Sunday, February 18, 2018

A look at Caspar David Friedrich

For me the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich put man in the landscape in an astonishing way.  The figure is often dwarfed by the surroundings.  We have the intellect to understand our surroundings but we are still no closer through each new discovery that science provides to understanding the universe.  Each discovery brings about a new question so we are left continually searching. The mystery of things is always infant of  us. We also can not deny its beauty and the pull that we have toward it.

In "Wanderer above the Sea Fog," I am reminded of those times that I have been hiking in a fog and the objects near you have a singularity. I felt as I was alone but being watched by another being.  Each shrub would reveal itself to me as I approached it. I could se it as a unique object apart from the rest.

Here I am at Acadia National Park in Maine doing my closest impression of his figure in the painting. 
In the painting below,"Monk by the Sea," the landscape dominates.  The figure is dwarfed by the elements.  Sea and sky overtake and I end up feeling for this little monk. We are dwarfed in size by the sky, by the universe extending beyond comprehension.  All we can do is try an take in that very small piece that comes to our little minds.  It is a wonder that we can even take it in and make any sense of it at all.  I try to celebrate that wonder in my work as did those artists that I admire who came before.  I love these paintings because they remind me that I am not the center.  I am a part of something that was written a long time ago.  Something written by a hand that I can not see and spoken by a voice that I can barely make out in music and quite moments.  

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