In search of beauty

I am sitting in the restaurant of the downtown Vancouver hotel where I’ll be painting the Sedin brothers in the morning.  Out the window are rain crusted high rises, modest traffic and the normal scurrying activity of a major city at night.  Earlier today, with some time to kill, I walked over to the Vancouver Art Gallery to see what inspiration its offerings might provide.

Honestly, the first three floors left me feeling empty and full of questions.  An artist, considered a giant in the modern art world, is featured on much of an entire floor.  I got nothing out of it.  Nothing.  The next floor, with more modern art left me puzzled.  I can see how all of this is art, but I wonder who it is meant to serve, inspire or provoke?  It was only on the final floor that I started seeing paintings that drew me in with their subjects, techniques and execution.  

As an example, this portrait by Irene Reid is absolutely beautiful.  Her use of colour and texture is lovely.  At last, something that I can admire and be inspired by.

I am not an academically trained artist.  Despite that fact, I have been captivated by some modern art and creations that might baffle others.  Art’s importance or meaning is really in the eye of the beholder.  I found myself wondering why so much Vancouver Art Gallery real estate was devoted to this giant of modern art that left me feeling vacant.  It felt like this was art meant for only the elites and the academics.  The common man was not considered in its selection as a feature attraction.  

All of that said, I believe there is a purpose for this confusing, dark, ethereal and seemingly unreachable art.  But I have no interest in engaging with it.  For me, connecting with creation is a matter of the heart and not of the head.  I am drawn to art that moves me in some way.  I am not drawn to art that is too heady, or that causes me to deconstruct its meaning or value.  

Perhaps I am just a simple man.  If that is the case, I am perfectly willing to wear that mantle.  


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