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The Girl with a Watering Can

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.


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