A Picture Perfect Painting, 2012

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Have your eyes ever met scenery so intriguing that your senses suddenly become totally aware of your surroundings? This past summer I had the opportunity to travel with Missouri Southern State University to Tulsa, Oklahoma.n When we first arrived there, we toured Tulsa University. Later we went to the Philbrook Museum of Art, where we had the chance to view many magnificent works of art. One of my favorite works of art, though the name of its creator  has escaped my memory, is a painting of mountains and trees. The Cedar and Douglas fir trees were so distinguished and detailed it was the first thing that was eyes were drawn to. The precise, fine lines that the artist had painted defined the trunk of each tree. Adding in dark shadows made the colors of the trees more visible and making it look as if there were spaces between each of them. Just above the trunk I could see the greenery the tops of the trees presented. With the contrast of the colors so distinguished, I could easily tell one group of trees from the other. The dark green leaves and the light green leaves instantly reminded me of the country; being out in the open, exposed to nature, and nothing around me but the bird and the bees. I can still remember the smell of the fresh, crisp air and feeling smaller than my surroundings for the first time in many days. Another detail the artist put into the painting was a body of water, that was peaceful and calm. The artist seemed to have wanted the observer to think the waters come up only to kiss the shores and quietly go away. The light blue water matched the color of the sky so perfectly you would have thought that the sky was a reflection of the water. Just under the blanket of blue were the mountains standing tall and strong, and covering a great area. Had I not looked closely, I would not have seen that the mountains were snowcapped. I could tell there were light clouds, almost like fog, trying to block my view of the mountains. I realize the artist’s intent was to make the observer feel as though the mountains are far off in the distance. When I look at the mountains in the picture, I see a delicate line at the top to differentiate the higher points from the lower points. The color of the most distant mountain almost blended in with the sky, while the color of the closer mountain is a shady black and a cappuccino brown. When I looked at the entire painting as an individual I saw colors, objects, and lines to form land. However, when I viewed this picture as an observer I could see so much more. I observed that the water was calm, and the trees were fresh with green leaves. I observed that the mountains were distant and the sky looked heavenly. As an observer I could see not only colors, objects, lines, and tone; but the feeling the artist created within the painting like tranquility, rejuvenation, and balance. What intrigued me most about the painting was that as both an individual and an observer I found that this work of art grasped my attention and pulled me into it. It made me feel like I was living and breathing in the scenery at that very moment. Whether it is in a painting or in real life, your eyes are going to meet scenery that will please you and your eye. So when that moment comes grasp it, love it, and remember it because that is your place. Like mine, but my place is this painting.

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