Sunday, January 16, 2011

Carl Bloch

Okay I was totally confused/wrong about the art exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art we went to for date night on Friday. It was NOT an LDS artist, it was Carl Bloch! The Lutheran painter from the 1800s who did a bunch of famous paintings from the life of Christ (as well as some other non-religious paintings). His paintings are well-loved and much-used by the LDS church, though.

It was free. You just reserve your tickets online, and you get a free parking pass, too. I'm so glad we went. I was so touched, and so was Ry.

Music is the one kind of art that I would consider universal. Music moves everyone. Everyone has been uplifted, or felt melancholy, felt the need to dance, or cried because of music. Other art forms, however, don't affect everyone like that. Dance, theater, visual art like paintings or sculptures...not everyone is equally affected by those forms of art.

I am no artist. And I don't always get art, either. I appreciate art. I stop and visit every art gallery or art museum I pass when I am able. I feel like it's a wholesome recreation that makes me a better person, and so I go and I appreciate. But I don't always get it. Which is why exhibits like this are so great for me - I can read the little explanations to the side of the art and see what the artist was trying to do. And then I can be touched.

Well, I was incredibly touched at this exhibit. I spent the whole evening with a lump in my throat and tears behind my eyes. One wouldn't even need to read the words to feel it, but reading them made it that much better.

I just couldn't believe the talent of this man. And how sensitive he was to the situations of others. He would paint people he saw in the street that he felt the world overlooked. There was this particular painting of a poor old woman sharing her meager crumbs of bread with the birds. It reminded me so much of Mary Poppins and "Feed the Birds, Tuppence a Bag." Ryan was particularly affected by that painting.

(And might I add that when I first knew Ryan, when we were college freshman, he didn't seem that deep to me. He seemed nice, but...good-looking and into sports, you know? Which is fine, but through dating him and being married to him I have come to learn how much he appreciates anything edifying and anything beautiful in this world. I hope our sons learn that trait from him.)

It was all just beautiful. Google the artist if you want. They had these enormous originals flown in from Copenhagen and other places, and in front of the especially big ones there were chairs set out so people could sit and marvel. This was one of my favorites:

The plaque next to it explained that the artist paid particular attention to light and dark. His paintings are his interpretations of scriptures, and this was the scripture about Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, when an angel comes to aid him. Traditionally, artists have depicted the angel bringing Christ the bitter cup or the cross, but he chose to interpret it more sensitively. The rock is to remind us that Christ is our rock, and the red robe reminds us He bled from every pore. The bright light in the engulfing darkness is to draw our minds to the Atonement - how it can be a light in the dark of our lives. Isn't that incredible? I sat for a long time in front of this one.

This man was so inspired. I really believe that. It makes me a little sad to think about people who think we are just animals, eat drink and be merry, we're just a bunch of bloodthirty savages, nothing more to us than that. That we just eat, make whoopee, and die. It seems like a way of...avoiding responsibility, maybe? I mean, this man was so undeniably inspired! Look at the kind of beauty he created. Look what human beings can do when they tap into their talent and their spirituality. Not everyone can be an amazing painter, but I truly believe we all have gifts and we can all do beautiful things with our lives. This man didn't avoid his gift - he harnessed it. I wonder how many more people there are who could do such beautiful things. I'm thankful that people like Carl Bloch existed and do exist to remind us of that incredible potential inside us.

Art really does offer a spirituality about it that you don't feel or experience in quite the same way anywhere else.

I'm glad we went, and I'm thankful that there are things like this for us to attend and enjoy, nearby and without cost. It was a great date night.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Baby Copeland!

Well, I'm really terrible with this blog and still don't know how to do anything cool, but to the few readers, I thought I'd announce that Ryan and I are having a baby! I'm in my 14th week and began the second trimester today. It's all very exciting. We already love this little babe so much and it's barely a few inches long! Pregnancy has not been nearly as hard as I was expecting, and we have felt very blessed. We told my family at Christmas by wrapping the ultrasound picture and putting it under the tree and they were shocked! Obviously there are a lot more feelings and emotions about all this, but I am pretty devoted to my other online journal so that's where all the real stuff is at. So far, everything is good! We heard the heartbeat last week and I cried. I can't wait to feel this little baby move inside me. Ry and I love each other so much, we just can't wait to meet this little manifestation of that love. Ryan has been the best husband anyone could ask for during pregnancy. Every day I'm amazed by him. He loves me and serves me so unselfishly. I've got to stop though because it embarrasses him when I talk on the Internet about all he does for me. See, he's humble, too. ;-) I love being a mother - none of this mommy-to-be garbage - if you're growing a life inside you from scratch, you're a mother! So that's the news! Baby Copey due July 17, 2011.