As of writing this (May 16th, my birthday) I just got back from a two week trip to London. My purpose for this trip was less of a planned thing and more of a I-need-to-get-out-of-here and look-at-this-cheap-flight thing. Anyone who knows me personally can confirm that I am an impulse traveler and the barest thought of going somewhere means I’m on Skyscanner and booking a flight.
Back in January when the Itch-To-Travel was at it’s strongest; I was able to find a sweet house in Spitafields and clear off two weeks before my birthday. And that was that! Little did I know that I would be moving house right before the trip- which meant 0 plans were made for the trip till I was at the airport.
Traveling with me always has the same few priorities: eat new foods, take risks, and see as much art as possible. I’m posting some of my favorite pieces of art below! You can see full catalogs of all this work on each museums website. Which, lets be honest, is way better than my cell phone photos.
The National Gallery
Free museums are a blessing to us all! I think I went to the National Gallery 5 or 6 times.
The first thing that I saw was a special Sorolla exhibit (up till July 7th 2019). It’s funny, lately when I look at artists I’m starting to instinctively see their influences much quicker than I used to. Sorolla’s paintings are beautiful and romantic, and I immediately thought “This is so similar to John Singer Sargent’s style”. The next blurb on the wall said that they were friends.
I wonder which of my friends are influencing me? All of them? ;)
On my first day, the first museum trip, I found a painting that stopped me in my tracks. It wasn’t a finished painting, but a sketch.
This isn’t the exact piece, I’ve actually forgotten what the exact sketch is called, but this is similar enough so have a visual. ;) I saw the sketch and it broke down something in me that I had been fighting for many months:
Self doubt is a devastating and crippling demon that every creative type meets. I didn’t realize how heavy I had been dragging self doubt around till I left Seattle. It was something that had been stifling me in reaching out to new collectors, inhibiting my creative decision making, and convincing me to way undervalue my work.
I took one look at that sketch in the National Gallery on the first day of my trip and started crying. Because the month before I had make a sketch that looked just like that. That was rough around the edges, and the values weren’t perfect, and the color relationships needed to go to therapy. The sketch was imperfect and unfinished and full of life. And then I looked up.
On the wall was the masterpiece that the sketched study became. I was brilliant and beautiful and very romantic and- Well, I thought to myself “What an amazing transformation. If his sketch looks like this and then turns into this- I can do this too.”
I can do this
That returned confidence, that gift of seeing the process of someone who is a master of painting, was like a balm to a burn. It returned to me excitement in seeing and a hunger for more. So you can imagine that I lost my mind at the Tate.
YAY ABSTRACT ART
I usually don’t like most abstract painting but the ones at the Tate were knock it out of the park-fantastic. I discovered Bridget Riley who I had never seen a painting in person before. Then there was a Morandi that I basically ran over a kid to see. And can we talk about the room of Rothko’s murals? Holy cats that is some atmosphere.
The National Portrait Gallery
The National portrait gallery is not one to miss if you ever get a chance. You can feel so much emotion in these rooms and the modern pieces are marvelous. No big stories about this museum, I just wanted to show you my favorites. Shout out to the kid with the camera taking pics of people looking at art.
My trip was full of learning, laughter, buckets of tea, and Gustav the airbnb cat. I can’t wait to return to London to see more art again. If you need tips or recommendations, leave a comment! Thanks for reading!
Have a great day <3