Wandering through art museums is something I really love to do.
I recently spent a day at a gallery with a daughter.
She is like her dad, that one. Intense and talented, she sees things that most people do not. Her dad draws comic books for DC in New York. She essentially grew up in an art studio, surrounded by Batman, Superman, and the DC Universe for companions. Her world was filled with epic battles in art, and the good guys always won.
When she was young, I read Gardner’s Art Through the Ages to her more often than Go Dog Go. She and her siblings made (and still make!) extreme messes at the kitchen table, in watercolor, acrylic, pastels, charcoal, graphite, clay, sticks, fabric, sculpture, even lights. I love the moment of discovery, when a dinosaur emerges from the Play Doh, roaring in the hands of a toddler. Our Family Nights include covering the kitchen table in rolled paper, and dumping the box of markers in the middle. Everyone draws. Art is as essential as breathing.
Back to the gallery: While in the museum, we saw this gorgeous painting by Whistler. It stared, large and looming on the wall ahead. My heartbeat quickened. So did our pace. By the time we reached the painting, I was crying, and she had tears on her cheeks, too. We stood in awe in front of the vast, white wildness, and the grandeur of Whistler’s oil brushstrokes overwhelmed me. Seeing my daughter feel the same power of emotion from some paint and canvas multiplied my tears.
She claimed the tears on her cheeks sprang from sheer embarrassment, because her mother kept blubbering in public.
But I don’t think so.