A few weeks ago, my Mom and I headed downtown to visit the National Gallery of Art. Though I’ve been there a couple of times before there’s just never enough time to see everything as it consist of not just one building but two!

The National Gallery of Art was created in 1937 when Congress accepted the very generous gift from an art collector named Andrew W. Mellon. He had started collecting in the 1920s with the intention of forming a gallery of art for the nation in Washington when he died. A second building opened in 1978 and a sculpture garden opened in 1999.

{Mom in front of “Infinity Nets Yellow” by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama 1960}

Mom and I decided to go through the more modern part of the museum where the contemporary art hangs. Though I do modern paintings myself, contemporary and modern art usually doesn’t inspire me. I’m really not sure why…

{How can you not dig a cartonnish piece of art of NYC?}

The main reason for our visit was to pick up new inspiration for our art. My Mom is also a very creative person and though she’s currently focusing more on flowers and crafts she does some things that contains art work as well. It’s a little hard to explain, but you can view some of her work here.

{Le Tournesol by Edward Steichen, an American artist c. 1920.}

What do you see? I see a penguin but it’s actually a sunflower. Go figure. Either way, I’m drawn to it. I like the balance between the overwhelming colors and the structure of the lines. They chaos is contained.

We bumped into my friend Georgia O’Keeffe and her beautiful Jack-in-the-Pulpit VI. Oil on canvas, 1930. Before I viewed O’Keeffe’s work in person, I never realized how large some of her work was. This one is 36 x18. It’s a good size. Good statement piece.

Then we entered a section with some famous mixed media artists. The white one is by Gastone Novelli and named “La Liberazione” 1959. I believe most of his work is very soft colors. Very peaceful.

These two famous paintings are made by two different artists from France. To the left, “Yacht Basin at Trouville-Deauville” by Eugène Boudin bet. 1895/96. Boudin was one of the first French landscape painters to paint outdoors. And to the right, “Paris, rue du Havre” by Jean Béraud, c. 1882. A impressionist painter famous for his paintings of Parisian life.

{I can never get enough of Monet. Beautiful beautiful.}

Let’s not forget another famous French impressionist painter, Claude Monet. Did you know that Impressionism, the 19th-century art movement which originated with a group of Paris-based artists, was named after one of Monet’s paintings?

It’s not only the paintings that are beautiful and interesting at the National Gallery of Art. This is the walkway between the two buildings. It’s a complex light sculpture created by American artist Leo Villareal

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little visit to the National Gallery of Art!