Musings About Art

I’m reading The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova for the From Left to Write Book* club. Its a rather long book so its taking me a while to get through it but I am enjoying it. Its a mystery, which I love, about a psychiatrist who’s trying to find out why his deliberately silent patient attacked a painting at the National Gallery in Washington DC.

So far, art is a major theme in this book and every time I pick it up I think about my own experiences with art. I’m not much of an artist by any means but long ago and far away I had a love for working with pastels and studying the Impressionists.

I think it began the summer after seventh grade when I attended a summer camp focused on writing and painting. We took a field trip to the National Gallery and that’s where I first set my eyes on the works of Monet, Degas and Renoir – Monet, not to be confused with Manet, was my favorite. I spent the rest of my summer sketching in pastel and writing poetry inspired by their works.

There’s a scene in The Swan Thieves where the psychiatrist, a hobby painter himself, spends a good bit of time at the National Gallery staring at the painting his patient attempted to destroy. He gets as close as he can to it without touching it, trying to understand what it is about this painting that fascinated (or perhaps enraged) his patient. He finds himself sucked in by the painting, like it has a hold on him and he can’t look away even if he wanted to. He’s captivated by it.

That’s what it was like for me when when I saw Monet’s Water Lilies in person. I sat in the oval-shaped room at the Musee de l’Organerie in Paris for the longest time just soaking in his masterpiece hugging the walls. I could have stayed there all day just staring at it.

I haven’t visited an art museum in a long time but I still enjoy them. And I still find myself awed and inspired by great works of art.

Now, where did I put those pastels?

*Disclosure: As a member of the From Left to Write Book club, I received a copy of The Swan Thieves for free. This post was inspired by this book and is not intended as a review.

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  1. I *so* get this feeling about art!!! That scene in the book really spoke to me to – very relatable!
    Taylor recently posted..A Few Words About Art- Mental Illness- and LoveMy Profile

  2. Follow your bliss. Find those pastels. Do what you are meant to do!

    • Aw, I appreciate the encouragement but I’m much better with words than pastels or paints or even colored pencils. Thank you, though!

  3. You ARE an artist. That part of you is in hibernation, waiting for the right time to wake up. I’m with you. I want to make more time to create art too. We can do it together!
    Thien-Kim recently posted..Wordless Wednesday- Kids First Vision BoardMy Profile

  4. I feel the same way about writing…inspired by the works of others. I do hope you pick up those pastels!

  5. I love art too, but I am no artist. I envy anyone who has any kind of talent. I hope this book really did inspire you to get out those pastels. It must be such a pleasure to see your own work.


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