Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What the eye sees

I grew up in Philadephia and was lucky enough to have parents who took me to the Philadelphia Art Museum on a regular basis. I was exposed to a lot of art at a young age and, quite wonderfully, my parents didn't censor what I looked at. If I had questions they did their best to answer them. I remember giggling at nudes when I was quite young; my mother enjoys telling stories about this.

My parents gave me permission to love art. I still do. While I am not a visual artist (though I dabble in collage and assemblage) the right painting or sculpture can make me cry. Maybe it's somehow related to the mechanics of vision, the light reflecting off of the object irritating my optic nerve, but somehow? I doubt it. You know the truth.

For your viewing pleasure, a few pieces of art I love that have moved me to create.

Andrew Wyeth's work always suggests action beyond the frame. His paintings have influenced my writing and storytelling. I've written about his work at greater length here.

Love in the Afternoon, 1992

Omen, 1997

As much as Wyeth has influenced my narrative, I've discovered I have a knack for some real, physical art as well, influenced by the work of Joseph Cornell. A rabid collector and assembler, Cornell created small, unexpected worlds that bear close examination. I love his work and the sense of mystery and possibility that pervade his every piece. I think my earlier of love of Marcel Duchamp (thank you, Philadelphia Art Museum) primed me for Cornell.

Bebe Marie, early 1940s

Pharmacy, 1943

The Pink Palace, 1948

How can I not love this stuff? The implied narrative, whimsy and whiff of danger are irresistible.

When I'm feeling brave enough I'll post photos of some of my assemblage and collage pieces. In the meantime, tune in tomorrow for musings on creativity and another contest.

(c) 2009 Laura S. Packer

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