The free days at the Art Institute of Chicago were when I planned my quick visual vacations.
Driving back to the North side from teaching on the South side of the city, it was the in between
oasis. No one thinks you can just pull right up and find a parking spot, but this was also part of
the magic. You could find a spot right by the lions if the time was right.
I remember still everything about it, the light in the entry the worn out stairs, the feel of the
railing, the sounds. I’d hurry my way through nodding to all the usual pieces in their usual
places. It was like they were old friends I could count on being there. There was comfort in
knowing I could see them and know where to find them. I could stop and decide to be with
anyone of the pieces of art if I wanted. I’d usually rush away to whatever the new exhibit was
and find something there to just be with. The painting I’d find on the free day would be just
whatever I felt a connection with, what I was drawn to. Then I’d be with it and let it take me
away….. processing whatever emotions it called up inside of me. I call it a visual vacation, but
more an escape to connect to myself. What an adventure for me to find whatever it was going
to be that day.
One painting I’ve always identified with is Renoir’s “Girl with the Watering Can”. I vow to take
myself to see it one day. She is this little girl, but she has a darn watering can. She’s ready to
work. Don’t doubt her ability to get the job done. Again, she is a little girl, but mighty and
powerful with that watering can. I see her as capable and ready for action. Ok, so in her I see
me….I’m determined with what I set my sights on doing. She has her red scarf in place to keep
her hair out of the way of the task. Yep, I’ve got a red scarf, let’s go!
This girl wants to help you with your art adventures. I want to help you find the art you can
hang in places and count on. I want to connect your heart to work that brings you joy, but also
inspires you, lifts you. I’ve talked to people who have paintings that change with them, that
help them grow. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves to work to find the art your heart desires.