Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday at the Museum

I'd planned to post 4th of July photos. But my 4th did not go as hoped. It was another typical Saturday, sketching in a cafe, a matinee, etc. A wonderful day, really. But since this was the fourth, a major holiday with long standing traditions I felt obliged to partake in, I was utterly miserable about it. (I cried halfway through the matinee, the Pixar movie Up.) This is not how fourths are supposed to go! And what am I doing home on a Saturday night!? Painting!? Sure I could have gone off on my own, enjoyed the fireworks at least. But, for long and various reasons (I blame it on a severe case of PMS), I was feeling rejected and lonely. Not the sort of mood one should go for a night on the town in.

So when my dad suggested a Sunday at the De Young I was glad to accept. Glad to spend the day at the museum for free. But about spending the day with him, my feelings were more mixed. He's grumpy. He smells. He's rude and he farts and burps in public. Not to mention the role he played in my childhood. And how he treated my mother. But I gave up hating his guts a long time ago. It's too damn exhausting. Now I just worry about being the one stuck taking care of him in his old age and am, even as he pays for expensive lunches and exhibition tickets, devising strategies to avoid this feared scenario.

But anyway, the De Young is worth a visit from far and wide if only to enjoy the design of the building itself. It rises above the trees like a space station in some Star Wars universe. And from the tower you get a truly stunning view of the city with all its 360 rolling gentleness. And the ocean, and bridges, and mountains beyond.

A few images from the De Young...
Lillie May Nicholson, Boats, Belvedere...
Everett Shinn, Outdoor Stage, FranceThis is gorgeous...This is not. I can't stand this painting by George Luks, Innocence. Reminds me of the the evil little girl from that 1950's B movie the Bad Seed. Hideous...
A few works by one of my all time favorite artists, John Singer Sargent...
Jefferson David Chalfant, Bougereau's Atelier at the Academie Julian, Paris...Frank Duveneck, Study for a Guard of the Harem...Don't know if cute is what the artists were going for here, but these are awfully cute...Not cute...This is a headdress from Nigeria, Ejagham or Okoi people. No description on the card, unfortunately, for it's scary design.
Another really good reason to visit the museum would be the King Tut exhibit currently showing there. No photography allowed. Which, for me, meant I walked through this beautifully staged exhibit (reminded me of waiting in line at a Disneyland ride) wondering how many photos could I get away with before they threw me out. The blasted guards were everywhere! So, alas, this is my one and only photograph from the exhibit...
King Tut furniture for your home, if you have a spare fifteen hundred or so...I couldn't end this post without showing you what I had to eat at the De Young...Only the coffee was disappointing. But the food was excellent, all organic and supplied by local growers.

It's Monday and I'm feeling rather silly over how emotional I can get sometimes. I blame it on my artistic temperament.


  1. Hi

    I tagged you with an award on my blog!

    It looks like you had a good time, even with your dad. :)

  2. My first award! Thanks Sharon!

  3. Awww - I think we all get emotional and you are an artist. I think people especially in tune with beauty feel more than others can - you are sensitive! I'm glad you spent time with your Dad - I know it's a weird thing - but he's making an effort to love you even tho' you may not like all his actions - there was some good intent there.

    Thanks for the pictures!! I'm glad you are feeling better... cheers - Shanster

  4. I could write a book about my father - wait, I did! (Sorry, couldn't resist.) I'm thinking about publishing the yet unpublished Pappa's Girl on my blog. Glad and sad to see there are other dad's as difficult as mine. Pain can be turned into great art. xx

  5. Thanks Shanster! What a sweet friend you are! I've had a few friends, my sister for one, who instead of understanding just made me feel ashamed of my emotions. So I really appreciate your empathy. And I am feeling much better today.

    You're right about my dad. he's not the easiest person to get along with, but he means well at heart.

    Hi Helena, Oh! I want to read that! And me too, I wish every daughter could grow up with a wise and nurturing father. How much better it would make things. But I also like to think we women are too strong to be dragged down by bad fathers. All their crap, at the very least, can make for good creative fodder. If I were to write about my dad, I'd have to turn him into some Dickensian or P. G. Wodehouse type comic villain of a father. Laughter to soften the more painful memories.

  6. Just did a quick scroll down your blog... Thanks for bringing the museum to your viewers. I need to revisit when I have more time. NIce!!!

  7. Cheryl, I love the Chalfant. It looks like a great place. And I had to laugh because I have also awarded you the "One Lovely Blog Award" that Sharon referred to. Sharon tagged me and you as well, but I just had to tag you too. It was also my first award. Enjoy the good vibes.

  8. Those museum shots are's a beautiful place. Thanks for posting them.

    In answer to your last question, I don't think there's anything wrong with you...seems like you had some real things about which to have real emotions. We can be so hard on ourselves. I know from experience! Hugs to you.

  9. Beautiful pictures! I particularly love the frame of Boats, Belvedere... So pretty! : )

  10. Hi Art Fan, thanks for visiting my blog, hope you come by again.

    Hi Lianne, me too! Reminds me of art school - how I would have loved to have seen my classmates show up for class in suits.

