First ( Art ) Love

21 Mar

We all remember our first love, the intensity, the drama, it stays with us forever.   How a certain song or place will always remind you of those precious feelings.  But what about your first ART love?   That one painting or sculpture or photograph that drew you in and made you long for more?

My hubby George & I took advantage of the Free Family Day at the Cummer Museum of Art in Jacksonville on Saturday and walking through its beautiful rooms & gardens reminded me  that the Cummer is where my real appreciation for art first blossomed.

Image of the Cummer Gardens via Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

The stately, elegant rooms and gardens seemed alive with history and mystery.  To me, there is something so lovely and enchanting about old stone, brick and iron in a garden.   The Cummer Garden paths lead me down a lane of memories that aren’t my own.. memories of others who have walked these gardens before, of Ninah Cummer lovingly attending her flowers, of characters in novels who walked similar garden paths, of lovers declaring themselves forever.

Inside the Cummer, the beauty of the architecture draws me in but it is the artwork that keeps me coming back again and again.   As a young girl, my first memory of visiting the Cummer is the enchantment I discovered there, focused upon one particular piece of artwork, “Before Her Appearance” by Frederick Carl Frieseke.

Image via Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

I’m sure it is no surprise that this Impressionistic painting would be the early favorite of a young girl who loved the romance of dancing and all things girly.   I wanted to BE her, to be the talented beauty preparing to take center stage.  When I look back at this piece as an adult, I still love the feminine glory of it all.  The pink toe-shoes, ruffled dressing gown, floral vanity skirt and draperies.. In an age where showing this kind of feminitity seems sometimes verboten,  it is lovely to think back to a time when it was truly celebrated.  ( Not that I would want to go back to other aspects of being a woman in that age! )

Each time I revisit the Cummer, I am drawn back in time to my younger days, of sitting and gazing upon this lovely piece, waiting for her to stand up from her stool and begin pirouetting around the room.   As with any first love, there are others who have come behind, touched me in different ways, but that first passion will stay with me always.

Do you remember your first ( ART ) love?  Please share in the comments, I adore a good ( ART ) love story!

5 Responses to “First ( Art ) Love”

  1. Ken Hamilton March 21, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Beautiful picture, I have really enjoyed your Blog.

  2. Jessica March 21, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    I remember in art class, the required (and mostly boring to my then 14 year old self) history portion of it, being transfixed upon the ugly-beauty of Kahlo Frieda. I can’t for sure say which of her paintings I saw at the time, but I remember stopping and staring…and staring. It was one of her more tame self-portraits. Not erasing any flaws but showing the true self was something new to me. Doing self portraits, of course I skimped on the freckles, put more green in the eyes, perhaps deepened that jawline a little.

    Later when I saw her other, more revealing works I was able to learn a little bit more about what it really means to paint a “self-portrait”. It taught me there really is a broadness to that genre.

    • Lesley March 21, 2011 at 11:02 am #

      Frida Kahlo’s work is amazing. There is so much symbolism to her pieces.. I like to think of hers as surrealism portraits.

  3. Elizabeth Greene March 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    I must be fickle…. I can’t remember my first, only so many others that have shown up since, and my current favorite- a felt work greeting card by C.S. Dale (I think- a tail of the felt covers the name) that never fails to make me smile. And in my typical, fickle way, I know there will be another.

    • Lesley March 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

      Beth, that’s a big part of why I don’t own much artwork– by the time I think I love something enough to buy it, something else comes along that I love just as much!

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