I started getting out more before the end of 2015. I’m lucky to live close enough to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to go there whenever I want. I used to go more often, but have been too busy lately. In 2016, I’ll be making more time to go.
The Dutch Art room is one of my favorites. I love the straight-forwardness of the subject matter. Little glimpses of daily life captured in beautiful elegance.
I was working on a portrait years ago and needed to get a better idea of how to depict water. More than that, I wanted to really understand how it moved, how it danced with the light. I went to the museum and visited the Dutch room, looking for a particular painting of a vase filled with flowers. I remembered a few drops of water on their petals. I stood and stared at them for a long time, then headed to the Roselle Court for a cup of coffee and a scone.
At the center of the Roselle Court, there’s a gorgeous fountain. I sat sipping my coffee after ravenously devouring my scone (I don’t know of any other way to eat a scone), and watched the water in the fountain. It was a wonderful meditation. I noticed how the water splashed and flowed, and imagined the portrait I was working on—how the water would catch in the subject’s hair and bead on his skin.
Sometimes it’s enough to let yourself absorb an element or an environment without really thinking about it too much. Your subconscious is constantly processing your experiences and your senses, and that feeds into your creativity.
The piece is much stronger for this study, and the atmosphere and art was a soothing balm to my psyche. I’m looking forward to many more visits this year.