush differently, some blend more than others. This is done with thickened paint really showing the determined strokes of a brush loaded with paint and left very dimensional lines
Bold. Paint tells the story.
 Anger? Determination? Self expression certainly.

Changes of direction leading the eye to go horizontally, then vertically. Color mixed on the brush for shadows. It seems like he allowed for what we might think of as improv. Quick decisions.

This kind of work would require freedom, not returning time and again to "undo" or "redo"

Not attempting perfection.
Laughing at perfection!
Capturing a moment, a light, the wind, ...organic earth.

How did he deal with his inner critic? He was tormented for sure. He felt strongly no doubt. I would have wanted to watch him work too.

 Enthused after seeing so much stimulating art, I used the medium at my disposal, my camera.
I interpreted the moment with this spousie. Using reflection, interrupted line, late afternoon lighting, changing angles I tried to capture a moment.
The fountains and trees are vertical. the mirrored sculpture has lines of metal, inside we are vertical. Inside is also another mirrored sculpture reflection. As are the other people. As is the same sky reflected from the mirrors.
Line on line, intersecting. Muted palette. many subjects within other subjects it reminds me of Escher a bit.

I love the image and while I made the decision to content, angle, subject I made the decisions quickly. I decided what to include, what to exclude, where to stand, when to take the picture. And did it quickly to outrun the critic.

The inner critic could cause me to miss a moment.

We enjoyed the late afternoon light as it drifted away. We walked along the lovely mall toward one of my favorite museums, American History. I have always, from childhood, loved history. I have always wanted to see how people actually lived. Watched them work, sort of.

We were nearing closing time of 5:30. The employees at the entrance were within their rights to be snarly but they were jolly! They engaged me in conversation and made me laugh. I felt in on the joke! One of the group! I belonged there even though we went through security with only 20 minutes to look around.

That's a moving sculpture outside the building. It slowly rotated, eternity, glistening in spots, shadows in spots. Always moving. Always impossibly balanced. Reflecting us in a tiny part of itself. More mirrors.
It's a time for reflection on who we want to be in America. Who we want to show to the world.

each of these following pictures are seen from an artist's perspective.
I include certain subjects. I choose the lighting and placement that you see. You would certainly shoot it differently if at all.

I purposely centered one of our National monuments. One to the man who stood up for freedom and representation. A government that tried to represent all it's citizens. Isn't it glorious? It is to me. I wish I could have watched the founding fathers work.
Enjoy our capitol as evening deepens...


  1. I enjoyed reading your post - especially the comments about Van Gogh! Thanks for sharing, Janet

  2. So interesting to think of various "scenes" from the perspective of art. I hadn't really given that much thought. Thanks for the insight.

  3. what a delightful trip of art and perspective and brushstrokes and light! i can only imagine in person even more so wonderful! So it seems if you fill your heart with art and appreciation and wonderment, the joy and light
    just might
    edge that critic out! be well.

  4. Good for you -- what a marvelous afternoon you had!

  5. I feel like I need to "rediscover" DC. James Madison is my favorite founding father. You need to go see his house, the story is amazing and there is a tie to the DuPonts.

  6. I am jealous, being about 3000 miles away from those museums, so thanks for bringing us along with you! I love it when you talk travel to us. Meanwhile, out in NoCal, I've been going through my own photos today looking for art inspiration. Trying to look past the thousands of beautiful landscapes to see the shots with line, lighting, color pallette, composition possibilities. Your "spousie" would make for a really interesting and challenging design exercise. It would be very challenging for me, because the colors are so subtle (What? You can't use ALL the colors EVERY TIME?), but I might enjoy seeing where I could go with that. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. I really enjoyed your day out and about at the museums. Your pictures are great, thought invoking. Thank you for taking us along on your travels. (I don't get out much, so I go with you!)

  8. You will never run out of things to do and see in DC. Loved every visit we made there and really enjoyed visiting it again with you. And it's hard to keep that inner critic at bay...we need to always work on that!!!

  9. Seeing a classic piece of art in person is so amazing even if you've seen reproductions most of your life. It's just not the same when you're fortunate enough to see the real deal!

  10. Your Thanksgiving museum visit sounds wonderful to me! I enjoyed all your photos and the chance to think about things from an artist's point of view. I would love the chance to be a "fly on the wall" in an artist's studio - it would be fascinating to see (just like you said) their decision making process at work!

  11. What fun to live so close to all those great museums -- love the power of VanGogh's work but I've never thought about wanting to watch him work??? Hmmm?

  12. I find it fascinating too to look at different works of art up close and see all the different colors - like that green in his face in the self portrait. Amazing.

    Great photos. (Sometimes it's hard to turn off the Inner Crtic. If only it was super easy to replace that jerk with an Inner Cheerleader instead.)

  13. It is always fascinating to see artwork up close to see the colors used that make up the piece. Thanks for sharing this great trip on Midweek Makers

  14. What a wonderful thing to do in thanksgiving day! You are so lucky to live close to the Smithsonian and all that DC has to offer. (Except the weekday traffic )
    Have you thought about joining the women's march on Washington on January 21st? Should be quite the thing :-)

  15. Wow...what a beautiful day! My favorite form of art is sculptures...and paintings....and music...and....ah heck! I love art! Thank you for sharing! :)

  16. By the way, I loved the book title! I need to remember that!

  17. It looks like you had a great time. It's fun to get 'new perspectives' for your shots.

  18. Love your post and thoughts on Van Gogh, thanks for sharing!

  19. A wonderful post!!

    Thank you so much for linking up on Wandering Camera!

  20. Wonderful photos and a very interesting post :)