Not so Fat Girl’s Diary

Philosophical essays on life, love and exercise.

August 23, 2015
About the art of being fine

Yesterday was a remarkable day. I took my lovely nieces for their first fine arts museum visit. We saw original works by Shishkin, Levitan, Vastnetsov. We didn’t make it to the Western European paintings section, but we did visit a modern exhibition of the works by American artists who used a complicated mezzo-tinto technique. I asked the girls which of the two types of works they enjoyed seeing most. I of course was sure they would pick classical Russian portraits and landscapes. But no. My five year old said with a very thoughtful expression: “I prefer modern art because it leaves more space for my fantasy”.

Before I was wondering if it makes sense to bring such small children to the gallery. They probably wouldn’t remember much. May be wait until school where they will study all this with a teacher? But after my niece’s remark I knew I was doing the right thing. It doesn’t matter that they won’t be able to quote the names of the artists after the first several visits; it doesn’t matter that I can’t tell them very much about the paintings. (I have admit that I’ve seen a lot, I read a lot but in the end I only kept the visual and emotional way of perception of paintings. I like this work therefore I will pause and look at it. Or — it doesn’t touch me so I will pass by.) What matters is that I made them INTERESTED. If this interest is nurtured, they will grow to enjoy art (music, reading). But most importantly, they will grow to enjoy educating themselves. Beyond school. Beyond someone’s praise or appreciation. They will grow to be intellectually CURIOUS.

After the epic afternoon with the girls I went for a 5 mile run. Very wet run it was. My heart rate constantly wanted to go high and it was hard to keep it within the first training zone. Now that I can comfortably run 5 miles, I wonder if next time I should do more or reduce to three miles and try to run the distance better then before. I don’t run fast. But I do run with the true pleasure. Hooray!


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