My family and I traveled to New York this past weekend for an impromptu Spring Break vacation—the last before our son graduates from college—and, for me, it also was a much needed extended Artist’s Date.

Julia Cameron, author of the highly influential The Artist’s Way and several other titles, describes an Artist’s Date as time to “woo our own consciousness,” to “enchant” ourselves, and to refill “our inner well.”

I didn’t follow all rules for an Artist’s Date, because I was not alone. One could argue that practice in attending to and controlling our inner experience while in the midst of others is even more important than doing so by ourselves. In any case, my inner well is most definitely refilled, and this is the first of a short series of posts in which I’ll describe each “date” in turn.

Saturday at the Met: Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity

I am hopeless when it comes to fashion.  Unlike my mother, who had an artist’s eye for color and design, I seem to have little patience or talent for combining clothes in any aesthetically pleasing way. If it’s cotton and it’s comfortable (i.e., not scratchy), I’m good. I continue to wear my favorite jeans and sweaters long past their “best by” dates, and most of the time I probably look more like an almost 50-year-old graduate student on a budget than a working adult.

However, my handicap didn’t stop me from enjoying and being inspired by the “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The following video captures some of the exhibit’s beauty and scope:

What I liked most about the exhibit was seeing works by artists with which I was familiar but in a new light, with new areas of focus and new perspectives to consider. For example, am I the only person never to have noticed that the child sitting in the middle of in this well-known portrait by Renoir of Madame Georges Charpentier and her children is her son rather than a daughter?

Pierre-Auguste_Renoir_094

My son’s response: “refreshingly egalitarian.” The Met explains, “Following the fashion of the time, his hair has not yet been cut and his clothes match those of his sister, Georgette, who perches on the family dog.”

Tomorrow: Artist’s Date, New York Weekend Edition continues with a stroll down Library Way.