Women Painters of Washington Gallery

Normally, I plan to visit an art gallery. I’m therefore anticipating a feeling of delight and awe, and even a bit of envy, when presented with such talent. I’m emotionally prepared for those exquisite feelings.

But on this particular, pre-pandemic day, I wasn’t expecting to be treated to dozens of stunning works of art. I didn’t have the opportunity to look forward to it. I wasn’t braced for an influx of emotion.

The Women Painters of Washington Gallery snuck up on me. I had other business in the Columbia Center Building, Seattle’s tallest skyscraper. I planned to do that. I didn’t plan to do this. But there it was, on the third floor, beckoning to me, splashes of vibrant color peeking through the windows, an antidote to the evergrey of a Pacific Northwest winter.

“Hello,” I thought. “I wasn’t expecting to meet you. I didn’t even know you existed.”

This encounter happened at an opportune time. The gallery is only open Monday through Friday from 11am to 4pm. Otherwise I’d have had to content myself with pressing my nose against the glass. And admission to this treat for your senses is absolutely free.

I not only enjoyed the art in this gallery, but also the very premise of it. According to their exquisitely designed website, the Women Painters of Washington has a wonderful mission statement:

Women Painters of Washington empowers professional women artists to create, exhibit, and market their work while fostering art appreciation within their communities and beyond.

This group was founded in 1930 because, as I’m sure will come as no surprise to you, women artists face certain limitations when attempting to realize their artistic potential. What a fantastic idea. Three cheers for strength in numbers!

I encourage you to check out their website, where you can see dozens of works of art from the comfort of your own home. But if, like me, you think the website is of fabulous design, you really need to visit the gallery when this virus burns itself out. Its walls each contain a giant metal wheel which can roll along a metal track so that the placement and design of an exhibit can change with each passing display. I’ve never seen such a brilliant use of limited space.

What follows are pictures my husband took during our visit. Let me know what you think. And if you get a chance, stop by and visit one of Seattle’s best kept secrets!

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Picasso’s Women

I absolutely love Vancouver, Canada! I had the pleasure of visiting a dear friend there recently, and one of the things we did was go to the Vancouver Art Gallery to check out an exhibition called “Picasso: The Artist and His Muses”. This shined a whole new light on Picasso for me, because the show focused on the six women he had fallen in love with in his life, and how each one was instrumental in shaping his art.

It was interesting, but not surprising, to discover that each one was younger than the last. And quite often his relationships would overlap, much to the women’s chagrin. But each one was uniquely influential with regard to his work. And while we may look back and judge that he treated them very badly for the most part, he must have made some sort of an impact because two of them committed suicide after his death, and those suicides were attributed, rightly or wrongly, to grieving for him.

Needless to say, the bulk of the exhibit consisted of nudes, sculptures, and portraits of these women. Here’s what I want to know: If you’re in a relationship with an artist, and he says he’s going to do a portrait of you, and when it’s done, both your eyes are on one side of your face, and your nose is where your mouth is supposed to be, are you flattered?

I’m not sure I would be. Just sayin’.

Of course, having an artist of this magnitude want to create something simply because you are who you are is quite an honor. And I’m sure he didn’t actually see these women literally the way he depicted them on canvas, but still… don’t women already have enough self-image issues without having the boyfriend piling on to that degree? Sheesh.

Picasso