I was walking around the Portland Museum of Art with my friend Danielle, on a mission to find a piece of artwork that really captured what I love or displayed something that I had a connection with. We were strolling around, looking at the various art pieces when I came across a collection of paintings of the mountains. It never described where the painting was done but there was something about it that got my attention. I first noticed the mountain, lingering behind the water in the front of the painting. This brought me back to this past semester, when I hiked my first mountain. Although suffering from the lack of oxygen being put into my lungs and the numbness of my legs, the view was so worth it. The experience was special to me because it was something that I had never done before and never thought I would ever do. I had always loved hiking but being from Connecticut made it difficult to ever be able to get the full experience of hiking an actual mountain for eight hours of your day. Mount Chocorua, I’ll never forget, brought me not only the beautiful wonders of the world but the friends alongside that I will treasure forever. They are now considered my hiking buddies, but also are the people who are daring enough to hike a mountain any day of the week on minimal sleep, to soak up up the experience of nature all around us. I have now hiked five mountains, hoping to cross more and more off my list as I grow older. I had always thought that I would end up being a city girl, lost in the crowds of people, enjoying the busyness and the excitement of the city. But I have found something that reminds me so much of home and brings me an unbelievable amount of joy and that is the mountains. This painting revealed to me how taking a single glance at art, can flood in memories of joy.
After viewing this painting once, I had sat down with my friend Katie and had asked her what she thought art was. She described art as anything and everything, and that anyone can create it. According to her, the point of art is to express something you have a connection with. But, the piece of art does not have to be perfect. Even if there is a mistake in the artwork someone created, it adds to the emotional appeal of it all. She had said that those mistakes are the beauty of art. Each piece is unique in their own way, making it specific to that one person who had created it. Following this question, I had her look at the piece and had asked her what first came to mind. She had mentioned the bright pink clouds which followed to the corner of the dark trees that swirled to the middle where the mountains met, highlighting the sun. These specific details had stood out to her because, “This painting is much more complex than a lake, mountains and a sunset. It has a strong sense of emotion.” She then went on to describe what emotions she associated with this painting which was dark and ominous vibes from the trees and the red clouds, then the subtle highlight which expressed the beauty of nature. Katie saw this as, “The light at the end of the tunnel. That there has to be bad in order to bring meaning to the good.” She identified so much emotion behind this piece, mentioning memories of tornado warnings when she was little, being so terrified that something so scary could happen to her. But the key part was the storm after which brought the shining sun and the rainbow. Otherwise known as her light at the end of the tunnel. Katie took a stunning piece of artwork and made it complex in a way that evoked emotion but also brought her back to her childhood.
After interviewing Katie, I sat at my desk, looking at the painting on my laptop. Although not the same experience as before, my eyes went directly to the sunset behind the mountains. The dark red clouds made this piece of art a little frightening, possibly painted after a storm. But, it reminded me of the happiness and joy I feel whenever I go and see sunsets. I am a sunset chaser. Whenever it is a beautiful day outside and the sun is shining, there is so much anticipation building up inside to what the sunset will hold later on in the day. As soon as I arrive to the beach, a park or the backyard to view this beautiful creation, it brings so much joy to my heart. I can’t help but smile and enjoy life a little more because of how beautiful this world is. Looking at a sunset can change my mood easily, each time making me appreciate the little things that bring me so much happiness. Also, sunsets are something that live on forever. They cannot be taken from you, they will never end. They will always be there, serving the purpose of being the light in the world of darkness. The second time looking at this piece brought back more emotions than it did memories, reminding me of the little things that bring me joy.