Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 5: Art on a Snowy Day

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great blue heron walking along the shore.

Last weekend, I went to the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston to see the Goya Exhibit courtesy of tickets from my friend, Marge. While the Goya show was superb, the Monet, Gauguin, O’Keefe, and Matisse brought goosebumps as always.

What moved me most, though, was a visiting Klimt masterpiece, “Adam and Eve.” At the time of Klimt’s death, Eve’s hands had not yet been painted, with just the barest of outlines hinting at the apple she would have grasped. Left unfinished, the painting evoked a palpable poignancy – it seemed as though the artist had merely put down his brushes and stepped away for a few minutes, instead of for eternity.

The gallery was very crowded that day, with a 50 minute wait for people standing in line. As my friend Naomi remarked, “Whoever said the internet would replace art galleries and museums? Look at all these people.”

She’s right, you know. The vast array of art available online transforms where and how we experience art and artists. In retrospect, my own art history coursework back in the days of those boxed sets of prints feels meager in light of the riches available today at the click of a button.

And yet, there is nothing like standing in front of the actual piece of art, an arm’s length from a canvas and realizing the artist was also at one time the same arm’s length from the same canvas, but with brush in hand, bringing a vision to life. Looking closely at Eve’s unfinished arms from only a foot away brought the painting into a very human realm where I could almost see Klimt standing were I stood, calculating the placement and shape of the missing apple, the colors and brushes he would use.

I’m glad they left it unfinished instead of having an apprentice complete the piece.

It’s a snowy day here, where better to spend it than in a gallery?


Special thanks to my friend Marge for the VIP tickets to the MFA!

Thanks to Krista and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself challenge. For a photographer who can’t paint her way out of a paper bag, as the expression goes, I’ve expressed a lot of my thinking around “paintings” in this post, and so the photo in this post is one of my more painterly photos.


Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2015 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Great Blue Heron, Klimt, Goya, MFA Boston

Posted on January 25, 2015, in ardea herodias, Art, Audubon, Fine art, Great Blue Heron, Photography, Photography challenge, postaday, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the reminder about the Goya exhibit. I shall try my best to get there — and to get to your blog more often, too, Babsje!

  2. I see that I missed the Goya exhibit. Darn it. I’ve missed you, too, but I hope to see you again soon.

    • Yes, sorry you missed the Goya, too, Ann – you would have liked it. IMO, the Klimt alone is worth making the schlep, it is truly exquisite! I hope to be more regular in visiting your blog, too (once i sort out some pesky hardware issues) – living nonjudgmentally as you put it is the only way to go. Wait, was I judgmental there in calling my hardware pesky?!

  3. Babsje,
    I recently spent an afternoon in the Denver Art Museum and felt transfixed by a Monet and a sculpture of Buddha off balance, not to mention the Chinese furniture. The direct encounter feels charged with power. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Hi Gary – Many thanks for your thoughtful comment about the “power” of the direct encounter. Your phrasing captures the charge of that experience very well. The Denver Art Museum is wonderful, and i loved visiting there when I lived in Denver years ago. I will have to look up the statue you mention. It is interesting that one reaction I always have to some of the paintings in museums is that they seem smaller than expected, yet so much more powerful than the digital images of the same pieces. The Klimt on the other hand, was much much larger than I had expected, and the unfinishedness of it gave it a sense of immediacy that was very powerful, indeed – as though the painter would be stepping back into the room any minute to finish what he had started. thanks for visiting again! Best, Babsje

  4. Interesting. I’m not familiar with the Klimt but the painting you describe so well shall be my next investigation. When I’m done with Dowitchers (the birds, not the c18 Dutch Master…) RH

    • Glad you liked this one. Please do let me know what you think of the Klimt once you’ve had a chance to check it out. I like his other works very much, but this one moved me even moreso with the unfinished hands. Best, Babsje

  5. Like to visit your blog..Always news and brilliant photo of the heron

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