Sunday, January 20, 2013

Almost Home

What's this story behind this?

I always want to know the story.  A painting without a story is... well, for me it's just missing a crucial element.

Making up a story can be just as good as knowing the real story though.
So... what do you think?

A.  Little Tucker wandered across the field to see if his favorite neighbor had made any of his favorite cookies lately.  She had, and he got one.  But then she had to walk him home to face his worried mother.

B. Little Tucker couldn't wait to try out his brand new camouflage boots.  Aunt Victoria took him on a hike across the field to see if they really did make his feet disappear in the grass.

C.Little Tucker and his mom took a carrot or an apple into the pasture every morning when they went to pet Grandpa's horse.

Which one do you think it is?

Last weekend I got to visit my daughter and son-in-law, and they took me to the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.  I loved it!   (at least I loved 3/4 of it.... I can get enough of the other 1/4, art from the 13th-16th century, in a hurry.)
I caught my self asking questions about the story behind the paintings..  "What were these people thinking?  Why would the artist choose to paint this scene?  Who do you suppose these people were?  (Yes, I realize that I could probably Google the answers to some of these questions, take an art history class, or read an art book.  But, we kind of enjoyed making up the stories.


 "Japanese Footbridge" - Monet
Do you think Mr. Monet walked across that bridge every day?  
Did he plant those waterlilies just so he could paint them?
Did they just show up one year and surprise everybody, so they called up their friend Claude to come over and bring a canvas and some brushes?

"Girl with a Watering Can" - Renoir
Who was this little girl?  
Do you think she was hot in those long sleeves and that lace?
How did she know Mr. Renoir?
Did Pierre-Auguste put snacks in that little watering can to bribe her to keep still?

"Lake Luceren" - Bierstadt
Was this scene just part of Mr. Bierdstadt's neighborhood?
Did he have to wait for the season and weather to be just right?
How did Albert manage a canvas that big?

"Green Plums" -  Decker
What's a green plum?
Did Mr. Decker pick these from his own tree?
Are you sure, Joseph, that they aren't just apples?
(By the way... I loved this simple painting more than any other in the museum...)

"Banks of the Seine, V├ętheuil - Monet
Sorry, Mr. Monet... Your painting is lovely, but not nearly as lovely as the young lady in purple standing with me... :)

So... if you really want to know which is the real story behind "Almost Home".... It's "B" 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bluebird on a Twig

How does one become a bird watcher?

I'd like to watch my birds, but they are the most aggravating things!  They will not be still!
Don't misunderstand; I love my birds.  I love their tweets and chirps and caws and whistles.  I love their flashes of color in the trees.
But, I would love them even more if they'd just be still and let me take their picture every once in a while.  
I have a hummingbird feeder - well, those guys don't even count, they never be still for anyone.  I also hung three bird feeders in the trees around my back deck.  The seeds disappear, so I know they're coming around.  I even see them sitting there having a snack - but just for a second.  If I pick up my camera, they're off within seconds.  And, if heaven forbid, I open the door to come out...!  You'd think I'm mean to them or something!  
Anyway, here are a few of my flighty little neighbors.