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Gwen Dickerson

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Enjoying Art
by Gwen Dickerson   

Last edited: Sunday, May 11, 2003
Posted: Sunday, May 11, 2003

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Some basic guidelines for appreciating art. A commentary on Michelangelo's La Pieta.

Enjoying Art

Enjoying Art! First, let me say that I am not an art expert, far from it. I'm just a poor smuck who happens to love many different art forms. Art and music, among other things, stir my passions, they simply soothe and make me feel happy and alive!

What I like about art, is that it is such a personal experience! Art affects each of us in various ways. What I see and feel while observing a certain sculpture or painting, is not necessarily what you will! I may think that it is the greatest, most beautiful creation in the world, while you may say, "What the heck was this artist thinking, or drinking?"

The next time you're quietly observing a piece of art that looks interesting to you, try this: First, look at the piece carefully and notice the things that you like. Notice the shapes/designs, the color or lack of it! Then try to get the message. Try to imagine what the artist felt as he/she created the piece. Try to associate it with something. Does it remind you of anything? Good! Just get in touch with your feelings.

Pay attention to those feelings. Is it a sad scene? Does it make you sad? Does this picture move you, make you happy? Good, then the artist has conveyed a message to you. Don't know what it is? What it is supposed to represent? But you like it anyway? Good! Don't like it? That's okay too! An art object is meant to give a message and/or, get a reaction! Your reaction! So, look, feel, enjoy!

Copyright(c)2002 by Gwen Dickerson


Come with me as I reveal how I feel as I visit Michelangelo's "La Pieta"! One doesn't have to be religious to enjoy this great work of art, so, let's look at it in a historical, non religious way!

I stand before Michelangelo's masterpiece, "La Pieta", almost entranced, sincerely affected by its beauty. I see a 47 year old grieving mother, stunned and broken hearted. She is seated, holding her 33 year old son, Jesus, a full grown man, across her lap. I empathize with her pain at the lost of her first born! Her utter distress! Her total helplessness! Her devastation! I breath deep, and I sigh!

I see her son, Jesus, dead, yet eternal, for he is alive in the hearts of multitudes. His teaching quest fulfilled, for his teaching and life experiences influence the world, like few, if any man, before or since! I reflect on his past trails and agony. I shudder as I perceive his wounds. I breath deep, and I sigh!

I behold this stature's beauty of form. I observe the graceful folds of Mary's gown, and Jesus' graceful body. I appreciate the beauty of the marble. Here, I see representation of life and death, side by side, forever present! I feel the energy of balance as I merge with their experience. I am deeply affected, mentally, emotionally and physically. I am enveloped in contradicting feelings of depression and joy, of dread and hope! These figures convey a symphony of emotions and wonder within me! I breath deep, and again,... I sigh!

Michelangelo, you are truly a genius! I am overwhelmed as I think and wonder what YOU must have felt, as you created this beautiful masterpiece!

Copyright(2002)by Gwen Dickerson

Web Site: Gwen Dickerson's Site

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Reviewed by J'nia Fowler 2/11/2009
Well written. Yes t'is true that if anyone could create a symphony with a bit of pigment, linseed oil, brush and canvas, it was Michelangelo. He was a master of all he touched. thank you for this instructional piece. blessings, J'nia
Reviewed by Aberjhani 3/5/2005
These words ring true and wise. I know many artists and they would all appreciate it if I sent you a hug for writing this article, so I am sending you their gratitude in the form of a hug:-)
Reviewed by Michael Kersting 10/11/2003
Well Done ! I feel that we all have a bit of the Artist in us,.The fact that one can admire a sunset,a waterfall,a flower or a work of Art proves it.
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