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  • jamesmsweet

This Is Art

I went on an art studio tour yesterday. There are five artist studios are within a mile of my house. Sometimes I think that is quite a feat for a small village tucked into the foothills of the Taconic Mountains.

The artists invite us into their space for the tour. Some have paintings hanging in their home and we walk through their den and dining room to take in the art. Some welcome us into their studio in the barn behind their house or the converted garage at the end of their driveway.

Much of what I saw on the tour was landscape art of the terrain in and around Cambridge. The land around the area lends itself to that kind of art with rolling hills and open farmland. Maybe that is what attracted the artists to set down roots in the area.

Sometimes when I look at landscape art I get a little sad. I look at a scene from a different time of year and I get wistful for that particular moment in time. I have nothing to do with the scene and I don’t even know where I would have been when the artist was putting that piece of art together. All I know is that I feel like I should have been more present when that scene was taking place and I can’t know how present I actually was.

A painting I looked at yesterday is called “The Last Snow of the Winter”. It is a painting of a field behind a barn and there are piles of old snow on the ground. The ground is starting to show in many places but there is a heavy snowfall coming down. I would put the time of year around late March. If that is the last snow of the year-did I enjoy the snow as much as I should have? Did I go out and play in it or did I complain about the fact that I had to shovel the sidewalk? Did I look at the way the sun glared off the frozen field or did I grumble about the snowbanks in the street?

I worry sometimes that I allow life to pass me by. It is cliché to say we need to stop and smell the roses, but we need to stop and smell the roses. Looking at art reminds me of that. It makes me slow down and smell a lilac bush while walking the dog. Art makes me stop and watch a pair of cardinals hop branches along a hedge of forsythia.

Sometimes we need to stare at paint on a piece of paper to remind us that art is wherever we can find it in our day.

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