There are many ways to view the wonders of nature. I like to be plant myself in the middle of things – the woods, a garden, a bird sanctuary, an arboretum, my backyard. It is how I feel the energy of what I am observing. But there are other ways to appreciate what nature has to offer. One grand way is through the artist’s vision. This weekend I went to the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA for an exhibit called The Painterly Voice: Bucks County's Fertile Ground. What a treat.
Brian H. Peterson, the Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest Chief Curator, provides commentary about the work, the artists and Bucks County’s artistic progression. He takes the viewer behind the scenes with descriptions that allow us to feel the mystery of each artist’s voice. And the exhibit itself adds to the mystery with little doors that open to the comments about both the works and the artists.
The Painterly Voice is very people accessible. Other than the occasional DO NOT TOUCH sign, there are no ropes or barriers to getting up close to the paintings. I like to get near enough to see the individual brush strokes, to be able to see each color as it is applied, and to feel embraced by the minutia of the artist’s vision. Then I step back and let the fullness of the scene envelop and expand me. Here are hills and fields and water and flowers, long expanses and up close details.
And then there is Bucks County itself. A lovely ride through those same hills and fields. A nice way to spend a day.
The exhibit runs through April 1, 2012 but if you can’t get to see it in person, you can see some of it out here: http://www.michenermuseum.org/catalogue/painterly-voice/