…a little like “earth, wind & fire” and a lot not like it at all.:)

it’s been several years since i have walked through the art institute of chicago. a visit felt due, so i spent some time, a few days ago, working my way through the crowded rooms of the museum.

a couple of rooms in, i started to notice that i was paying more attention to the people around me. an almost odd amount of focused study was happening in front of several paintings—as if there was an art professor lurking in the corner somewhere, scrutinizing over whether these people were dishing out proper measures of detail absorption.

i continued to stroll…right into a somewhat sad realization: i wasn’t really enjoying the art. i wasn’t enjoying it as much as i have during past visits. suddenly, many pieces seemed to lack depth. they appeared underdeveloped…and, as a being who repeatedly placed her rushed work up next to the work of college art students who clearly didn’t choose to spend the previous bundle of nights out with friends, i feel qualified to spot underdeveloped projects. ha.:)

i began to think about how saturated our lives are with digital art these days.
i wondered if we, as a group, are less sensitive to what people took the time to create and share by hand before we could create and share, digitally, within seconds.

…and then i walked into the rooms that are lined with impressionistic paintings.
i took a deep breath and felt a familiar pull into a world that i find mystical, magical and captivating. layers of color that invite long stretches of time for my eyes to comb through, and textures that i wish i could run my fingers across.

i walked toward these paintings questioning the past, the process and the present place of visual art in our modern world.

i walked away being reminded of one of my favorite things about it: each piece is a personal, intimate experience. what repels one person may draw another deeply in. what seems empty or flat to one soul might share a profound story with another.

whether staring at one of pollock’s abstract drip paintings in a museum somewhere or a scenic stretch of mountains just ahead on the highway, each interpretation is good—and each interpretation is true.