Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Try a Little Something New: Understanding Art.

'Tis the season for new beginnings, fresh starts and kicking off new goals, so why not try something new! Something that I have recently developed a budding love for, it art. I went to Europe in High School, where I spent my time walking amongst the beautiful ruins, enjoying the sweet taste of gelato, wishing in the Fontana di Trevi, and contemplating art. 

Now, before that makes me sound too cultured, I need to explain that when I say "contemplating", it really means that I had no clue what I was looking at. I went to the Musei Vaticani for about 7 hours. I'll be honest, by the fifth hour I was ready to get the heck out of there! I was tired, wanted to sit down, and frankly, I was a little hangry (Hungry+Angry). Plus quite a bit of the art didn't resonate with me. I also went to the Louvre, but we were only there for 2-3 hours (and there's so much to see!) I got a picture of the Mona Lisa (who knew it's so small?!) This is pretty much what it looked like.

Them people love Mona Lisa...it's like she's famous or something!

Luckily I had a little help from my background with Religion, and my Art History-major sister. I was able to appreciate a few bits of art, such as this:

This, I'm sure you can see, is of Adam and Eve - called Adam and Eve in the Earthy Paradise, by Peter Wenzel. I liked this one so much that I got a poster of it to take home. What I liked about it was the use of vibrant colour and the beautiful depiction of the animals. And that was about it. I was in grade 11, and I knew the story of Adam and Eve, and nothing about art. And that's okay! So what - I didn't understand some deeper meaning or symbolism. I believe you can appreciate art for reasons other than that.

What I'm trying to say is that just because you don't think you understand art, doesn't mean you shouldn't go view it! Maybe don't go and do it for a solid 7 hours (unless you're determined, then by all means go and enjoy), but take baby steps to enjoy art! 

I always hope that in the future I'll raise my kids to be all cute and cultured, taking them to look at art, and encouraging them to make it. But I think it's important for us adults to do it as well! Don't get set in your ways and think that you know enough or that art isn't fun or interesting. You're never too old to learn, and you can always ask questions! It's the best way to learn and to feel a connection and appreciate what you're looking at.

So, since it's Try-It-Tuesday, I'm encouraging YOU to go to your local art gallery! Just google where it is. And if you don't understand what's happening, they have these wonderful people who work there, whose job is to help you!! Just ask someone who works there for some background on the art. Or ask for their perspective. They are more than happy to help in my experience.

Currently at the AGA, there is an exhibit called Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting. I'm so excited to go see it! They also have free discussions you can go to in order to understand it more!! (Now you have no excuse). Plus at the AGA, the last Thursday of every month is FREE admission! (Seriously, you have no excuses now!)

Do that, or take a class on art! I took an art history class last semester and LOVED it! I was a little skeptical at first, but I found it so interesting the background to a piece of art or architecture. This makes art mean a wholllleeee lot more to you! I realized that I had seen some of the pieces we talked about in class, and I wish I had understood them more before I went! 

Currently they are in the process of conserving the Winged Victory in the Louvre, but I recommend seeing it once they're done! It's beautiful! 

I can't get over how beautiful Sainte Chapelle is! The stained glass tells the stories of different apostles and biblical stories. 

Now go get yourself cultured! And please let me know if you do! Or let me know what some of your favourite art is! I'd love to hear about it!


I went to the art gallery with my mom yesterday, and we saw some seriously cool stuff! All the pieces from the Of Heaven Of Earth exhibit are originals all the way from the Glasgow, Scotland. I heard that they have never left until now.

There is SO much beautiful detail in this painting! I really wish you could see it even more up close. It's huge too! Probably a little taller than me, and I'm 5'10/5'11. Basically it's a painting of Mary Magdalene, who is lamenting of her younger vain ways, now that she is close to Jesus Christ. I loved the shadows, and all the detail of the jewelry on the ground, the tablecloth with it's tassels, and of the architecture.

The Virgin Mary and the Christ child. In this painting, they said that the looks on both their faces is solemn, because they know of the future sacrifice, which Jesus will make (the Atonement). If you could see the amazing folds of Mary's garments, you'd be amazed! I was. They're so crisp and naturally folded. It looks very real.

This is the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. Annunciation meaning when the Angel Gabriel came and told her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ. The gold leaf part is light, symbolizing (I think) God's will being sent to Mary (or something about God telling her it was right/supposed to happen). My mom told me that usually artists will put the most important figure in the centre of the painting, to draw the eye there. But, we found it interesting that the pillar was in the middle instead. And again, such beautiful detail!

This was off to the side near another exhibit. I swear, that kitten looked real. I definitely went to didn't touch it to be sure. I was confused at first, but then thought that maybe it had something to do with the saying, "Curiosity Killed the Cat." But who knows! That's what's awesome about art. It's left up to the imagination!

This one's from the Inuit exhibit. It's titled, "Caribou Acting as Men". The artist, Oshoochiak Pudlat (I didn't even try to pronounce it), said that when he first started drawing, he drew animals in imaginary situations, with stories about them. Personally, I thought this one was awesome. 

Just to clarify, just because I had an opinion on these few paintings, doesn't mean I understood everything there. I'd only like to be that smart. ;)




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