Good Life Tour of the Harn Rachael Lyberg

Champ d'avoine (Oat Field) by Claude Monet Painted in 1890

Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist: I have always been a fan of Monet's paintings and how he able to capture the various aspects of our natural world. Throughout my life, I have only been able to see a few Monet paintings in person and I can definitely say after viewing this paintings my appreciation for Monet is even greater. The artwork itself depicted a scene of an oat field in summer or spring where all of the flowers are blooming. The intricacy of a Monet painting is lost when viewing the artwork on a website or in a book; however, it is intensified when viewing the painting in person as you are able to see all of the individual brush strokes. Monet was known for his unique painting techniques where he painted in broken rhythmic strokes that produced a shimmering texture and conveyed the intimacy of the experience. This technique he used allowed him to capture the perceived light, atmosphere and movement of the environment which he was painting. Viewing the painting provided me with a sense of serenity. I was able to put myself into the painting and envision the flowers, the sounds and smells of what it would be like to stand in the Oat Field. The technique of the artwork really provided a sense of how often we over look the small details and take advantage of the beauty of the present time. According to the information plaque next to the painting, Monet "depicts the fields of oats and poppies in the vicinity of his home in Giverny" which allows the viewer to infer that the painting is a reflection of love Monet felt for his surroundings and attempt to recreate those feelings when others view the painting of "Champ d'avoine."

Contemporary Collection Room

Design of the Museum: The exhibit in the Harn Museum I found most appealing was the Contemporary Collection Room because I loved the feeling as I entered the wing of the museum. The large room had very high ceilings with bright colors from the white walls and fluorescent purple lights. Entering the room with this atmosphere allowed me go in with an open mind and made me feel as though my interpretations of the artwork were ready to be accepted. The white walls enabled the artwork to be displayed without any other distractions that may have been present with a different color wall. This was probably one of the exhibits I spent the most time in because I felt most comfortable being by myself and enjoying all the pieces of art in the exhibit.

Overlook Mountain, Woodstock, New York Painted by Ernest Fiene

Art and Core Values: This piece by Ernest Fiene was probably my favorite that I saw in the museum. While it may just look like an ordinary landscape painting, the scene brings back so many amazing memories with my family. For as long as I can remember, my family has always taking vacations and traveled to multiple national parks throughout the United States. We have been to various parks, but we have revisited some because we loved them so much. One of my core values is family and whenever I looked at this painting, I was reminded of all the trips and adventures we had as a family to places similar as the one depicted in the painting. Even looking at it on a computer screen, the painting still brings me extreme happiness and joy. The artwork definitely does help me better understand and realize how much I cherish my family. Starting college has also made me understand how much my family means to me and how they have had such a large impact on making me the person I am today. As I view "Overlook Mountain, Woodstock, New York," I am able to reflect realize how grateful I am to have such wonderful memories with my family because there is only a small amount of time where I am able to spend a lot of time with my family before I begin my own life.

Three girls holding hands, Sertao da Parabia, Brazil Painted by Sebastiao Salgado

Art and the Good Life: Sebastiao Salgado is renown for his photographs that document communities around the world and the people in those communities who are facing the effects of poverty, industrialization and political oppression. The three girls in this photograph are from Northeast Brazil. Because many people are unaware of circumstances people face in remote areas, the pictures Salgado creates enables people to obtain a glimpse at the everyday hardships the residents encounter. When I look at the photograph, it evokes a sense of curiosity in me as I wonder the story behind the faces of the littler girls. Their faces reveal that there is so much more beyond the initial impression the viewer may see in the photograph. Salgado's purpose to creating these photographs may be to raise questions in the viewer about their good life compared to the one that the girls have. Each person has their own views on how to achieve the good life and by viewing people who have less than us, it makes us appreciate more aspects of our lives. Personally it makes me appreciate everything that I have and have access to because many people, especially those in areas which Salgado photographs, do not have the same options or opportunities. These photographs allow us to examine our own good life and make us think about what is really makes us the happiest.

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