Monday, April 26, 2010

The Beauty of Art and Music

This past Saturday I went to a local jazz and arts festival and it was amazing. I went with my sister, K, and her best friend, J. It's a huge event - three main stages where jazz groups are constantly playing, smaller stages around the fair grounds where soloists perform, and all sorts of art. There's paintings, jewelry, photography, metalwork, pottery, carvings ... so many types that I can't remember them all! This year was my third year to go to the festival and I plan to keep on returning as long as I live in this area. I might even have to travel out to see it if I live in a different city!

Even though I've been to the festival three times, I haven't bought any of the art until this year. There's this Scottish photographer whose booth I've visited every time and have drooled over the fantastic pictures he has. Most of his photos are from Ireland and Scotland, but he has pictures from Texas, Prague, and even some still life photos he's recently taken. These pictures make you want to jump onto the nearest plane to see the subjects with your own eyes. I was finally able to buy a couple of his photos this year. (Yay for having a job!) One of them is a still life of a violin and what I think is a mandolin in the background. It's in black and white and you're only able to see about half of each instrument. The other is this amazing shot of a few Celtic cross tombstones. The photographer shot it at just the right point in the day, so that the sun cast a shadow of one cross onto another behind it. It's so peaceful looking and beautiful. K ended up buying a picture of these cliffs in Ireland. We were all standing around admiring it when the photographer came up and started telling the story behind the picture. (He does that with any photo you ask about - it makes them so much more interesting.) He asked if we had seen "The Princess Bride" and then told us those were the Cliffs of Insanity from the movie! Well, that clinched it for K - she had to buy it, partially so she could tell people that she owned a picture of the Cliffs of Insanity.

After we ate lunch, we headed back to the convention center where what I guess are the artists who are famous enough to have their booths indoors. Don't get me wrong, there is some amazing art all over the fairgrounds but maybe not well known. Maybe they're inside because they've paid a little extra to be out of the sun and inevitable heat. Anyway, J wanted to go buy a print of a painting from this Russian artist - she has the most interesting paintings. She has a lot of paintings of actors and musicians like Marilyn Monroe, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Audrey Hepburn for example. I was looking at some of her prints when I found this gorgeous painting of what looks like a tree in autumn. I stood there debating for a few minutes about whether I should buy it or not and I decided to go ahead and get it. I definitely do not regret it. I feel like I'm looking up at a clear blue sky through the branches of a tree. There's so much color and texture - I can't really put into words how this painting makes me feel. It's just simply ... beautiful.

After we finished looking around the booths at the convention center, we decided to go sit along this concrete ditch that's by one of the smaller stages and just listen to the music, which happened to be bagpipe music. Saturday was really the perfect day to do that - mid 70s, clear skies, a light breeze. It was relaxing to just sit there, listen and talk a little. The sound of the bagpipe mixed with the conversations that were happening all around us. It created this music that can only be described as that of creation or the world - people coming together and enjoying what's going on around them. I'm not sure if that made sense, but it was fascinating.

I cannot wait for next year's festival.

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