July 28, 2011

Perfection continues!

I am sitting on a patio of the café at the Uffizi museum.  After enjoying several hours of art, I decided to sit down and enjoy a cappuccino and apple tart.  It was a gorgeous day to enjoy an outdoor patio.  I reflected on a brilliant start to my day.

After a wonderful night’s sleep listening to the sounds of the city, I enjoyed a morning meditation before savoring a hot shower.  During my time at Ebbio, I had not enjoyed the modern-day luxury of using a hair dryer and curler, so it felt like a special treat to do my hair today.  After a rushed breakfast and fast walk to Uffizi to meet my reservation, I embarked on the highlight of my  trip – savoring the Renaissance masters: Botticelli, Giotto, Cimabue, Michelangelo and Raffaello.  When I walked the hallowed halls, I stopped in my tracks and was transfixed by the ceiling.  The entire ceiling was ornately painted with gods, goddess, scrolls, designs, and rich, opulent designs that kept me mesmerized.  My head grew heavy I stood there for so long – I had to support it with my hand as I could not look away.

As I lost myself in the art, I had many thoughts. First, I realized, more than I have at any other time of my life, how much work it required to develop the talent of each master.  I have taken one art class – a water color painting class – and I have a new appreciation for how much practice it requires to develop an artistic skill.  Painting requires a dedicated practice and a talented instructor or master mentor. In this day of  immediate gratification, texting acronyms, tweets of 140 character maximums, the dizzy pace often prevents slowing down to enjoy the luxury of learning a new artistic talent or skill.

As I looked at the paintings that were created in the 1400’s, 1500’s and 1600’s, I was amazed at the level of detail that the artists were able to capture and create with their mediums. There was no resolution to set or increase the number of pixels – these were handcrafted works of art that intimately captured the object, emotion or mood of the setting.

I was also inspired by the use of symbolism, although admittedly I don’t understand much of the meaning.  I was moved to buy a book on symbolism to incorporate this into my paintings and collages. It fascinates me that a painting can appear to have one meaning only to discover the artist’s hidden messages by understanding the use of symbolism and mythology.  I love how the artist reveals his message under a hidden veil of abstraction when the untrained eye perceives a straightforward scene. Understanding the symbols unlocks the door to the secret society waiting to let artistic sleuth into its lair. I want to gain admittance.

As I looked at the masters and thought of the next chapter of my life, I had an initial uneasy feeling that so much of my life had already passed me by and I still had so much to learn.  After my empowering week, I was easily able to shift my perspective.  I have lived forty four years and much of it was under false pretenses as I searched for my authentic life.  Now, I’ve discovered myself.  As a result, what I learn, read, write, draw and paint are related to my newly discovered authentic life.  I think this means that I will learn and grow from a new empowering place and probably retain it better. Add to that I haven’t even lived half my life yet.  If I live to a mere 105 (I plan on living a healthy life to 120), I will have 60+ years to learn from the fabulous foundation I’ve already created in my life. I plan on learning many new skills in my lifetime.   And I have plenty of time to master them.

Back to being inspired by the greats…..

Amore & Psiche

Exquisite Woman

The most beautiful marble I’ve ever seen – love these colors

View of the bridges from the Uffizi Window

View of the Duomo from the Uffizi Cafe

Fun view of the Duomo – those are people above the dome – click on photo for a larger view