Who knew art could be so addictive?!

I’m thinking that I should rename my blog, Inspired by Dr. Rao. In the same post that he mentioned Bharathnatyam, he mentioned that there was a sunflower painting by Van Gogh that he had seen a thousand times and yet never tired of it. I was intrigued, and a little embarrassed that art had never moved me that way.

Still, there are books that I feel that way about. Well, I don’t have time to read any book 1,000 times, but I love classic books because I can read them over and over and get something different out of them every time. If fine art could move me in the same way; I had to know!

So I went to the library and got a book. I settled for one of those books with the name everyone loves to hate, Art for Dummies. The author, Thomas Hoving, made a similar observation about being able to see a painting or sculpture over and over and still marvel at it. Even better he claimed that anyone could have this experience if they simply immerse themselves in art. He was even generous enough to say that one could start with clay frogs, and that gradually one’s taste would evolve. With that encouragement, I went to the Internet to look at art. As a working mother of five, I couldn’t just run out to an art museum! Being the impulsive person that I can be, there was no way I was going to mess around with clay frogs and hope my love of art would evolve. I just googled fine art. Why not jump right in?

Wow! I was almost instantly addicted. The amazing thing is that I have looked at fine art before and it didn’t move me the way it does now. There is a quote by Clinton Fadiman that says (paraphrasing), “When you reread a classic you see things in it that you did not see before. Not that the book has changed, but you have changed.” I’m grateful that I have changed into someone who can appreciate art.

Because I love people and cultures, I approached the art (this time) from that perspective. What was the artist trying to say? Why did he chose this subject, these colors, etc? More importantly I asked myself, what does this painting say to ME?

In hopes that you will also be moved to explore fine art, I would like to share some art that has captured my heart and why it moves me so.

Irises by Van Gogh I was at first drawn to this simply because I love Irises. What really moves me though is that Van Gogh painted this picture while he was in the hospital. It was a hospital garden. I remember one of the times I was in the hospital (in the past 3 years I spent a little over 3 weeks in the hospital…not not consecutively.) I remember during one of the week long stays being feeling very afraid about the future…if indeed there would be a future. I remember when the hospital staff let me go on a walk without a chaperon. I walked outside to a beautiful garden. The flowers, the sunshine, it was so uplifting. Sometimes words are not enough to describe a feeling, but it was a tender moment. When I look at Van Gogh’s Irises, I am reminded of that time.

Starry Night Over the Rhone I love the stars. I love water. How could I resist this painting? I love the couple in the right corner. This reminds me of my husband and I facing life, both the storms and the sunsets together.

Maternity Before I started really looking into art, there was one thing I thought I knew…that I didn’t like Picasso. I still don’t have an appreciation for abstract art, but this painting by him is incredible.

Breakfast in Bed This is my favorite picture so far. To me it is a celebration of motherhood, which I love. It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. So I will just let you see the picture, and hope you understand what I can’t find the words to say.


  1. Dear Leslie,Checking an old email account, I received your invitation to visit your blog. I accepted immediately!This comment is in reference to the entirety of the blog: I love it. It reminded me how much I appreciated you when we were both in St. George and how much I miss you now. Your zest for life and knowledge and wisdom and true beauty and real love was not lost on me.Thank you for sharing those wonderful parts of yourself with me through the blog. I’m looking forward to the next posting! And, thanks for the inspiration I am in need of to keep my blog up by “just DOING it.” Lots of love, AricaP.S. Haven’t posted in quite a while but you can link to my blog at: http://aricasnewday.blogspot.com/

  2. This is exactly what art appreciation is all about.If you can relate art to your life, you have done it.This is how art in any form enriches our lives.I thnak providence for having provided me with this instinct!Have one more look at sunflowers.

  3. Arica, you are so awesome. I love your comment…you not only made my day, but my week! I love you for the same reasons. I will come visit you at your blog!Leslie

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