February 24th, 2011
DC is an inspiring place. I’m energized by the people everywhere, all on their own mission. Some are touring, some are playing frisbee, me, I’m driving around for an hour looking for parking. As soon as I feel defeated, the parking gods smile down a give me exactly 2 inches. Parallel hell. One inch in the front, one in the back.
As I approach my destination the next feeling bubbles up and sits just below the surface. Thankfully, it strikes a different chord. It’s the feeling of being in the presence of greatness. History made under my feet and monuments towering overhead. It’s even greater in museums. Bag check. Descend.
As I enter, my anxiety gives way to getting lost in my imagination of these old worlds. Museum-ing for me is a bit sacred. I tend to appreciate a quiet experience where I can soak in the beauty, hopeful to retain a fraction of the history I read. I can’t help but tip toe through each room of the Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art. These buildings house an amazing collection of Asian art. To name a few items: intricately patterned bronze vessels, turquoise and gold handles, carved wooden Buddhas, 8 ft. tall Chinese landscapes, Japanese earthenware, ceramics, jade, glass, James McNeill Whistler’s Asian influenced paintings and Peacock Room installation.
I left full of inspiration and a readiness to get my own ideas onto paper, canvas, or…cardboard? That’s right. My dear friend, Katherine, and I painted into the night just like the old days. Cozy Georgetown studio, tropical paradise, red wine, and a corrugated piece of cardboard. With a few inspirations: Whistler’s Blue and Gold: The Rose Azalea and a towering plant, I set to it. I’m determined to have more plants in my life. Here’s the result and not a brush stroke more.
If you are in any way in need of an artistic boost, a day trip to DC and the Utrecht store should do the trick.