Life is moving so quickly, it slips from my grasp; exciting events fade into obscurity. Let’s capture a bit of October’s enthusiasms…
At our October Bon Air Artist Association meeting Janice McMurray spoke to us of her art experiences with older adults, helping them maintain their individuality. Isn’t that a great definition of art? Everyone’s artistic efforts are theirs alone. Even if you’re copying someone else’s piece, what you wind up with is your interpretation. This is why individual, original art thrills me – it’s a glimpse into another’s mind and heart, the closest we can get to telepathy.
In the first photo above are paper puppets Janice made. In one of her art sessions she had her students make puppets for Gone with the Wind, then they did a production of the story in 17 minutes! Can’t you just see the class falling about themselves in laughter?! The second photo is a small sculpture, about 5″ tall, made by one of her students, at the age of 104. The ability to create is there, no matter how late in life you get around to tapping it. She published a book in 1990, Creative Arts with Older People, which is available on Amazon.
Later in the month I joined a bus load of art enthusiasts for a bus trip to the National Gallery. The East Building has been recently reopened after an extensive renovation. I hadn’t been overly impressed with that portion of the National Gallery in the past, but I wonder now if I hadn’t explored it sufficiently? The multitude of galleries tucked away in odd corners were filled with a myriad of serendipitous delights. I highly recommend the current exhibit on the Concourse level: Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971. It’s up thru January 29, 2017. I was so happy to discover some of Matisse’s cutouts! I love their color and energy, but never expected to see the originals!
Inspired by McMurray’s enthusiasm and the National Gallery expedition, I approached our paint out with the Viginia Plein Air Painters this past Friday with cheerful anticipation. I was not disappointed – this eighth 2016 outing of the group was to a private Japanese Garden along the South Anna River cultivated by Junko Liesfeld, a gardening consultant with her own business, Zoen Garden Creation. The river water has been diverted to a pond and several streams that peacefully flow past beautifully scenic plantings, all meticulously maintained. Our group of 30 plus artists set up their easels and enjoyed a quiet leisurely morning painting amid the lovely long fall shadows.
I can’t wait to see what November might bring!