Well I sure as hell wouldn’t—and I don’t even have a crappy job. What would I do though? I think my post-lottery life would be a simple one. I would travel….and wherever I found myself, I would do the following:
--spend long hours in cafes reading and viewing the local people/culture
--sip coffee and drink Kir Royals
--eat expensive and exotic food
--go to art museums
* I would not wish to embark on these journeys without my lovely partner, who is a perfect travel companion
* I would also need some sort of radio to listen to New York Met games
Sounds decadent--and that is just what I would be seeking. Helping my fellow man......well, I might get around to that at some point; but I think "self-indulgent" and/or "hedonistic" would serve me well for a while at least. The cafes, food, and coffee are self-explanatory. And if you are unfamiliar with a Kir Royal, you should really try it sometime.
But the art museums—yes, I simply adore art museums. This weekend, my lovely partner and I traveled to Chicago for a few days of rest and relaxation. While in the Windy City, we went to its wonderful art museum—and we were not disappointed.
I think the reason I love art is that I know little about it. I don’t have to understand or interpret it. I don’t have to take notes on what I see, nor do I have to give a lecture or explain it to someone. I can simply gaze at a painting and enjoy it. I could sit for hours looking at one work of art—which is something everyone should try (especially some of my students--many of whom cannot sit for five minutes without checking their cell phone, or laptop for instant messages. These caffeinated collegians ought to forced to sit before a Renoir for at least two hours, it would do them good).
And because I became interested in art later in life—I have lots to see.....lots of catching up to do. Currently, I am most enamored with 19th century art. In the U.S.—the Hudson River School and some later Gilded Age artists like John Singer Sargent. And in Europe, the Impressionists. So as a tribute to art--here are a few of my favorites from the Art Institute of Chicago.
It is this Renoir (Two Sisters) that I could gaze at for hours. Again, I am not sure what it is about this work--maybe the vibrant colors, or the brushstrokes....but I love the painting. Several other Renoir's also made their way onto my "favorite" list this weekend. Women at the Piano, and Young Woman Sewing both caught my attention. And as I mentioned earlier, I will not even attempt to explain these paintings--that would force me into some sort of teaching-mode. Suffice it to say, I like Renoir....I enjoy looking at his works....I am not sure why....and I don't care to figure it out.
There were several other Chicago prints that were memorable. Husking Bee by Eastman Johnson is a exquisite depiction of 19th century farm/rural life in New England.
And we were also lucky to catch this van Gogh, Starry Night over the Rhone River, which was included in a special exhibit.