“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
From my old journal, The Daily Epiphany, Sunday, January 10, 1999:
On the road to Grandma’s house today, I suggested we go to the Dallas Museum of Art with the kids sometime. Candy replied, “Why not right now.”
We were approaching the crystal mountains of downtown and that was an excellent idea. We used the cell phone to tell the relatives we’d be a couple hours late and took the next freeway exit. I suffered a brain freeze and put a bunch of money in a meter (they are free on Sundays – and plainly marked) and we were there.
The kids liked the art. Lee, especially asked a bunch of questions.
“How do they get pieces of paper that big?”
“Most are painted on canvas.”
“A heavy cloth.”
“But if they paint on cloth, why doesn’t it get all scrunched up and wrinkly?”
“They make a frame and stretch the canvas across it, hold it tight with a bunch of little nails.”
Both kids predictably liked the older, realistic, landscape paintings. Lee wasn’t impressed with the post-1975 gallery.
“Those look like a bunch of smooshes. I could do that. ‘cept I don’t have those bright colors.”
Nick liked the Egyptian stuff the best (though the Dallas museum doesn’t have the best collection). He was fascinated with the mummies.
They both enjoyed one modern video presentation. A dual screen suspended in the center of a huge dark room, roaring soundtrack. I liked it too.
Their favorite part, though, was the hours they spent in the Gateway Gallery doing the Drop-In Art. Big tables covered with piles of paper, clear plastic, glue, scissors, and markers. The children were supposed to produce a “winter scene.”
Most parents helped their kids and produced realistic looking scenes of ice skaters. We let Nick and Lee rock and roll on their own and they produced some bizarre looking polar landscapes.
“I’ve never seen orange and purple polar bears,” said one of the instructors.
I thought they were pretty good.
And today’s flash fiction:
Heresy by Heather Pearson
from Reflex Press
Children should be allowed to create without adults telling them what to do. Sounds like a good visit.
It was funny reading this from the last century. My son Lee especially spent a lot of time in that gallery in the next ten years or so.