    And thank you (again!) for the blog award. Maybe it was the symbolic I like you-ness of the gesture after a rough week emotionally, but two awards in one day made me happy to the point of goofyness (not too far a leap in my case). When it rains it pours. Good things are always possible.

  11. Hi Sallymandy, you're very welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed them. And thank you for the long distance internet hug. It does, strangely enough, comfort and help. When I started this blog, I'd hoped to help, or at least entertain others. How nice to find comfort coming my way as well. Thank you.

    Hi Shaylen, I'm so glad you liked them. I almost didn't include that one but now I'm relieved that I did. It's a lovely little painting, about 12" by 16". Another female artist who should be better known.

  12. What a wonderful gallery, Cheryl! So much inspiration. I hope you're feeling much better in yourself. Although the downs aren't very nice when they come, I think it's part of the creative's journey, and makes you so much richer. Just go with the flow, Cheryl, and take care of your gentle spirit. Love is all around you. x

  13. That's a great museum. What a nice variety of exhibits. That looks like a lovely way to spend the day.

  14. Hi Carol Anne, it is a wonderful gallery. And the downs...I think it's a build up of things I haven't been addressing, issues I usually push aside through distraction. I have to readjust a few things, listen to my intuition more. You're right, love is all around me, thank you.

    Hi Dedene, it is a great museum, much better than before the remodeling. And it was a really nice day (in spite of my dad ;-)...)

  15. I love the pictures but you are right about that painting by George Luks (Innocence) it's drop dead scary! And that headdress from Nigeria is not my cup of tea either.

    Mmmmm... What is that delicious looking pastry in your last picture?

  16. Nothing is wrong with you. You are an artist. I can tell you that my artistic sensitivity is always enhanced by PMS.

    Thank you for sharing your day at the museum( I LOVE the scary mask) and for sharing your lovely lunch with us. The coffee looks really good, sorry it wasn't.

  17. Thanks La Belette Rouge, yes this artistic temperament can hurt as much as it gives my imagination wings to escape my current condition. Oh well, I never stay ina slump for long, knock on wood.

    Hee, hee, isn't that scary mask fascinating? I would love to know the story behind it.

  18. well I have the same situation...It's the crampy cycle aka PMS! Thanks for sharing the pix...a day at the museums is the best! Minus the scary headdress tough...

  19. ah, i love museums!!! and i haven't been to the de young since it was renovated. i wish i was closer and then i would go!

    and hope you are feeling better today. some days i am an emotional wreck. i chalk it up to being a woman and having hormones and having annoying situations to deal with constantly. :)

  20. Nothing wrong with emotions; just try to make good use of them!

    Some very nice things to see here!

    ... and I learnt that King Tut is your name for Tutankhamun! :-)

  21. I love tribal masks. Thanks for sharing! You have a great blog! I'll definitely be back. :)

  22. It looks like it is a wonderful museum with a lot of great art. I am a big fan of Sargent too. There are some nice pictures of his at the Gardner in Boston, if you ever get this way. BTW, thanks for visiting my blog.

  23. Hi LENORENEVERMORE, you're welcome! I love museums too. They're a respite from the everyday and a source of inspiration.

    Hi Drollgirl, much better thank you. These things come and go. And the de Young is worth coming up here for! I only wish it was cheaper to get into. But I"ve been spoiled by the Smithsonian museums. And when you compare it to a movie, $10 for a day at the museum isn't bad.

  24. Hi Peter, I wondered if some people would get that Kind Tut is short for King Tutankhamun. I suppose it's an American thing.

    but you're right about emotions. The stronger ones usually compel me to go back to my canvas or computer to write. So I should be grateful. Emotional turmoil = creativity.

    Hi C.J. I love the masks too. They're great inspiration for cartoon characters. Thanks for stopping by and hope you come again.

    Hi Clueless in Boston, It is a truly fabulous museum. I thought a few hours would be enough, but really one needs a whole day to take everything in. And I will probably get to Boston one day - if only to see Sargent at the Gardner!

  25. I am very glad you enjoyed a lovely day at the museum! You are very brave to not avoid seeing your dad - we are all humans, it is better to take our relations as they are than spending a lifetime feeling nothing but resentment.

    Just love that you have snatched a picture of that fabulous chair at the King T. exhibition! :-)

    Regarding the mood you were in on a day when one is supposedly celebrating: the Viennese coffeehouse seem to be a collecting pool for people in just that kind of mood. You can avoid your own abodes, going out, being amongst other fellow beings, without having any pressure to interact with any of them. Perfect solitude in company. Sometimes one needs that.

  26. Hi Merisi, I would love to be alone in my thoughts in a Viennese coffeehouse. Even if I were feeling miserable there would be the pleasurable smells and tastes if good coffee and pasty, and the pleasant sounds of the cafe. But I doubt I'd be able to stay miserable for long in such a place. but you're right, especially for artists maybe, such moods and places are necessary. It forces one to turn lemons into lemonade so to speak.

  27. And about my dad, Merisi, I never thought it would be possible, but I'm finding out he's not so bad after all. He tried his best. I'll post about my Sundays with my father one of these days.


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