Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I woke this morning to a cracker of a day.
The sun was shining;
a hot-air balloon was sailing over my house;
the birds were singing.

Tuesday is a day I do something special as an
art date.
I go somewhere alone
where I will be inspired.
This morning I thought of the exhibition at The Auckland Art Gallery..
"From Degas to Dali".

The exhibition comes from Scotland.
I suddenly felt like a rebel.
I will go with my friends later,
but today I will go alone!

I didn't even make my bed.
I pulled back the covers to air.
(I always make my bed.
Years of doing what I'm told and then 30 years married to a man of habit).
I showered and dressed.
I ate a banana and drank a glass of water.
I jumped in my car .. and off I went.

It takes less than two hours to drive to Auckland.
The drive north was most pleasant
 with the Waikato River travelling north beside me.
I listened to Radio NZ.
Catherine Ryan interviewing ukelele musicians from Canada,
James Hill and Cellist Anne Davison, here for the Arts Festival in Wellington;
some book reviews,
and a reading from the book GIFTED by Patrick Evans
about the friendship between Frank Sergeson
and Janet Frame, two outstanding NZ writers.

Auckland City was shining in the sun.
I found a carpark and walked to the gallery,
first enjoying a latte and a sandwich
in the gallery cafe.
At last I was ready for my art date!

I wandered through the exhibition savouring every painting.
Picasso, Matisse, Manet and Monet, Degas, Dali
and so many more.
I stood back and looked and pondered..
and got up as close as can be.
How wonderful to see up close how the paint has been applied,
to see the very brushstrokes of Van Gogh.

So many works were familiar to me from books and posters and reproductions.
Some surprised me how small they were.
Some surprised me by the frehness of their colour
or the simplicity of idea.

In my wee journal I copied lines drawn by Miro
and thought how I love to make marks too. 

I loved the simplicity of Calder's spider spinning on a thread
and casting shape-shifting shadows of a second spider on the wall behind.
A little collage by Eileen Ager reminded me how long it is since I explored the art of collage.

and I marvelled at the simplicity
of the line drawings of Matisse.

I walked down Queen St and up Wyndam St to the Cathedral
and sat in the quiet reflecting on what I had seen.

I thought of Picasso's words
" It took me four years to learn to paint like Rafael.
It has taken me a lifetime to paint like a child."

I thought about the artists at Sandz Gallery who have intellectual disabities
but who unconsciously paint their truth.
I thought of Martin's little granddaughter Speckly-Woo who paints with honesty and beauty and simplicity.

I have returned home enriched
and wondering.
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  1. What a beautiful way to start this beautiful day. I love this post. I have to admit to a wee bit of jealousy over your day - a nice lunch, an art museum, and a cathedral, too. What a perfect day. Your doodles have always reminded me of Miro, and that top one, with its message, is so perfect.

  2. What a marvellous day of freedom and spontaneity. With a fine day like that (and they have been so rare), there's not a moment to waste. I must go and see the exhibition. You have inspired me!

  3. Good for you, Joan; for seizing the day. I love being with my family and friends, but, sometimes it is just better to be alone in art, isn't it, without the distractions of talk? Your day seems perfect in every way, twice for its telling here.

    Love the uke!