Rob and I had a lot of fun yesterday. Well, I had a lot of fun yesterday and I hope he did as well. We went wandering through all the shops along the main roads here at Rehoboth Beach. We also went to our friends’ wedding, but that will be tomorrow’s post.
While most of yesterdays wandering was just window shopping, one store did draw my attention: an art gallery.
Now, I’m not really an art sort of girl. Usually I look at a painting and think “oh, that’s pretty” before walking away and forgetting all about it. Yesterday something was different.
Rob and I were walking by the storefront without a thought of going in when a small tulip painting in the far corner drew my attention. I thought, “oh, that’s pretty” and was happily continuing to the next store (indeed, we were already looking into the next shop’s window) when something about that tulip painting made me turn around and drag Rob into the art gallery.
I’m sure at this point he was thinking I’d gone ’round the bend. In the two and a half years we have been together, I have not once expressed an interest in “real” art. Now, I believe I have nicely decorated our home, but every bit of art we have are framed reprints of photos. Having an original oil painting has simply never appealed to me.
Now I own three.
None of them are tulips.
I like my art to be of nature, and very realistic. I don’t want to see a single man-made object anywhere in what I am looking at, not even an old dirt road or a picturesque little cottage. The one photo I have in my home where I conceded this point is a picture of large oaks on a farm and there is a fence in the background. The fence bugs me.
I am also completely enthralled by water, and especially by waterfalls. I think they are awe-inspiring and magical to such a degree that they figure prominently into my book as the creation point of all magic. Can anyone truly look at a waterfall and feel nothing, or worse, underwhelmed? Not me.
So perhaps I’m a bit fussy about art, and have some really picky high standards. However, as I am purchasing something which I will put in my home and display for years to come, am I really wrong to be so fussy? I don’t think so.
Upon entering the gallery I looked more closely at the tulips that had drawn me in and decided they were nice, but simply not right for me or my home. They were too red, too bold, and ultimately, too boring. They were lovely examples of tulips, but there was no drama! There was no sense of peace or life, or the inexorable rush of of the world, powerful and thick even in stillness.
There were other paintings I found pleasing: a field of sunflowers with a small cottage in the back, many of waves crashing upon the beach with lighthouses in some part of the view, fields of wildflowers with a road and open meadows with trees and barns or mills. All of these were lovely, none of these were “pure”.
I was on the verge of giving up when one painting caught my attention – a painting of birch trees in fall around a stream with a tiny waterfall. The painting is beautiful, and everything a painting should be. The light breaks dramatically through the trees which are covered in wonderfully red leaves, and the stream that flows through the painting has the most realistic feeling of water meandering towards its destination.
This is a great painting, but I wasn’t sure it belonged in my house so I pulled it out to the front and went to another stack, more confident now that there would be SOMETHING in this shop I liked.
The next painting to capture my attention is a spectacular waterfall. The painter perfectly captured the moment as the water catapults over the edge and is suspended for a moment, weightless in its rush for the ground. He caught the excitement, the energy, and the power of a waterfall. And the beautiful spring or summer setting that cradles the fall is no less spectacular. The light glints off trees and warms the rock in a soft glow. Without the waterfall it would be such a peaceful scene. The inclusion of it changes the world, bringing chaos and magic to the forest, but melding with it completely.
Needless to say, the painting is now mine. It was destined to be mine from the moment I walked into the store.
I asked the woman who ran the gallery if she had any other waterfall paintings and told her my requirement of having absolutely nothing man-made in them. She pulled a painting she had just received from the back to show me. It, too, was awesome. Painted in nothing but white and navy blue it depicted a beautiful waterfall at night in the middle of winter.
It was lovely, but cold. Something about it was aloof and distant. The raw power was there, inescapable really, but held apart. It didn’t invite the viewer to its world, the harsh reality of the painting held the viewer at a distance. This viewer, at least.
I considered it while I looked through the stacks for another painting I liked, and came upon a second red-leafed birch scene with a stream – amazingly, this one by a different artists. Digging around I found the first one I liked and the two compliment each other perfectly, each distinct yet similar. It felt as though they had been painted by different people, each in search of their mate.
So I snapped up the two of them, added them to the waterfall paining and felt like I had a pretty good day. If the gallery is open as Rob and I leave I’ll pop in and ask for the names of the artists and share them here. I truly recommend them both.
When I get home later today or tomorrow I’ll take pictures and post them. You know, after I’ve charged my camera battery.