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Monday, October 15, 2012

Inspiration Everywhere: Art Museums

Bring your notebook to an art museum. My daughter and I have been doing this the last couple of years. Here's an example of a haiku I drafted at the Seattle Art Museum's Gaughin/Tahiti show last spring.

Engage with the art in an un-intended way: Another thing we do (when we go to the Olympic Sculpture Park) is play elaborate games of Hide and Seek Tag using this Richard Serra sculpture:

My son says he doesn't like looking at sculpture, but he sures loves to run around these wonderful columns, staying just out of my view, then coming out from out of nowhere and racing me down. It's inspiring to watch children who say they don't enjoy art engaging completely with it kinesthetically. Small victory ... and he doesn't even know he's getting an art lesson. I imagine Serra smiling and nodding down upon us as we fully "get" his structures.

Express yourself without words: Another thing we enjoy doing is collages. Seattle Art Museum has an artist studio for kids to draw self-portraits, make art, etc.

It's free to use this art-making area, but we like to use it after we have gone upstairs to the galleries to get inspired by the paintings by Jasper Johns, Gorky, Pollock, Rausenberg, etc. 

I always return from these joints very energized, very excited to take what I've written or experienced and start to turn it into a more polished kind of writing (perhaps sometimes, if lucky, a poem will begin to emerge from my scribbles and jottings). 

Visit art museums as often as possible. In the past couple of years I have been lucky to visit art museums in DC, Denver, Philadelphia, Santa Fe, Portland, OR, and Chicago. This is how I stay connected to my creative self while the crazy chaos of living rages unabated all around me.


alotter said...

Such good advice! I don't get around much anymore, but I can claim to visit my charming local Currier Museum in Manchester NH and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts at least ten times a year. No. not enough. And there are so many others within striking distance. But one has to make choices when time is limited.

Martha Silano said...

10x a year or more to Boston Museum of Fine Arts! It sounds like you are doing okay with museum visiting. I am looking forward to a Boston art tour in 2013.

scott davidson said...

I had fun choosing this particular painting online that now hangs in my downtown office, from, who sells canvas prints of art masterpieces. While the original is treasured in some art museum in England, my print, of this painting by Edward Burne-Jones is very much appreciated by my staff and clients. The print quality is really excellent.