Although oil on canvas is a common and somewhat overlooked medium, I find it interesting due to the individuality of each brushstroke. It gives the viewer a chance to fully understand the effort and time the artist put forth to create the piece that they now see. Furthermore, oil on canvas gives the paining texture and depth that can't be achieved using other mediums. It gives the artist the option to perfect a perfect glad of grass or strand of hair while still unifying the work as a whole. In Northeast Gorge at Appledore , Childe Hassam was able to recreate a fantastic scene of the island of Appledore by layering numerous colors and shades to tie together a peaceful view. The colors blend together so well that one may believe he or she is really present. The painting brings feelings of serenity and stillness that is hard to achieve in the bustle of day to day life.
As you move through the museum space, the architecture, lighting, and sounds of the surrounding environment shift to fit the pieces present in each exhibit. One of my favorite spaces was the area filled with different kinds of Asian artwork. The space was decorated with paintings, sculptures, pottery, written works and more. There was a gigantic window that spanned the length of the back wall that looked out on a small garden. The lush garden surrounded a little pond and waterfall, and the sunlight hit the water perfectly. The light poured through the window and gave a sharp contrast to the dark wood panels. The wood, garden, and abundance of sunlight made me feel like I had a connection with nature even though I was still indoors. The room complimented the emphasis put on nature by Asian culture, and helped to intensify the meanings of the works.
Nature has always been a major part of my life, and my connection with my environment has shaped my in every way possible. My dad, brother, and I are always taking time to enjoy our surroundings no matter how much we have going on. Whether it is a boat ride, trip to the Keys, or just watching the sunset on the beach, our family time has always centered around appreciating the amazing place we call home. This time has taught me to take time to slow down at least once a day and ground myself by enjoying everything around me. Florida Landscape by William Morris Hunt reminds me of these experiences, and it let me sift through the countless memories I made in scenes just like the one pictured. The reminder of my family was soothing and unexpected, but very welcome.
Art and the good life go hand in hand because art expresses the deepest parts of the artist. By showing the viewer parts of his or herself, the artist may unintentionally convey what they believe constitutes a good life to the viewer. It is up to the viewer to pay attention to the details. In A thanksgiving prayer to the Mixe god Kioga in gratitude for the good harvest, Mexico Salgado captures an awesome moment of uninterrupted gratitude and happiness. The smallest things can be the root of one's happiness, and sometimes that simple truth can be forgotten; appreciation is the first step to becoming a happy and healthy individual. From there, one can walk the line between having enough and still having something to work for.