I spent Saturday afternoon roaming through the Minneapolis Institute of Arts with my sister and her family. I was in need of some creative inspiration, so this visit was very well-timed.
Although I've visited the museum several times over the years, it never gets old seeing some of my favorite paintings, including this amazing oil painting, Luxembourg Gardens at Twilight, by John Singer Sargent. It is simply one of my favorite paintings of all time. The mood, the woman's pink dress, the moon. I love it. And it doesn't hurt that it's one of my favorite spots in Paris.
One of my other favorite paintings is Frank by Chuck Close. The life-like detail alone is amazing, but add in the scale... and it's a stunner.
I also loved this abstract painting (unfortunately I don't remember the artist and I can't find the painting on the website). But it grabbed me the moment I turned the corner into the gallery.
I'm finding myself drawn to abstracts more and more lately, and I'm feeling, after years of intimidation, as though I might be ready to start exploring by painting a few from time to time (or should I say, trying to paint a few). I think it would be a great exercise for me, particularly to explore color and the unpredictability of watercolors, if nothing else.
As I said, I really needed this boost of inspiration. I've been continuing to focus on my photography the past few weeks, and I needed this jolt of painting energy. I also need to remember to take advantage of this great resource by visiting the museum's collection more often.
Minnesota winters can often feel unbearable. Every year I have moments, usually after a string of sub-zero January days or another March snowstorm, when I question why I live here. But today as I worked on some sketches for a new painting, the bright sunshine poured through the office window and I suddenly became tempted by the bright blue, clear, winter sky. So I bundled up and went outside to explore. It wasn't too cold, the wind wasn't blowing, and the sunshine and fresh air felt good. Very, very good.
As I walked back down my street towards home, I discovered what is quite possibly the cutest, most charming snow fort ever created. A tiny wooden door, real windows built into the walls, a lantern, and a bundle of wood. I had to resist the urge to open the door to see what they had hidden inside.
It's true, 2012 was gone in a flash. But i'm excited about moving forward into the new year.
I've never really been a new year's resolution type of gal, but lately I've been thinking about things I want to change, keep, leave behind, and find in the new year. My thoughts haven't completely settled yet, but I suppose that's the beauty of it. We will have to just wait and see what the year has in store for us.
I do know that I'm looking forward to diving in and finding out.