The art world is drowning in fabulous work. It will be my greatest regret to not have seen more of the creations out there. How would it ever be possible to see the majority with such short lifespans and questionable means? Thankfully, the GoogleArt Project is helping to bring exhibits into homes via the internet. Although, here in the United States, internet will be an exclusive of the wealthy as prices keep rising beyond affordability. So much for helping small businesses and education for children!
Anyway, that’s a whole other article waiting happen. Let’s have a look at the art, and save the political discourse for another entry.
5. Redhead by Todd White
This one is on here for my ego. White’s painting came to my attention several years ago while I was searching for a profile picture to post on Facebook, one that wasn’t a selfie, or author headshot, but expressed who I am and what I look like in a more artistic frame. Thus, Redhead was found. Yup. I do feel like this captures a lot of my essence, even if the eyes are green and not blue. The attitude is all there. A plus is the use of bold colors that frame the red hair of the subject. It’s sort of cartoony, without being animation. The texture add to the stance and mood.
2. A Scout is Helpful by Norman Rockwell
Painted in 1939, this image depicts a young girl in the arms of a handsome youth wearing a scout’s uniform. It’s very apple pie! You see the focus on the boy’s face, the adoration in hers. This is the moment that a man in a uniform becomes everything to her. What cis female doesn’t have heart palps at a handsome man in a uniform? For that time period, this was especially so. It evokes the war era through use of a natural disaster, uniforms, and the helpless girl trope. But it’s still an amazing piece, both historically and by execution. I was privileged to have seen it in person at the Norman Rockwell Museum a few years ago. This work was done for Boys Life and The Boy Scouts of America. There’s a lot to unpack in this idealized aryan scene from pre-war, isolationist, German sympathetic America.
3. The Book of Romance by Norman Rockwell
I also saw this piece in person at the same time as the above. They were hung near each other in the downstairs gallery. This is a somber piece, more adult, and less urgent. The romance, perhaps, has matured. It felt rather Dickensian. The old man in the foreground is reading away while the young folks appear to be intimately engaged in the upper right. Or is she getting harassed? Interesting ideas abound in light of history and current topics. This is another oil, deftly executed. You could see the cracking, the brush strokes. I want this for my library wall! First I need the library.
4. Evening Mood by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
What an epic piece! The colors are romantic. The subject fantastical and gorgeous. It’s ecstasy. It’s exactly how I feel in my heart looking at the evening, at the gloaming. Bouguereau is my absolute favorite painter. I will light up at his mention. His subjects were almost always young women, which is pretty typical for art in general. Nudes, are not typical for him, however. His genre is on the pastoral side, French country. I’ve not been able to see one of these up close, but it’s on my bucket list. This one would be my preference. I might even cry at its presence.
1. Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
I know. I know. How typical that a popular name artist and one of his most popular works is on your list. But, hear me out. Everything about this is personally special to me. Van Gogh suffered for his art and was not celebrated in his lifetime. My fellow ginger died thinking he was a failure. His work inexplicably did not sell. To boot, our beloved genius’s affections went unrequited, no doubt due to his volatility from being sidelined. His anxiety and depression manifested in dangerous actions. I can relate to him on many levels. It’s merely my hope at this time, my goal even, that I’d have the same level of genius in writing as he did in painting. Further ties, beyond red hair and professional life, are the blue tones, the moon, stars, and the night over a scenic village in the hills. I’ve stood gazing at the moon many a night. I even took a shot at painting a scene (link). All of what ties my favor to this image can be found in The Trailokya Trilogy, and an intersect with my favorite movie: What Dreams May Come (1998) (link). In all honesty, that’s what the point of art is: to connect with other humans. It is there to engage your emotions and thoughts.
Dance Me To The End Of Love by Jack Vettriano
Let’s just look at it—in its simplicity. A dream. 1998. Painted after a Cohen song. Now, let the intertext play…it’s even better if you know his other work.
Not listed in this favorites list are animation pieces, because I could write a whole load about them: Mary Blair and Disney, Friz Frieling, and so on. So, let’s save those beauties for another time…
If you loved this article, subscribe to the blog to get more. Donate by buying a book.