Thursday, February 2, 2012

Nose to Nose With Renoir

I thought I would take a bit of a break from food and talk about something else dear to my heart.  Besides, I haven't really made anything all that exciting lately.  Well, I did make polenta and roast on Sunday.  I fried the leftover polenta on Monday.  I love fried polenta!  On Tuesday we had roast beef sandwiches and fries compliments of Cinnamon who took charge of dinner.  On Wednesday I used the leftovers to make a kind of stroganoff.  See, not all that exciting!  Good food, but nothing earth shattering.  I think I am in a bit of a slump, relying on the quick and easy.  We haven't had a new menu night for a while and since I am behind in getting my meal calendar ready for the month, I have plenty of space to try some new dishes.  I will keep you posted!

So today, I wanted to share with you something different.  Last Friday we went on a field trip.  I love it that my high schoolers still get excited about field trips!   Paprika is currently studying Art of the Western World and has developed a deep appreciation for artists such as Degas, Renoir, and Monet.  She loves the impressionists!  I couldn't believe my ears when listening to the radio I discovered that our local museum was currently featuring a special exhibit.  Can you believe it was the works of the impressionist painters?  How perfect is that?

One of the things I like most about homeschooling is when subjects come alive while you are studying them.  This was perfect!  What better way to study the impressionists than to walk right up to one of their paintings and see it in person.  To be in the presence of a master work and see the incredible detail.  To be so close you can see the individual brush strokes.  To be reminded that when you are that close there is a security guard right behind you watching your every move.  Why?  Because it is real!  And it is probably worth a fortune.

We had a blast!  Paprika stood nose to nose with her favorite artist's work.  Yep, a Renoir!

Cinnamon found a new appreciation for the works of Clackens the American painter.

And even Allspice found some he could appreciate, but I am pretty sure he appreciates the realists more.

And as long as I used a digital camera without a flash I could take as many pictures as I wanted!  As I was clicking away, I couldn't get past that feeling of being the happiest person in the room.  There I was, in the presence of some of the masters, so close I could have touched the canvas (pretty sure I would have been tackled by security for that), watching my kids look with wonder and awe at painting after painting, and I was overwhelmed by that feeling of joy in knowing this is why I homeschool.  It is moments like these that have been a sustaining life-force in nine years of homeschooling.  They are my precious pearls strung together to make one amazing journey.

Back in the car I asked what they thought.  The sounds bubbled forth fast and furious.  I liked this.  I thought that was incredible.  I didn't get that one.  Did you see the miniature paintings?  That one painting was....awful.  Then from the mouth of Paprika, "I was a bit disappointed."  I couldn't believe my ears.  I thought she would have been the most excited.  Would have enjoyed it the most.

"Really?"  I asked.  "Why?"

"Don't get me wrong, I really liked it.  It was awesome.  Especially the Renoir.  I was just a little disappointed."

"But why?" I interrupted.

"I just wished that there was more."  She paused and then asked, "Maybe we can go to another museum sometime and see more?"

"Sure."  I smiled.  "Sure."  And I watched the seeds planted along the journey bloom.

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