Art and its new-esque role in my life

Well, hello almost a month later.

I’m still basically unemployed, with the odd tiny burst of substituting but I’d say I haven’t work in total more than a week in the last two months.

Burning through the savings which I won’t be able to save again.

On a completely different note, my sister told me that my dad had her husband drive him to Walmart (dad is now in assisted living in Ottawa where my sister et famille live.  Oui) so that he could buy me a birthday card.  This has me in tears when I think about it.  My mom, gone some 14 months now, was always the one to take care of the cards and such.  Now there’s my nearly 80 year old dad unable to stand up from his wheelchair or he will lose consciousness off to Walmart to get me a card.  I can picture him looking through, picking one.

Life hurts sometimes it seems.

My thoughts go down, down, down sometimes and then a bit more up, a bit more ‘normal’ for lack of a much better word.  It’s hard.  Not easy.  Difficult.  Isolating and sometimes less so.

I’ve been doing art therapy (getting? not sure) for about a year although now I’ve had to cut back because of, well, living off of my savings.  Anyway, nearly a year in, I’m cluing in a bit to, well, art.

The times I’ve been in Europe (lucky me, more than once) I’ve gone to the galleries but quickly got gallery fatigue.  I remember going with a hostel mate to the Louvre and we zipped over to the Mona Lisa, a few other famous pieces of art, and then zoom zoom lasagna in the cafe.

Ditto the Vatican – zoom zoom over to the Sistine Chapel.  Looks good, we said.  Then we went for lunch at the cafe.

A theme there.

I barely remember what I saw at the Uffizi in Florence.  It was overwhelming and by that point in my trip, I was all art-ed out.

The galleries in London are free.  I zoomed around those too.

But I’ve been thinking about paintings.  Well, painting.  Mainly,er, I don’t.  I don’t have that part of the brain – that painting part.  No straight line with a ruler type thing.  But I kinda like painting in the art therapy and even at home (my carpet in my rental doesn’t like the paints so much).  I’m limited – well, extremely – in what I can do but still, something satisfying there.

A.T. had given me a free ticket for the Vancouver Art Gallery a few months ago.  I was saving it for something cool – well, something cool has come.

VAG – the only gallery in Canada to get this – got Cezanne and the Modern Masterpeices of European Art from the Pearlman Collection (till May 18, if anyone from Vancouver reads this blog here.  This one here.)

I decided to go today because today there were also tours of the different floors – the aforementioned plus three other gah – collections might be the word there.

The European art blew my mind a bit.  I discovered some artists that I want to investigate further.  The tours were amazing.  I’m usually an in and out kind of gallery person. Yup, yup, next, next.

But I stayed for four hours at VAG – the tours plus some looking around on my own.  I came home and got googling.  It’s overwhelming all of this art, this great art.  I even learned more about Emily Carr.

Smokin’ amazing, y’all.

I’m late to the party I realize.  Waaaay late to realize what an impact art has and how difficult were the lives of lots of the masters – many died young, lots in poverty, in obscurity.  Some suicides too unfortunately.

The docent said of Van Gogh that painting helped to calm the crazy and destructive energy from his mental illness.  It gave him a break.

My own brain is riddled lots of times with depression and its accompanying repetitive and destructive thoughts.  Worse when I’m not working of course, of course.  It’s tough.

Today at the art gallery I seemed to be really absorbed at times.  Awesome.

There was an installation by Al Weiwei, the dissident Chinese artist who was ‘disappeared’ for two years and is now not allowed to leave China.  Three of his assistants came to set up the piece.  Amazing.

There was a daughter about my age with her mom today at one of the tours.  The daughter was making sure the mom was okay.  I got teary.

There were a couple of photos in another collection that showed a bedroom and the contents of a closet in a house where the elderly residents were going to move out.  Before the house was gutted, the moving out residents wanted photos to remember things by.  I teared up at that too.

I love how art has endless directions – wherever the artist wants to take it.

I’ve always focussed on writers – which ones I thought were good and really good writing makes me think jesus, this stuff really, really exists how incredible that is.

Now, I’d love to take an art history course or something.  The basics, the ‘for dummies’ version me thinks.  I can’t afford it at the moment but I am going to check into it.

Speaking of writing – after a whole lot of re-writing, editing, re-writing and editing again, seems another piece of mine might be appearing in the Vancouver Courier this week.  A first person column type piece again, my third for them.  Lucky for me, the editor worked with me – all over e-mail – to help me to make it way better than it was.  Take out the humour/sarcasm/self-deprecation on this piece, he said.  Tell it straight.  So I went that way.  It’s still not the best piece I’ve written – the first half is good, the second half not so much.  But it’s an idea I want to get out there even though I know there may be some sarcastic and cutting comments about it on the internet, because that is where comments can go.

We shall see.

I’m late to the art party but I’m glad I got there, that’s for sure.