flaming Friday

Fridays come with the light-hearted anticipation of the weekend.

Oh sure, Friday’s come with a bucket full of chores.  I am good with that.  If I clean and do the linens and towels and fill the refrigerator full of great food (a full and appealing refrigerator is a thing of beauty)………….then the weekend can be spent more on having fun than doing household jobs.

I also fill my Fridays with beauty.

To start the day, I jumped into the world of Sir Fredric Leighton.  1830-1896  I try and expand my world on Friday mornings with an artist that I have not studied.  Sometimes I work off a list of artists I would like to explore.  Sometimes a friend mentions a name or a painting and off I go.

flaming-june-frick-frederic-lord-leightonA couple of days ago, a friend mentioned her favorite painting.  Flaming June  .  Oh my, I saw in an instant why she would say that. The painting (I viewed a photograph of it, through the computer) must be stunning and breathtaking in person.  It sort of grabbed my heart and soul and wouldn’t let go.  The saturated color, the sensuously draped girl……..the gauze folds of the fabric……..I need a bigger word than lovely.  I can’t really find great words.  The painting stands on its own. Yes, it takes your breath away.

Then again, Sir Leighton’s bronze statue , 1877, An Athlete Wresting with a Python is staggering.  It catches you, somehow by surprise.  The raw power and strength slaps you in the face the moment you gaze upon the work. athelete wrestling

Music Lessons is a painting that will capture your heart and soul.  This painting seems like one an art teacher would music-lesson-1884display and discuss and share.  Again, the fabric is so life-like you want to reach out and feel it.  The meaning behind the work is well……. charming and quietly powerful.

While I instantly fell head over heels in love with Flaming June,  I think I will choose The Fisherman and the Syren 1856-1858 as my favorite of the week.  My heart and soul were somehow awakened by the natural beauty.  The remarkable attention to detail almost has you believing it is a photograph and not a painting.

If you are so inclined, maybe on your lunch hour, you would be wise to fill your spirit with beautiful works of art.   Maybe you will find time to look up this painting, my favorite of the week.

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.  Friedrich Nietzsche

amber waves of grain

DSCN5023Now and then we are reminded, that, indeed,  America is Beautiful.  When friends come to visit, we find reasons to revisit places of significance.  Yes, we have toured (hey kids, a free tour, ever hour on the hour at the Washington State Capitol) our state’s capitol and grounds, many, many times.  It is stunning, quiet, reflective, meaningful and beautiful.  You will find something that will take your breath away.DSCN5022

Yes, I have a favorite monument.   However, when you bring someone who has not seen the area before, you give them time to soak it in.  That gives you the “tour guide” time to reflect and learn more about your favorite piece.  Dig a little deeper for more secrets or facts.  Read more of the stones, engraved with prayers that surround the piece.  Touch the names, feel the wheat, listen to the mournful sounds of the metal against metal.

The WWII Memorial on the Capitol grounds has touched my heart, over and over and over.  This time I learned a snippet of history about the artist, Simon Kogan a resident of Olympia, Washington.  He is a Russian immigrant of Jewish descent and had a dream of creating a commemorative work about a war that affected him so personally.   His design was inspired by the first stanza of the song, “America the Beautiful”.

The field of wheat (that moves and you can hear the echo of the metal against metal) collectively represents nearly 6,000 Washingtonians who were killed in the war.   The monument was dedicated in May 1999.

“When my country called, I answered… When my country asked, I gave… Reach out now, across the years and through the tears… Remember me.”

– A WWII Veteran.waves of grain 2

The wheat stalks were made from melted torpedo railings used on old US warships donated by the Bremerton Naval Shipyard.

waves of grain 3May I gently suggest that you come visit and stand with me, listening to the sound of the Amber Waves of Grain?  The tone is beautiful and will stay with you.  The meaning is deep and rich and of value.  The sounds somehow sing out the grateful that you feel about living in this country.

It is a stunning tribute to those who gave their lives for our state, our country, our freedom.waves of grain

Once you learn it was created and made by an American citizen, a Russian immigrant of Jewish descent…………you will understand the meaning of Grace and Gratitude.

America is indeed Beautiful.

God Shed His Grace on Thee.