Tuesday, December 15, 2009

DAM! It's My Painting!

No, I didn't paint this stunning painting, but I have decided that it belongs to me. Sort of. Let me explain.

It's entitled Ghost Orchard, by Langford Monroe, and was painted in the year 2000. I'm a big museum buff and was at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) this past Saturday. On my way to a traveling exhibit, I encountered this painting, a painting I cannot recall seeing before, even though I've visited the DAM many times. How on earth did I miss this? (Click on the painting so you can appreciate it better)

I have been watching a Teaching Company course on the Louvre. The professor, Dr. Richard Brettell, gives practical advice on how to get more out of your museum visits. One of the things he encourages people to do is to choose a painting in a museum as your own, the painting you will always come back and visit each trip to see if you notice anything new, or if you feel differently about it.

This painting is the one for me, the one I want to know well and see again and again. It evokes the land of my childhood, filled with orchards, although my orchards were filled with pecan trees. As a teenager, I used to drive out to the Rio Grande by myself at twilight, and watch the day's end, or ride my bike out to watch the sunrise, and though the bank was not covered in grass the way this one is, the feeling of complete serenity is the same.

And what about the white horses? What do they mean? Am I supposed to understand these animals as being real? Or are they spirits? I'll have to go back and take another looksey.

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