Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What Painting Are You?

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884) by George Seurat

There is a great quote by Danny Kaye that goes, “Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it.”

These are great words by a man whose light-hearted approach to life both on and off the stage and screen was as colorful as an Andy Warhol painting. Kaye smiled and laughed, danced and sang, and “slap-sticked” his way through life. A great way to live, if you ask me.

I would like to think of my life as a Georges Seurat painting. Take his painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884). I have always loved this painting and when I saw it in a restaurant recently and it made me think about Danny Kaye’s quote and life being like painting on a canvas. The Seurat painting portrays many people enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon in a park. If you stand back and look at it as a single image, it is bright and fun and emits a feeling of life simply being enjoyed.

If you stand back and look at my life, I would say that you would see those same things.

If you look a little more closely at Seurat’s painting, you will see a multitude of contrasts reflected in the picture. Sun and shade, water and land…even the subjects in the painting are different: adults and children, rich and poor, stylish and plain. Yet all of them play off of each other to create a more interesting, grander, overall image.

If you look more closely at myself and my life, you will see the contrasts to my personality, as well. Brightness and despair, strength and weakness, triumph and tribulation, silliness and seriousness, adventure and security, wildness and calm. Yet, like the painting…..they all work together to create a more interesting, grander, overall image.

Motivated by study in optical and color theory, Seurat contrasted miniature dots of colors that, through optical unification, form a single hue in the viewer's eye. He believed that this form of painting, now known as pointillism, would make the colors more brilliant and powerful than standard brush strokes.

If you were to look very closely at me, you will see my life as a series of millions of dots of colors - those being the influences and experiences that make up the whole of me. And, while some of those dots may be bright and yellow and sunny….some of them are darker – almost black, in fact…. but stand back and take it all in as one larger image, you will see that those individual colors are much more brilliant than a singular colorful brush stroke.

I am complex. My life is complex but as one larger image, it is very beautiful. My canvas is not completely covered with paint yet. But I am workin’ on it.

What painting are you?

Until next time, I remain….1SweetMama

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