These first two pieces are by John Frederick Kensett. John Frederick Kensett was a 19th century landscape painter. He lived from 1816 to 1872.
This painting is named Sunset and it was made in 1872. When I saw this it made me feel like I was on a Caribbean cruise. The image is so calm and tranquil. It’s quite simple and plain, yet stunningly beautiful. The power that comes from the image’s simplicity amazes me. Also, sunsets have always been a place for me to think. It’s like they are the connection between reality and a dream world. Whenever I view a sunset I get lost in it, temporarily entranced in its beauty. I become something else like a placid lake or a cool breeze summer breeze. I am calm, at peace. In those few moments of bliss I forget that I have a body. I forget that ultimately, I’m firmly grounded on the Earth, in reality.
This painting is named Lake George and it was made in 1869. This particular image reminded me of the ski vacations that I had with my family every year. I was always awed by the majesty and curves of the mountain. The rugged, rough landscape both entranced and excited me. This painting brought me a quite different reaction that the sunset one. Even though it is tranquil, to me it is full of the energy that I experienced every time we drove up the mountains to the ski resort; the energy of looking out from the top of the mountain right before whipping my way down the slopes; the energy of feeling free as I viewed so far into the distance. The painting is the calm right before the storm, the tranquility right before the explosion.
Shadow of the Day by Linkin Park
My next piece is actually a song by Linkin Park called Shadow of the Day. Linkin Park is an American Rock Band. They formed in 1996 and have been making music ever since. Shadow of the Day was released in 2007.
I think the nature/sunset theme is beginning to become obvious. In the chorus of the song they say the words “And the shadow of the day, will embrace the world in grey. And the sun will set for you.” I take this phrase as bittersweet. The song is so beautiful and melodious, yet the lyrics are somewhat melancholy. Again, this reminded me of the state between dreams and reality, where reality begins to slip away and the world temporarily feels like a completely different place. It’s an escape. When they day wasn’t that great I just looked at the sunset and was taken away. As it set I became rejuvenated, a new person, ready to take on another day. The sun did set for me. It still does.
My last piece is actually Fallingwater made by Frank Lloyd Wright. Frank Lloyd Wright lived from 1867 to 1959. He was a great architect as well as a worshipper of nature. He created over a thousand art pieces in his lifetime. In Fallingwater, he flawlessly combined nature and architecture into one being. He Nature became part of the piece, and the piece part of it. In my life, nature represents many sides of me as well as being my source of inspiration. I can’t live without it. I notice the trees, the water, the air. Even my bedroom is made to look like it is outside with its Hawaiian theme. In my life, one flows into the other just as nature flows into over and around the house.