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Posts Tagged ‘Luci Swindoll’

There’s a Flower Friday post coming later today but I wanted to remind you that this is the weekend to finish (or begin and then finish) your $10 Challenge Entry.

You can do it! Just open your mind to the idea that you can be creative, picture what might be instead of what is, and as my friend Luci Swindoll says, look at life through the lens of possibility.

I’m doing a $10 project myself this weekend, so we’ll meet up with our creations in hand on Tuesday, OK? OK!

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On our agenda today is the National Gallery of Art.

It just looks artistic

It just looks artistic

Today’s Coldwater Creek shirt was chosen because it seemed, well, arty. (I think it’s the sleeves.)

  • While I like art museums, I tend to just wander around and look at the paintings without putting much thought into the process. However, there is actually an art (pun intended) to visiting an art museum—so I invited my friend, art lover and museum visitor extraordinaire Luci Swindoll, to share some tips about how to get the most out of a gallery visit.
  • Luci Swindoll

    Luci Swindoll

    Here’s what she had to say: “The National Gallery is a fabulous museum, housed in two gorgeous buildings—the West Wing (built in the 1940s) and the East Wing (built in the 1970s). I say this because the buildings themselves are such works of art. The earlier one was designed by John Russell Pope, and the newer by I.M. Pei.”

    (Comment from Susan) I find that particularly interesting as I spend much of my time in another I.M. Pei building, the Morton Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. I can definitely see a family resemblance.

    East Building photo 1981, M. Brack

    East Building photo 1981, M. Brack

    (Luci) “What I’d do is ask somebody at the front desk about the most important (or valuable) piece in each school, and, I’d try to see those if your time is limited. If you can take more time, I’d stroll around in the different rooms, asking questions of the guards about what you like and about the history of this or that.”

    (Another comment from Susan) Despite Vacation Rule #5, it never would have occurred to me to chat up a guard about a painting. I’m SO doing that.

    (Luci) “Notice the dates of the artist and the paintings. Were they painted early in the artist’s life…or late? How do those differ from the other and what does that mean? What does that say to you?
    Typically, the earlier in life, the more rigid the painting, less abandonment…more “coloring within the lines”. And later in life, there’s usually more expression of paint. Does that tell you anything about your own life…as a person?

    Look for the “movement” in the painting. Does it look like there’s LIFE in the people or the animals? How so? Ask yourself all these different questions and make your own decisions apart from what you might read or others might suggest. Do the same with sculpture. Take notes…then put those in your journal when you get home (or, in your case…in your blog).”

    All righty, then, I’m ready to explore! (Thanks, Luci! I’ll send you a virtual postcard.) FYI, the following art images are all from a friendly Web site called Museum Syndicate and represent a few of the artworks that caught my eye. Please forgive me if you don’t appreciate my opinions of the art; I’m just calling them like I see them.

    The Miraculous Draught of Fishes by Jacopo Bassano

    The Miraculous Draught of Fishes by Jacopo Bassano

    The first piece is “The Miraculous Draught of Fishes” by Jacopo Bassano. Painted in 1545, the colors of this piece are just glorious. (I’ve always loved oils best for their depth of color.) There is definitely movement in this one!

    Relativity by Maurits Cornelis Escher

    Relativity by Maurits Cornelis Escher

    Here’s one I could stare at all day—or until I get a crick in my neck, whichever comes first. How on earth does someone come up with that? Did Escher have eyes like a fly or something? I wonder if that’s how God sees the world, as a series of interconnecting events with no up or down…

    Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Thomas Gainsborough

    Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Thomas Gainsborough

    Georgiana! She seems like an old friend. I’ve been to Chatsworth (her house) and everything. What a brilliant and fascinating woman, and how sad that she was married to such a pompous jerk. You can see how smart she is, just look at her eyes. Gainsborough was brilliant with that diaphanous shawl, wasn’t he? It can’t have been easy to paint something that’s basically transparent.

    This next one made the museum’s must-see list. It shows New York’s 5th Avenue, temporarily named “Avenue of the Allies” when the U.S. entered WWI.

    Allies Day, May 1917 by Frederick Childe Hassam

    Allies Day, May 1917 by Frederick Childe Hassam

    I am not such a fan. Good color, lots of movement, nice light, but it looks a little too much like something a talented kid would do with crayons. (Maybe that’s from not actually seeing it in person?) Impressionists, as a whole, don’t impress me much; give me a Dutch Master any day. Perhaps that’s because the Impressionist’s soft, fuzzy world looks too much like my view anytime I remove my glasses.

    The Cottage Dooryard by Adriaen van Ostade

    The Cottage Dooryard by Adriaen van Ostade

    This one I love. Doesn’t it look like the illustration to a fairy tale? Once upon a time…

    Symphony in White No. 1: The White Girl by James Whistler

    Symphony in White No. 1: The White Girl by James Whistler


    Another Gallery recommendation. Such subtlety in all those shades of white… but does anybody else think the head on the bear rug looks like a dog?

    Whew. All this study of art made me hungry. I’ve heard good things about the Pavilion Café, and my Beef and Blue Panini does not disappoint. (Shaved seasoned roast beef with sautéed mushrooms, sautéed Spanish onions, and Stilton blue cheese spread served with a demi-glace jus on ciabatta bread.) And you can’t beat the view; it’s in the Gallery’s Sculpture Garden. I’ll just go enjoy that for now. Until later . . .

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    At Women of Faith and The Revolve Tour events, we live and die by an Excel spreadsheet called the “minute-by-minute.” This incredibly detailed chart shows exactly when everything is supposed to happen during the course of the weekend.

    For example, on a recent Saturday at Women of Faith’s A Grand New Day event, the Worship Team was supposed to take the stage at 2:50, sing 3 songs in 12 minutes, then leave the stage so Mary could spend the next 12 minutes making announcements, giving away prizes, and introducing Luci Swindoll. (I wasn’t there, so I don’t know if it actually went according to plan—but it usually does.) At any given time, a staffer with a minute-by-minute in hand can tell if the program is on time, early, or running late.

    Wouldn’t it be great if everyday life was like that? If you could know exactly when your next blessing or trial was scheduled to begin and exactly how long it would last?

    Well, no, actually. It wouldn’t. We just can’t handle that kind of knowledge. If you knew for a fact that you had a scary test result from the doctor on tap for next week, would you be able to enjoy that hug from your four-year-old today? Wouldn’t your mind race ahead to the bad news to come and blow past the good stuff staring you in the face?

    I’ll bet it would. That’s just the way we operate. I got an email today with an excerpt from the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Part of it went like this:

    “Rehearsing your troubles results in experiencing them many times, whereas you are meant to go through them only when they actually occur.”

    I’m going to have to read that several times, probably over several days, before it really sinks in. I do know that most of the things we worry about either don’t happen or are out of our control anyway. That doesn’t always stop me from “rehearsing my troubles” though.

    Here’s one thing that does help me handle the whole “not knowing” thing: I do not have a minute-by-minute for my life—but God does. He knows exactly when everything that’s going to happen to me (and you) will happen. Not only that, He’s in control of it all. Psalm 139:16 says, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” When my father and brother (my only sibling) both died unexpectedly in unrelated events the same weekend, that verse was the only thing that kept me going. “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” I told myself. “Even this one. Even this one.”

    So. Relax. God has your days all mapped out and nothing is going to mess with His schedule.

    P.S. If you’d like to pick up a copy of Jesus Calling, you can find it here:  http://store.womenoffaith.com/wofstore/product_detail.asp?sku=1591451884

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