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Last week, I shared photos of the Getty Center, located here in L.A. County where I currently live. In that post, I mentioned the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA, as another great cultural space in the city. See “Get(ty) Inspired” here.

As luck would have it, this week gave me the opportunity to visit LACMA, so I grabbed some photos for you of the things that inspired me the most this trip! That photo above is part of the museum—and my girls and myself—reflected in a **giant** orange balloon, goofing off and waving hello.

{Sadly, many exhibits were temporarily closed this week—not sure how long they’ll remain closed. That meant that viewing choices were more limited than usual, but we still found a way to fill a good five hours, and didn’t come even close to seeing all that was on display.}

I’m not sure if it was somehow related to yesterday’s Keri Smith post, or if I’ve had action and process on my mind as I work to define and create Of Love + Light, or if talking and thinking about creativity and mindfulness had something to do with it, but I was really drawn to very textured pieces yesterday, and enthralled in the idea of process, shape and repetition showing up in art from all over the world.

The sharp shapes in European-centered Cubism drew me in, and got me thinking of a world without organic shapes and curved lines—what that would look like. Picasso and his Weeping Woman inspired me with the droplets of tears hanging on by a thread—mechanical and whimsical in form. I found pleasure in repeated geometric shapes, painted on a grid, and imagined how tedious and yet mindful the work must have been to create it. There was an exact, precise element of graphic design that may be relatively simple to replicate on a computer today, but was done entirely by hand with oil on wood in 1958. And then there was the fabric by Paul Klee, a bright imaginative look at urban life.

François Morellat

I was drawn in by the thick oils, and treatment of light and dark by Asian artists Young-Il Ahn (Korean) and Yayoi Kasuma (Japanese). Their command of brush strokes inspired me, as did the commitment to create the work. Most of Young-Il Ahn’s paintings on display were created in 2016. He was born in 1934, which would make him 82 years old, and still painting enough to fill an entire room at a museum.

The description of his work, as printed on the walls at LACMA,  brings even more life to his paintings:

“In each Water painting Ahn attempts to interpret the infinite ways in which light, water, and fog interact on the ocean. From a distance, the paintings appear static, each canvas a flat surface rendered in a single vibrant color. Up close, however, they reveal themselves to be shimmering and mosaic-like. Small squares of thickly applied paint conform to an uneven grid but threaten to spill over their boundaries, casting shadows on the canvas and creating the impression of movement. Bright flecks of color interspersed throughout the paintings’ surface lend a prismatic quality to the works, mimicking the refractive effect of light on water…”

I could have spent days examining his enormous paintings from every angle.

Young-Il Ahn

Young-Il Ahn

There was a temporary display of bowls and textiles from Panama, including several Mola, textiles with patterns created by layering several fabrics on top of one another, cutting shapes out of layers to expose the fabrics below, and hand-stitching them. The theme of precision and repetition that drew me into the paintings mentioned above were now translated to fabric, and the use of bright colors and animal and shaman themes lent a distinctly Latin American vibe.

Finally, I was drawn to bark textiles created in the Pacific Island nations. The fabrics were created by pummeling wet bark down to a thin wearable consistency, then painted, in a tradition that reaches back 5,000 years. Each island nation has its own take on common patterns and motifs found in the fabrics, so the textiles can be differentiated and their origins traced by which tree bark was used, and how the patterns were applied.

I love that every museum visit inspires a different experience and interaction with the art, and each time, depending on where I am in my own creativity and life circumstances, I notice something different. This time was clearly all about shape, pattern, repetition, and committing to the work of creating.

Do you tend to notice common themes when you look at art, or do they change with your mood? Do the intricacies of these works of art draw you in, or do their imperfections cause you strife?

What about music, and books? Same questions.

I think one of the things I like the most about the work that I noticed yesterday is that (with the possible exception of the grid painting), none of it is perfect. There are visible mistakes in each one, places where the artist’s hand seemed to tire, or the painting got boring, or the brush touched down in an unintended spot. I found it reassuring, and inspirational, to peek into those vulnerable moments by great artists.

ABOUT A TO Z CHALLENGE

This month, I am writing 26 posts starting with the letters A through Z, along with hundreds of other businesses and bloggers from around the world. I first ran into the A to Z Challenge many, many moons ago (circa 2011), when I was brand new to the online writing world. It was a great way to jumpstart my creative juices, and I had so much fun “meeting” men and women sharing what they love to do.

So when I opened Of Love + Light, I knew the A to Z Challenge would be the perfect complement to Daily Dose: Inspired. Enjoy!

ABOUT OF LOVE + LIGHT

Of Love + Light is a place for uplifting media, creative inspiration, art, nifty creative publications, and storytelling. I also offer editing, creativity coaching, and small business communications planning services. Founded by Alana Garrigues, Of Love + Light is your place to come, relax, feel inspired and loved, and share more of what’s good on this beautiful planet.

Of Love + Light has infinite possibilities, and YOU are a huge part of what this will look like. Want to talk? Send me an email!

“LACMA: A Study on Process” is part of the Daily Dose: Inspired series. Looking for a small something to get you inspired to take on the day? This is the place to come for a photo, a song, a pick-me-up quote, a little slice of happy. At least, these are the things that inspire me!