Sunday, September 2, 2012

An Artist Date

Romanian Blouse
Henri Matisse
Today, I took myself off to a place that I have never visited before: the Cincinnati Art Museum. I call trips like this an Artist Date after Julia Cameron's suggestion in her book The Artist's Way to take time once a week to explore, by myself, something that interests me.

What interested me at the Cincinnati Museum was a sketching studio that is held in one of the galleries on the first Sunday of every month. Aspiring artists don't even have to take supplies as the museum rolls out a cart filled with pencils, erasers, charcoal, sketch books and even small stools for the artists to sit on as they draw.

I took my own sketch book and captured a couple of faces: an American Indian woman, a small child wearing a white head scarf, and the portrait of a duchess. I also snagged a quick sketch of Matisse's "Romanian Blouse." I adore Matisse.

Before I began my sketching though, I wandered through a special exhibit of musical instruments from all over the world and I oohed and ahhed over the art vases manufactured by the Rookwood Pottery which was founded in Cincinnati in 1880 and is still in operation. I got lost in the warrens of galleries but finally found my way to the cafe for lunch. I did make sure to visit the British Gallery - in keeping with my English theme this month - and saw landscapes with brooding skies, portraits of rosy-cheeked children, and a few ceramic pieces all from the 18th and 19th centuries.

My favorite was an oil painting of a shepherd and his flock. It was unusual in that the shepherd was walking away from the viewer so I had a lovely view of the twenty of so bouncing rumps of the woolly sheep. Not your normal pastoral scene. It made me laugh.

It was a very successful artist date; I can't spend all my time reading.

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