Visions of Sugarplums

I have to admit that I have never really been much of an artist -- not a draw-er, anyway. I love to color, but I am one of those unfortunates who can't make a straight line with a ruler. My palm trees are passable, but I'm not really all that great at Pictionary (especially because I always get nigh upon impossible things to draw, like "evade" -- like, really?). Charades? Hell yes. But you don't want me on your team for Cranium unless someone else can do the illustration bits.

Mademoiselle Matisse

However, my inability to create traditional visual art (i.e., paintings and stuff, not digital scrapbook pages, which are more graphic design than actual "art" most of the time, at least when I do it) does not mean I can't appreciate other people's work. I can (and do) lose myself in museums, especially ones with decent Impressionist collections. Drop me in a room with soft natural lighting and some Monets and Renoirs and books of Romantic and Imagist poetry and a big comfy armchair and some tea (Earl Grey, hot), and you might never see me again.

Artist's Hands

Of course, as much as I attempt to enjoy art, I don't always understand it. I'm fully willing to admit that why I love, say, "Bend in the Epte River near Giverny" so much, or "The Bathers," is because I can look at those works, tell what they are paintings of, and then let my imagination run wild, creating stories about these people and places, trying to think up words to describe that particular time of day or that particular shade of pinkish-green or that particular angle of light. I have a hard time with some modern art, because I just don't get what it's supposed to be.


As in the above exhibit. Shae drew this, obviously, and she's already better than I am, although ... what is this, exactly? A large fish? A fairy princess? A Christmas tree? A Rorschach test? I am not (entirely) making fun here either, or being snarky. I honestly want to know. I want to understand. She clearly had a grand old time making this picture, and I want to encourage her to keep doing this. I want to fill my refrigerator with her artwork, however cubist or deconstructionist it may be.

And I can't wait to introduce her to Jackson Pollock. Because that stuff all looks so angry to me, but doesn't it look like a hell of a lot of fun to make?


  1. looks like she needs polish again love mom

  2. just ask her what it is. and then say, oh yeah, i can see how this part is this, and that part is that. and even if you're wrong, who cares? she'll let you know what she was thinking. you just have to ask ;-)

    and bah humbug on the polish. she's only two.

  3. i'm afraid i do not set the best example, polish-wise. i haven't had a pedicure or even painted my own toenails since shelley's wedding.