Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tired and Inspired

Good news! There is art for every taste.

I'm grateful that a co-worker friend of mine happened to notice that today was Art on the Green, held on the lawn of the Bastrop courthouse. I had not gotten around to reading the local paper and had no idea it was taking place. She suggested she drive down and we would go see what there was to see.

It was small, as art fairs go, but full of interesting items for sale, plus live music from the gazebo. While we were there, the Patterson Brothers were performing in a style very reminiscent of the late Rusty Wier. I was tapping my foot and swaying my way from tent to tent, inspecting jewelry, paintings, pottery and sculpture.

I appreciate art, but I don't consider myself an artist. Mother was an artist and could draw anything. She could also take a lump of clay and quickly turn it into a recognizable object. If I attempt to draw anything, it looks like the output of a pre-schooler. Put a lump of clay in my hands and it ends up looking like a lump of clay, but not as pretty as the lump I started with.

My artistic interest runs more to knitting and the ability to create dollhouse vignettes, not that I ever really considered that to be artistic. Until today, that is.

I rounded a corner and entered a tent and was immediately spellbound. One of the artists, a member of the local Arts Guild, works in the medium of dioramas. And her dioramas were miniature vignettes similar to the kinds of displays I create, only they were all designed to fit neatly into standard shadow-box frames. There was a scene of a wheatfield, with a barbed wire fence in the foreground and a rustic red barn in the background. There was a scene depicting a dirt road leading to a covered bridge, with a brick wall and autumn foliage. There were scenes of houses and a garden scene with a tiny gazebo. These were true works of art, with wonderful use of perspective to draw the eye into the scene and lead it into the distance.

I knew I had to have one. I was enchanted with the lady's work and she was delighted to discuss the materials she had used to get the right effects. We discussed scale modeling and she even expressed an interest in seeing my work. I studied each of the dozen or so of these little worlds that were for sale, trying to decide which of them I liked the most. I wanted the wheatfield, because it reminded of me my grandparents' farm. I wanted the covered bridge because the scene was just so perfect. I wanted the garden scene because the little gazebo was complete down to the verdigris roof. I wanted them all.

The one I ended up with was not one I thought I would be bringing home, but I kept returning to it and admiring the unique composition. A window within the window of the frame, and offset on an angle, showing a glimpse of lace curtain and a potted plant beyond.

This encounter with a true artist in my world of miniature vignettes has given me new inspiration. As much as I love dollhouses, I also very much enjoy creating vignettes with a "slice of life" scene. Ideas are beginning to buzz around in my head.

As I wandered around the art show, clutching my prize, I was stopped more than once by other artists inquiring "which one did you get?". They would nod approvingly, then go on to ask, "did you see the one....?". This lady's work had been getting a lot of attention. I am quite pleased with my art acquisition.

From the art show, we strolled downtown, visiting antique shops and dropping into gift shops. When hunger finally caught up with us, we decided to try the new Cajun restaurant. It was a great choice and we left stuffed to our limits with shrimp and boudin balls and dirty rice. We decided we needed to walk some more to compensate for the big meal and wandered into a store that was doling out free wine in real crystal stemware.

It may have been a spur of the moment decision to attend the art fair, but it was an inspired decision. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Art. It's a good thing.


1 comment:

Sheree said...

Art is a good thing!