subjects of personal interest

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Favorite Paintings in the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art

in some ways I wish this was me... boating with a friend.

I love the painting galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
I've been to the museum on a number of occasions over the past few years with different missions, but it is always the paintings that move me to want to create, to record the simple vanity of life.
The bottom line is that it's all pretty pointless- this painting of canvases thing.

We have cameras that capture frames of reality much more distinctly.
I love photography. Really, I do- I even have a Flickr site that no one visits but me.
Photography is arguably a lot more "fun" than painting.

Painting is hard work. Long hours alone in the studio (or wherever) staring at canvases in various stages of completion, trying to figure out how to make it convey the intended experience.
Painting,.... repainting.
Going cross-eyed with proportions and composition.
I don't think many people really care about paintings.
We live in a media-saturated culture.
What's another image?

Typical conversation:
"Oh, you painted that?"
"Yeah. I've been working on it for a while...finally finished it."
"It's nice..."
"What do you like about it?"
"Um, it's pretty. The colors are nice. Do you have others?
 (heard: ....I'm bored with this.. do you have another painting?  Quick!...entertain me...before I have to think about the whys and whats of your work..)"
"Yeah. I have lots more...
(but you would probably find them boring too..)"

I'm tired of boring people who want to be entertained.
They are... boring... and I don't have time to be bored.
I don't know if I've ever been bored for longer than the time it takes to think of something.
I have probably a couple hundred unfinished projects going on all round me.
Pretty much no one cares about any of them but me, but I'm definitely not bored.

My life is one un-boring, unfinished project that I happen to be right smack-dab in the middle of.

Well.... I wish I could say that I have an original thought or some great vision.
I don't...right now... just give me another minute and when one comes it'll be scribbled on a blue post-it and then it can join the medley of ideas stuck all over my walls..... Names, and themes, lines of verse, rough sketches of composition, to-do lists, and business ideas. Whatever.
I'm a pretty lame duck really. I've given some great ideas away to businessmen who in one way or another promised returns on the ideas, which have yet to arrive. Tons of slogans, logos, images, random verses, and creative ideas are always drifting across the fertile lands of my brain. Every once in a while I try to tame them and put them to work. Sometimes they're just sketched on napkins and left for the busboy.
Many of my clients have been honorable and financed their ambitions in the art department generously.
To them, I extend my appreciation. You know who you are. May it continue to go well for you!
I guess if securing bread for the day was a bit easier I'd be much more productive with my art;
but there's more to it than that. 

Like I said before, it's all vanity, and I didn't even figure that out myself-
I learned it in the Bible, in one of the most insightful books ever, Ecclesiastes.
If you never read it, now is a good time. It won't take long; it's a short book in the middle of the Bible.
So basically, today, I feel like saying, "I give up."
No one but God really cares.
I, too, should read Ecclesiastes. I would feel better.
We are all just a beautiful mess of dust and I'm tired.

You probably are reading this because for whatever reason, you like my paintings.
So, with true sincerity, I thank you for caring enough to read some of my stream of consciousness;
the same sort of pathetic drivel I usually skim-read on other blogs, and generally strictly avoid.
I'm having a weak moment.  What follows is an exercise in art therapy.
Yup. Now I can claim "quack-psychotherapist" on my resume.
Some folks pay good money to soothe their souls with this stuff.
For you, my dear, loyal reader, I provide it free of charge.

This is a selection of my favorite paintings found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
This post has been a work in progress. I've been putting it together slowly for about 5 months now.

I've tried to include links to the Met museum website so you can see high quality images and learn the background information on each piece.

We'll start with my favorite painting in the world:
"Wheatfield with Cypresses" - Vincent Van Gogh 1889

"Cypresses"  - Vincent Van Gogh -   1889   36.75 x 29.125 in.

"Regatta at Saint-Adress" - Claude Monet   1867    29.625 x 40 in.

"Boating" - Edouard Manet  1874    38.25 x 51.25 in.

 "View of Vetheuil" - Claude Monet   1880    31.5 x 23.75 in.

"Garden of Vaucresson" - Edouard Vuillard 1920 59 1/2 x 43 5/8

"Young Ladies of the Village" - Gustav Courbet  1852  76.75 x 102.75

"The Gulf of Marseilles Seen from L'Estaque" - Paul Cezanne   1885    28.75 x 39.5

Red Sunset on the Dhiaper- Arkhip Kuindzhi

sorry about the reflection on this one.."East River from the Shelton Hotel" - Georgia O'Keeffe  1928    12 x 32 in.

"Golden Gate" - Charles Sheeler 1955

"The Rocky Mountains" - Albert Bierstadt   1863   73.5 x 120.75 in.

"Soap Bubbles" - Thomas Couture - 1859  51.5 x 38.625

"Princesse de Broglie" Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres   1851-53   47.75 x 35.75 in.

"William Fraser of Reelig" - Sir Henry Raeburn  1801   29.5 x 24.5 in.

"Banks of the Loing"  William Lamb Picknell   c.1894-97   58.25 x 83 in.

"Oak Tree" - Wolfgang Adam Topffer   12.25 x 9.75 in.

"The Weeders" - Jules Breton   1868    28.125 x 50.25 in.

"Vetheuil in Summer" - Claude Monet
"The Eruption of Vesuvius" Johan Christian Dahl

"leogar" - Modrian
"Spectrum" - Ellsworth Kelly

Joan of Arc" - Jules Bastian-Lopage 1879


  1. So basically, today, I feel like saying, "I give up."
    No one but God really cares.
    I, too, should read Ecclesiastes. I would feel better.
    We are all just a beautiful mess of dust and I'm tired. Yes.

    1. So sorry Janice.
      Don't give up, by endurance your faith is perfected.
      Life may be full of vanity and trouble, but the dead can't praise Jehovah for all the beauty in the world. If Jeremiah focused on the trouble around him, he never would have succeeded. He focused on the wonderful commission he had to help people, and found joy..
      I'm sorry you're tired, you have millions of brothers and sisters who are tired of this system too! But we will win the race!
      Hang in there! Try to stay busy helping people!
      Someday people we will know the peace of camping on the lakeshore by the mountains as depicted by Albert Bierstadt in his painting of "The Rocky Mountains" (pictured above)

      ....This hope we have as an anchor for the soul (that God, who cannot lie, is our refuge.)

    2. Perhaps I should also read my own blog from time to time...
      I didn't realize you were quoting my writing and agreeing with it.
      Thanks Janice.

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    1. I use the Google Blogger platform. It's easy. I type my copy in the template. It saves the work automatically as the writing progresses and then I can choose when to publish it to the web. I haven't had any problems. I've done about 50 posts at this point and there are a bunch I've never published yet. Blogging on the Google platform is really easy...and enjoyable. I do back everything up by copying and pasting my blogs into microsoft word.
      Thanks for visiting and reading my work!
      I visited your site. It's pretty clingy.
      You should get rid of the annoying pop up that retains people when they try to navigate away. If you want people to return, provide interesting, useful information and make the experience a pleasurable one. Having great content with regularity is the way to go, especially if your in it to make money.
      For me, blogging is just an extended art project that generates a few sales. I'm not doing this to make money. It's a way I can share my thoughts with the world, an electronic journal/library.