A recent visit to the San Francisco Bay area was most enjoyable. It took a trip across the country from New York to SF to make me aware of how much detail we simply disregard as we walk through our lives.
It’s all there, right in front of our eyes, and when these images reach the main office, located somewhere behind your eyes, the head guy, the brain, simply says, “Nah, discard that, I’m not interested.”
Indeed. Well, you can’t argue, can you? He is the head guy. He tells you where to go, what to eat, and, he even will tell your male appendage to get hard when appropriate — although this organ has been known to make its own decisions anyway.
Since you can’t argue, you can do something, and that is, to simply pay attention. Take note of what you see. The head guy might toss it out later, but at least you got to savor it for the moment.
I’m not talking about counting the stitches on the seat back in front of you on the airplane, nor am I talking about memorizing the bar-code of your boarding pass. The brain correctly discards irrelevant details like those. But there is plenty to see in the world before our eyes.
From the people we pass on the street to the ornate details of the buildings we enter everyday, to the way food is arranged on the plate before being served to us is all part of what we see and discard.
A day in and around San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts really opened my eyes about noticing color, style, and shape — on what we wear, in the art we look at, and what is created by nature.
Really, there’s so much more to see if you just look carefully and deeply. This month I’ll show you some art featuring a series of paintings, of women, that just get better and better as you look deeper into the art rather than just looking at the surface image.
Let’s start at home with California Daydreamin’ . Can you see the paint on her toenails, or the birds in the air in the distance? David Gallup has become an up-and-coming artist in the ‘plein air’ style so popular with California painters. The companion piece below is called Pacific Summer.
Gallup goes for the details of the model in Song of the Sea. The model is gorgeous and you really see just how beautiful she is in this closeup. Keep in mind that this is not done with a camera. This detail is the artist’s gift to us.
Crossing the wide Pacific, we can look at some stunning portraiture from China. Jiang Guo Fang, who has graced our pages before, is back with a stunning image of a courtesan (below) from the days when an Emperor ruled China.
While the background is pointedly less detailed, look at the immense details given to the banquette, the pillow, and the design of her red blouse. Why settle for just one – we’ve got details galore. How about this one of a reclining beauty (below) from the artist’s Forbidden Series.
Jiang Guo Fang, who has long been a favorite of mine, has produced yet another excellent example of how an artist pays attention to detail. Look at the one below, another from his Forbidden Series.
The next image, called Armillary Sphere, is by Jia Lu, a wonderful artist. A Chinese woman from Beijing, she sailed with the Chinese Navy, she tried out for a professional basketball team, and has taught art at University level. She is now living in California.
The intricacies of the folds of the garment are just superbly crafted and this painting only hints at her passion for beauty and the power of the human figure.
Closing out this month’s art are three works by Liu Yuan-Shou . I saw these in a gallery in the Lan Kwai Fong area of Hong Kong last October. I was impressed enough to actually make inquiries about them. Five digits in the prices were two more than I wanted to hear. I adore the white cheongsam that she is wearing, the positions she poses in, as well as the look on her face. These paintings are simply gorgeous; no doubt the model would be welcome to leave her shoes under my bed…
Beautiful images of beautiful women; kudos must go to the artists. Routinely, we will happily offer our praises to other stunning women whenever we have the good fortune to find them. Kindly spend some time at our website The Arts to begin many of your next journeys on the wings of your imagination and my words. Until next time.