On a recent journey, my beloved and I had the great good fortune to visit the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
This was one of the truly humbling experiences I have had as an artist. The architecture alone was stunning, with patterns and design everywhere.
We could have spent the entire day in one room, and not done it justice. There was one (colossal) room of just Rembrandt's works, . . .
. . . never mind the Vermeers and Van Goghs. It was so peaceful to watch people of all ages, from all over the world, standing still, as if hypnotized, not seeing anything but the works of art before them. The hushed din was reminiscent of a cathedral in mid day, when quiet was by choice, not demand.
Rick and I, were each on different missions: he with his camera and I with pen and paper. We wandered in different directions, checking back with each other every now and then only to point out one painting or ceiling detail that was not to be overlooked.
In the small (3-1/2 x 5") journal that my sister Sue brought me from Venice, I tangled or sketched snippets of images . . .
. . . a single button barely holding together an enticing swash of silk, an etched silver something or other, a drape of velvet, the inlaid ebony and ivory frame, a fold of lace . . .
The opportunities were endless and intoxicating. A sense of both excitement and calm was in the air.
The images fused together, as if they were always meant to be that way. Each "tangle" I encountered, was more beautiful than the last, begging to be included in the art-in-hand.
I kept thinking how fun it would be to bring groups of tanglers on museum hunts, harvesting the art, guiding our pens to immortalize these overlooked fragments of art once again.
Rick did the same with his cameras, taking (no kidding) thousands of photos of things I had missed or did not have time to draw. What an amazing re-viewing we had, when we finally sat and meandered through his treasures. We spent two days at the Rijksmuseum, one day at the Van Gogh Museum and another at the Staedtler Museum . . . all stories for future days and future blogs.
A return trip was in our hearts before we even left the city. It was that magnificent.
So, dear tanglers, we wish for you a day as we had.
Choose a local museum (and perhaps, a friend) and with your tools of our art, experience the romance of art, pattern and texture; of drawing in such an inspiring venue (double entendre intended!). Play an active and interactive part in your visit, not just a passively listening to words everyone else is hearing. Notice and appreciate the subtle details that are often missed . . . in frames . . . ceilings . . . floors . . .
Have people (or statues and paintings!) look over your shoulder, wondering what you are drawing.
See the art like you never have before.
Tangle, like you never have before.
Over the (harvest) moon.
What began as, "This will make a great blog!" has become, "This will make a great blog series!"
Reviewing the (yes, thousands of) pictures, we realized this is a feast better served in courses, all the better to appreciate and savor its unique sights and insights; its individual tastes and tangles.
Inspiring details were everywhere. Here it seems Maria might be drawing from this painting . . .
. . . but what was recorded in her sketchbook was that painting's frame:
The sights were wonderful and inspirational. It was fun to see Rembrandt (van Rijn)'s "chop" on gilded pedestals . . .
. . . and stenciled walls.
It reminded me of one of my chops, with an added "V" (for "the fifth" . . . yes, actually!).
We are excited to share with you more of this visual bounty that we found in Amsterdam!
More . . . Much more . . . to come.
If you have had an experience like this, or just want to comment, we will randomly choose from our comment posters and send one of you a little something special.
Please remember, we have to be able to contact you, so if your comment comes in as "anonymous", that makes it rather difficult. Add a name, or make one up, and we will announce the winner in our next blog.
Click images for fantastic larger views!