Van Gogh & Mom’s Influence




Last weekend my Mom and I ventured to DC for the Phillips Collection’s van Gogh’s Repetitions. We left home early as you never know what traffic on the Bay Bridge will be like. We arrived at the Metro station in good time. We jumped on the train and waited as they were only running every twenty minutes. Needless to say the trains were crowded. We got a seat and settled in for the ride. The train went so slow that I called the museum to let them know we would be late as we had timed tickets waiting at will call. The museum said no worries! After we got underground the train quickly picked up speed and we screamed to the next seven stops. We hopped off, ran upstairs to the next platform and climbed onto the next train to ride up two stops. Thankfully we were able to get seats again. My Mom did great keeping up as we were hustling and blazed a trail while mom followed the path I cleared. She grew up in Baltimore so crowds, subways and hustling were nothing new to her but being her daughter I worry at times about her age and various health issues. Last time we came to the city she told me to slow down, this time she was cooking and moving with the best of them.

We arrived at DuPont Circle and I was doing the tourist thing taking pictures of everything. We got to the museum, got our tickets and agreed we were starving so we decided to get lunch at the museum cafe. The cafe had a sign sort of blocking the doorway saying they were at capacity. My mom said there is a table back in the corner, breezed by the sign, ordered our lunch and we went and sat in the corner. I loved the way the walls were painted like a piece of art. Big blocks of white interspersed with blocks of yellow, red and blue. Our lunch arrived and I busted out laughing. I told my Mom I do not get all my spunkiness, rule bending or flat out rule breaking from my dad. I realized then and there I get a lot of it from my Mom. The sign in the door was no deterrent for my mom. She breezed right by it as if she owned the museum and by gone it we were going to eat before we enjoyed our visit to the artwork. I remember as a child going with my Dad to pick my Mom up from the airport after returning from a business trip. This was when you could go to the gate and meet someone coming off the plane. Dad said to me watch your mother walk off the plane, she walks off as if she owns it. And sure enough she did. That lesson always stuck with me. No one questioned my mother and I and why we blew through the sign, they happily took our order and all was well.

After a lovely lunch we climbed three flights of spiral stairs past the beautiful Alexander Calder sculpture pictured in the second photo. We got to the top of the stairs to be greeted by a man asking for our tickets and then we saw van Gogh’s the Road Menders-two versions of it. Prior to this exhibit I had no idea van Gogh did so many versions of different paintings. It was interesting to see the differences and similarities of the paintings. I really liked van Gogh’s bedroom painting. Mom liked the Road Menders. We both enjoyed the House in Provence. We spent about two hours in the exhibit. My mom is patient with me when I tell her I want to spend time with a painting. She does not question she sometimes asks what draws me to the painting or just let’s me have a moment with painting.

After we viewed the van Gogh exhibit mom really wanted to see Renoir’s Luncheon of The Boating Party. That is a painting Mom enjoys spending time with. This time the painting had its own room. The colors are stunning that I have never seen reproduced in any print. The blues and oranges stand out. We wandered to the room where the Boating Party used to reside. This time they had many paintings of various sizes. Two I fell in love with were paintings with rich deep colors. One by George Luks called Telling Fortunes and the other by Guy Pene DuBois called the Arrivals. They were amazing. I would have loved to have taken them off the wall and hung them in my home.

The subway ride home was super crowded, standing room only. We jumped on board and grabbed a rail to hang onto. Two young twenty something’s jumped up to offer my mom their seats. My mom declined saying we only had two stops to go. We got off two stops later and changed trains. As we walked my mother very indignantly said to me “they thought I was old! They didn’t offer you a ride!” She went on to say I think my gray hair is showing a bit I need to get it touched up. Mind you my mom is blond and I have never seen a gray on her. I said Mom they were being nice and had manners. And if someone offers you their seat on this train, Take it! It’s a long ride back to New Carrollton. Thankfully we found seats. My mom is very youthful looking, like her mother, I hope to continue the trend. I did get my hair cut and highlighted today.

Thanks for reading through to the end. I missed writing and hope to keep up with it more. I have been struggling with keeping a balance in my life. Seems as though work always seems to win. i have found when I can’t write i get cranky. Do you suffer when your creativity is stifled?

I hope you enjoy your weekend! Check out Venus just after sunset. It is so bright. Then if you are up around 11pm eastern standard time Jupiter has been hanging out with the moon.

9 thoughts on “Van Gogh & Mom’s Influence

  1. Loved you sharing your special time out with your mom. I found that my mom grew more and more special in her final years. I think I matured enough to appreciate just how strong she was (not always admired when being disciplined as a child!). It is incredible to me what dignity she displayed as she aged! Sounds like your mom is that sort of woman too. I am so glad that I have those memories to draw strength from now and you will have the same! This is a truly special writing, and yes, I hate it when I find myself with writer’s block. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen too often! Thanks again for this piece! jane

  2. I suspect your Mom was secretly born and raised in New York City LOL! I spent yesterday afternoon at the “modern wing” of the Art Institute of Chicago. On the way through the main museum I came upon a Monet I had never seen before, one of his paintings from the series “Mornings on the Seine (Mist)” and it instantly became my favorite–way beyond my fondness for the waterlilies. You can see it here if you’re curious–

    • Ha! Mom was Baltimore born and raised but she does love New York City.
      Thanks for sharing the Monet! That was wonderful. I’ve always wanted to visit Chicago as it was one of my Dad’s favorite cities to visit and do business in. I’ve always heard about the great restaurants but now I’ll have to add the museums and artwork to my list.

    • I’ve never thought about myself as being creative but I suppose I really am. Growing up the artists around me in the neighborhood were painters and that’s what I thought creativity was. I have to expand my horizons a bit on my thinking.
      I can’t imagine you cranky but from your description I bet it is something when it does come 🙂
      Thanks for the encouragement. I always appreciate it.

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