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The Art Challenge
“Write something about that.”
I stare at the Pawel Kuczynski painting for a few minutes.
I can tell that the other people in our small group are enthralled.
Puzzled by Art
But what do I see?
A man is kissing a woman.
But what’s that at the back of the man’s head?
A balcony – with a chap leaning over it, smoking a cigarette.
That’s art, I suppose.
I’m not used to that sort of thing.
So what do I write about it?
I guess I should have got into art a bit more than I have.
Yes, I’ve been to the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh.
And London’s National Gallery. Twice, I might add.
Inspired by Art Once
But only a couple of paintings really inspired me. And I’ve forgotten what one of those was about.
But that other painting is still etched in my memory. So much so that I sought it out on my second visit.
Let me deviate for a moment and describe it…
The yellow canary is unaware of what is about to happen to him. Sitting in his glass dome from which the air is about to be expelled, and unaware of his impending death, he’s equally unaware of all the faces that are focused on him. The professor is engrossed in the experiment. Another man, maybe an investor, is watching with a curious look. A young child, clearly distressed, is taking comfort in the arms of her mother. There are maybe two or three others, all watching this experiment with the canary, each with a different facial expression.
That magnificent painting captured the expressions of all the onlookers wonderfully in the dim candle-lit room.
I begin to wonder… Why did I appreciate that particular painting?
Maybe because it was about technology and people.
But that small appreciation of art doesn’t really help today.
Perhaps I should write a poem about the man and woman kissing.
Yes. Maybe a poem will work.
But how would I explain the cigarette-smoking man leaning over the balcony which protrudes from the back of his head?
OK. Let’s give it a go, and see how it ends up…
There once was a lady from Stoke
In a painting was kissing this bloke.
But his mind was elsewhere
‘Cos out of his hair
He was back home, taking a smoke.
There. I am an artist.
I’ve translated the painting into poetry.
Do you appreciate art?
Do you have any practical tips to help novices like me?
Share something in the comments box below, and let’s keep this conversation going…
Do you need some help to start creating or appreciating art?
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