Sunday, March 13, 2011

Getty Up!

My husband and I spent this afternoon visiting the beautiful Getty Museum with our granddaughter.  We tried to make it a fun experience while sneaking in some art education.  Before the museum visit, I showed her photos of four different paintings that we would see: Wheatstacks, Snow Effect by Monet, Irises by Van Gogh, La Promenade by Renoir, Van Tromp, Going About to Please His Master by Turner. When we got the Getty, we started with an exciting tram ride suspended over the hillside. At the top, the docents handed her cards of other pieces to look for.  This proved to be a good interest-sparking activity for she was eager to embark on the hunt for the paintings and sculptures. Kylie and Uma both LOVED the Turner paintings.  I knew the trip was well worth it when she excitedly pointed out another painting in a different room - saying, "Uma, that's another Turner!!"  It was a new acquisition of the Getty called Modern Rome. I have a book about Turner by Michael Kitson that describes his use of light perfectly: To create a pattern of light and colour independent of solid objects was the great endeavour of Turner's last years.  And in order to extract the utmost from it, he sought out as many situations as possible in which light and fleeting weather effects took on a visible form: that is to say, in which they were not merely media through which objects might be seen but entities which became visible in themselves. Turner's magnificently portrayed light was a perfect pairing with Monet's experiments with haystacks. Examples of both from the Getty are in the photos.  We talked about how the artist used light to guide the eyes through the painting as well as soft/hard areas. I was so pleased when Kylie could show me the areas of other paintings where the light/dark contrast showed the center of interest.  After our indoor scavenger hunt, we walked around the azalea labryinth. Papa and Kylie got "into" abstract art, and we took time to stop and watch a hummingbird flitting around in the beautiful masses of Bird of Paradise on a city overlook veranda between the buildings. Our trip lasted about three hours, including a snack lunch, which was just about the perfect length for a six-year old's attention span and a tired Uma's energy span, as well.  We did leave time for a couple of rolls down the grassy hillside to finish off the day.  The Getty is FREE to all and truly amazing from start to finish.