Periwinkle stars

Periwinkle Stars

When I got done post-processing this photo of the periwinkle (vinca major) that's blooming under the roses right now, I realized this color palette reminds me a lot of Monet's water lily paintings. I guess that's why I love periwinkle blossoms.

Years ago, the Monet paintings were touring away from "home" and were on exhibit in San Francisco for a time. My mother, my siblings and I were thrilled to be tickets and be able to see them in person for the first time.

I walked into the first gallery and was floored at the sheer size of each painting. They are massive! To say the lilies are larger than life is an understatement. In other galleries, there were less imposing sized canvases but all were large nonetheless. For the first time, I was looking at the real works of art instead of reproductions in a textbook or on prints.

As we got close to each canvas, we marveled at how the details of the image would get lost amidst seemingly random brushstrokes of color after color. The closer we got, the harder it was to discern any of the composition. The brushstrokes, the layers of paint, and the many colors were too distracting up close.

Then we would step back. The more we stepped back, the more clear the composition became--the more obvious the flowers were. The larger the painting's dimensions, the farther we had to stand back to really see it the way Monet had intended.

My life and my purpose here in this existence must be an awful lot like those Monet paintings. Up close, it's easy for me to get lost and confused by distractions that seem so overwhelming. The problem is that I'm often not at liberty to step back completely to see everything clearly like I could with the Monet paintings in the galleries.

That's when I have to rely on God's perspective. From His vantage point, He can see how it all fits together into a beautiful composition. Even the slashes of bright pink in the midst of a tranquil field of blue make sense from where He views my life. At the times that I am most distracted and most confused by life's overwhelming details, I have to remember to turn to Him who stands back in "the gallery" and sees my life's canvas from the right perspective. And if I listen carefully and trust what He says, that slash of bright pink will make sense someday.
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  1. I love Monet's waterlily paintings. The colors are splendid. I have always wished to paint like that. My painting style is very realistic. I have a hard time letting go and just relaxing and globbing the paint on. Someday...

  2. Lovely observations.

    You're in Northern California, right? I'm surprised how aggressive and invasive (and snail-harboring) vinca is around here. I originally knew it as a Nee England woodland plant, but in my West Oakland garden it is a frightful bully.

  3. Beautiful. I'm standing so close to the details of my life I must have paint on my nose, right now. I'll look at stepping back a bit and see if I can gain a little perspective.

    BTW, I have plans to visit an exhibit of Leonardo Da Vinci's sketches of the human body this weekend. They're taken from his notebooks and are in the Queen's private collection.

    The degree of expertise is amazing, isn't it? It's no wonder they're regarded as Masters. It's surreal and mind blowing to see their work in person and realize that the pen or brush strokes were created by people who struggled to make a living as artists in their time and are so highly regarded all these many years later.


  4. Cindy, So wisely spoken. I am with you today... much too close to the canvas!
    Love you lots,

  5. I simply fell in love with real art in Boston and New amazing to stand near those masterpieces and feel a connection to the content and the artist. Just amazing!

  6. If you ever visit Los Angeles, be sure to go to the Getty Center! Monet paintings abound in the Romantic period rooms. And in addition to Monet, you can stand right there in front of Irises by Van Gogh!

  7. Cindy you are always full of surprises. I personally like Monet. Anna :)

  8. That is a beautiful analogy. Thanks for sharing it!

    And as always, your photographs are gorgeous. Coming here always refreshes me.

  9. Cindy, so beautifully put, amazing perspective, both the painting, and how you view life. I totally agree with you.

    What a wonderful experience it must have been to see those painting.


  10. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Cindy. Your art is so nice and delicate, and looks like you always put so much thought into, and it shows. Anna :)


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