LeAnne Martin
Beauty and the Beholder

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Alaska Moments

Here are a few of my favorite things about Alaska:

--Exit Glacier, which looked like a frozen waterfall
--the train ride with my friends through gorgeous scenery
--hanging out of said train with one of those friends
--the little shop in Talkeetna where I bought the pink hoodie that would keep me from freezing the rest of the trip
--the moose mother and her babies in the yard next door
--the never-ending light
--long car rides and long talks
--the husky in the house named Corduroy
--the mountains everywhere, with strips of snow adorning the sides and clouds veiling the peaks
--the mud flats where those two black bears caught their lunch
--the ocean so close by
--the quick trip "up the hill" and the view of Anchorage below
--the worship service with music provided by a native family
--exquisite native crafts in the gift shop
--the large fuchsia with its blooms spilling over the pot
--chocolate chocolate chocolate
--the lilacs and my friend's love for them
--my hostess' excitement at sharing her beautiful home and surroundings with us
--God's handiwork in creation and in my friends

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monet's Water Lilies

You might have guessed by seeing the background of this blog and my website that Monet's Water Lilies series is important to me. In a week or two, my family and I are going to visit an exhibition of four of Monet's paintings from this series. All of the paintings are from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. My husband and I have already seen them at MoMA but we have to see them again and this time, our daughter will be with us. I'm very excited about this opportunity to stand in front of those paintings, which helped get me started on the path of pursuing art and beauty, with the two of them by my side. I will be sure to post about the experience.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share the link for the exhibition with you, which includes information from other sources about Monet, his paintings, and his gardens.

Which painting or artist is important to you? Has a painting or other work of art ever moved you? I'd love to hear about it. Leave a comment.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Few Quotations about Art

As you probably know, I love quotations, and I post them often on this blog and my Christians in the Arts blog. Today I'm thinking about beauty in art and wanted to share these thoughts with you:

Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.
--Andre Gide

We can't take any credit for our talents. It's how we use them that counts.
--Madeleine L'Engle

All writing is a form of prayer.
--John Keats

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.
--W.H. Auden

I write with intensity, discipline and constancy, because this is the work that calls me, the vocation of my heart.
--bell hooks

Personal essayists converse with the reader because they're already having dialogues and disputes with themselves.
--Phillip Lopate

Never lose a holy curiosity.
--Albert Einstein

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Strawberry Pickin'

I love strawberries, and so does my family. Last Friday, my parents, my daughter, and I went strawberry pickin' at a farm near my parents' house. My folks had gone with my sister and her girls the week before and she had brought home big bags of berries. I wanted to go too--not just for the spoils but for the experience. My daughter and I have never picked our own strawberries before, and I wanted the two of us to have that memory with her grandparents.

The rows of strawberry plants went on and on. We chose two rows at random and started. Those first few berries, hidden under the leaves of the plants, were small, red, and perfect. I was surprised somehow. They weren't the huge, mutant-looking things we usually find at the grocery store. We worked our way down rows next to each other and then spread out a bit when we realized the berries in that area had been picked over. After about 30 minutes, my daughter started asking how much longer it would be. She reminded me of myself at her age. Whenever we gardened--whether at my grandparents' house or at our friends' place--I couldn't wait to go inside or go home.

Fortunately, before long, we had two large bucketsful of ripe red berries. As we went inside the building to pay for them, we passed a long bench full of kids under seven stuffing berries into their mouths with sticky fingers and sporting red-stained smiles. On the way home, the sweet fragrance of the strawberries wafted through the car, reminding me of a day well spent with my parents and my daughter, doing a little bit of labor for a lot of goodness. Making me grateful, yet again, for the beauty and variety and provision of creation.

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