Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Making Pretty...

"...a picture shoud be soemthing pleasant, cheerful, and pretty...There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more..." Renior

My mother-in-law, now in her nineties, has painted or delved into art related things since she was a young girl working at the Wichita Art Museum. I have a few of her pictures on my walls, and I appreciate them because they are scenes of places I know, express moods I like, or are painted in colors I enjoy. One I have in a hallway is a water color that she was throwing away because she didn’t like it, and the painting had a damaged corner. I salvaged it, framed it, and hung it.

I couldn’t say whether these art works are grand or not, but I like them. Like Renoir, I think there are enough ugly things in the world and any picture that is pleasing to someone is splendid. Unlike writing, a picture can be enjoyed if it doesn’t sell. It can hang in the artist’s home or be given as a gift. But what does one do if her canvas is paper and the paints are words? Once a story or poem is written, it can not decorate a wall or stand on a table easel. If no editor or publisher finds it worthy of printing, then the work goes into a box under the bed or file cabinet in an office. It, too, might be pleasant, cheerful and pretty, but without that stamp of approval from the critics, it is hard to share, hard to enjoy.

I love any old barn. Barns are like country dowagers that stand in the wings waiting for someone to appreciate their worth. Even as they crumble across the rural landscapes, the old barns radiate a beauty. This picture of a local barn and cows rests in a barn wood frame DH made for me. I finally got it together and placed on a wall between two doorways. It hangs where I see it immediately when I leave my office; I can view it from my desk. I love the blue shades and appreciate the promise of spring my mother-in-law painted into the scene. By Renoir’s definition, my mother-in-law’s work is a success because it gives me pleasure and cheer with each glance I make during the day.


BECKY said...

Claudia, how fortunate to have the painting of your mother-in-law, and that it brings you happiness! I, too, love barns, particularly old, dilapidated ones near the sides of roads. I immediately think of what the farmer's life might have been like, etc.

irishoma said...

Hi Claudia,
What a lovely painting from your mother-in-law. Your quote about barns being like country dowagers is so poetic. I also like the photo of you in your Profile. Looks like you've won some awards!