This Speaks to Me

 In Creativity, Inspiration, The Artist Date, Weekly Forum Discussion

At the end of a phone conversation my friend told me what fun plans he had for the afternoon, and after we hung up I was stuck with the question: “So what do I do today that’s fun?” I checked my city’s event calendar and was met with the idea to go to a museum. I hadn’t done that in a very long time. So right there and then I decided to go to the “Neue Pinakothek”, an art museum that focuses on European art of the 18th and 19th century. It’s been literally years since I last went there.

Back when I was a student I was interested in the arts. Not super well trained or anything but I enjoyed them. Esp. the French impressionists like Monet, Cézanne, Renoir, Degas, etc. But in the last few years I completely lost sight of this interest of mine. So this was an opportunity to bring it back to (my) life.

Usually I enjoy it much more to do things together with other people, it gives me the added bonus of enjoying their company while doing something fun. But this time it was simply perfect to be on my own. That way I didn’t have to bother where everybody was and if I can hang out with certain pictures for a longer time. So I left all my stuff with a very nice cloakroom attendant except for my little sketch-pad and pencils. And my cell phone which funnily I totally forgot about the moment I entered the gallery rooms aka a different world.

I went through the rooms chronologically looking for pictures I liked. In the middle of each room there where some seats and a big book in which each piece of art on display was mentioned and somewhat explained. So if I found some piece I was interested in I sat down and studied it. I sketched the face of a young wife depicted in a lovely white dress. I was fascinated by the different styles of the artists. Some of the painters using very fine brush strokes to capture the details, while others rather used the nuances of colors to create the composition of their paintings.

J. M. W. Turner is an example of the latter. I had come across some of his paintings sometime last year and for some reason liked the ones of the ocean and ships. In the Neue Pinakothek they have “Ostende” on display showing the port of Ostende, Belgium, with two ships that have already safely reached it in the middle of a storm while one ship is fighting not to crash against one of the moles. I loved to be able to take quite some time to study it. The guard at some point started watching me moving forwards and backwards admiring the painting, obviously making sure I wasn’t up to some mischief. 🙂

Have you ever heard people say something to the extent of “Oh, I feel so moved by this picture, it speaks to me.”? For the first time it was like that for me, and that experience and its accompanying feelings are rather hard for me to put into words. I engaged with the painting, it touched me, it told me about life. The way the third ship was trying not to crash and sink while three fishermen were completely unaffected by the ship’s fate reminded me of how we sometimes fight for our lives, our sanity, our goals, while others simply cannot relate to us and our battle. Yet we have other moments in which we are calmly laying in a port safely enjoying life and its wonder. And other times we are like the woman crying out to the almost crashing ship hoping a loved one will make it back to us.

By the end of my tour I felt so full, “well fed” and satisfied like never before after a trip to the art museum. An Artist’s date well worth being repeated!

Recommended Posts