Taking A Break With Rodin

IMG_0081Up to our armpits in work, and always catching up on one thing or another, we decided to get out of here for the day last Saturday. Due to Bill’s recovery from knee surgery and the preceding months of pain and staying put, we haven’t been anywhere that takes being on our feet for a long time. Now that spring is on it’s way and Bill is feeling good we decided to take ourselves on a little adventure.

Our destination was Richmond, only an hour away. With the end of the Rodin IMG_0112exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, in just a week, we decided to make a day of it and included time for a luscious lunch with a friend we haven’t seen in a couple of years. I was excited days ahead of time, eager to let everything I had to do go, breaking the ties that bind me to my desk.

I’m a home body at heart and have gotten more so over the past few years. But after a year of being tied down I’m ready to travel. Bill will be going on one of his greatly missed theatre binges later this month to New York City, where he’ll get to see seven on and Off-Broadways shows in four short days and nights. Don’t ask. I don’t know how he does it. I can’t take sitting in the dark for that long.

I’ll stay put until May and then head off to Chicago for Book Expo America, an event I promised myself I’d neverIMG_0115 attend. But it’s about getting used to the fact that I have a book coming out in September and learning how the world of publishing works. I’ll get to meet the team of great women at She Writes Press who are my partners in getting my book out, and other SWP authors whose books will also be released in the fall. I’ve heard that Book Expo is a real zoo with crowds belly-button to belly-button. But hey, you only get to live once. So why not. I’ll be taking a gallon of Rescue Remedy with me to soothe my anxiety in big crowds and plan on spending only a few hours at a time, navigating the sea of publishers, authors, and other publishing resources. I also plan on visiting with friends I haven’t seen in way too many years and take in some exhibits at The Art Institute of Chicago to muster up inspiration for my next visual art masterpieces :-)! And we’re planning more travel/vacation time during the summer.

IMG_0110 (1)But back to the Rodin exhibit. We are so lucky to have a museum that brings in exhibitions of this caliber so close to home. Though I’ve been really busy and thought I didn’t have time to see it, I’m so glad I took the time. I learned so much about Rodin, including the fact that he never got to see any of his sculptures cast in bronze. That didn’t happen until after he died. I also didn’t realize that he had a kind of factory going on with 50 studio assistants who did a lot of the work. His sculptures of feet and hands are amazing. There is such detail in the musculature of every body part he worked on. The attached photos don’t really do the work justice but they can give you an idea of what I mean.IMG_0119

When was the last time you got out of town for a day and away from what takes up all of your time? What did you do and what did you learn?

Being Reborn

IMG_0571Anybody who knows my visual art understands that I LOVE color.  It turns me on, provides me with an abundance of joy, and makes me want to dance.  I’m happiest when the sun is shining, and the sky is a deep, arctic blue and there are flowers blooming in the garden of every possible color. The bolder the colors the better. When I’m feeling down, it can be very pleasing to pull out one of those big boxes of Crayola’s and smear color all over an empty sheet of paper.

Yesterday was a dark, cold, rainy day.  Bill and I decided to make our way to Richmond, to see the Chihuly Installations at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. A neighbor who had gone to see the show before Christmas told me about it. She recommended that I go over and take a peak before it disappears in February.

The hour-long drive over to the museum was miserable with steady rain and poor visibility. I wondered why we were out on the road instead of staying home in front of a warm fire, drinking hot tea and reading a good book.  But once inside the museum and just beyond the entrance to the exhibition, I knew we had to be there.

IMG_0542I’m not one who is usually blown away by art glass, no pun intended.  It can be very beautiful, but it’s never really caught my attention … as in feeling that I was so excited, I was about to explode. My heart rate revved up and I felt like I was about to fly into one of those gorgeous sunsets we sometimes experience over the sea, in warmer climes, when there is lots of pollution in the air.

IMG_0559I was speechless. I was breathless. The installations are life-size, enveloping the darkened, but exquisitely lit galleries in bold reds, greens, yellows, blues, and every possible shade in between.  It took me a few minutes to calm down and begin to carefully listen to Dale Chihuly, talk about his work on the audio guide.  And as much as I love his glass work, I love his “drawings” more. They speak to me in soft whispers and loud shouts. I’ve never been “saved,” as in a church by Jesus, but I was certainly reborn yesterday as I stood before this magnificent, explosive work.

IMG_0544To be honest, I haven’t taken myself on any art dates recently.  The last time we were in New York, I didn’t step foot in a museum or gallery. I’ve been too obsessed with my memoir and writing.  But seeing this exhibit has inspired me so much, in so many ways, that I’ve decided I’ve got to get out more and see what’s going on in the visual arts world these days.

IMG_0545Seeing other people’s artwork is powerful medicine for me. I feel lighter. I feel happy. I feel giddy. I feel like writing. I want to dance. I want to live life to it’s fullest.

IMG_0554Do not miss seeing Dale Chihuly’s work should you find yourself within viewing distance of one of his exhibitions.