Today’s images are brought to you from the breathtaking site called Large Size Paintings. I have no idea how my friend manages to get so many amazing images of art, but I am very glad she does. If you have not visited before, please go and linger. There are layers upon layers there and it is well worth your time.
You can read all about Richard E. Miller at Wikipedia. It doesn’t really tell us much. Nor does it have to tell us much. He isn’t one of those world shattering artists who command so much attention, but he is an excellent artist just the same. In his day he was very successful and respected, and his works remain very high in the public regard.
For me, these are among my favorite dreamy images, the kind that pluck you from modern hassles and drop you smack in the middle of a genteel paradise. They have a Victorian feel to them for all that they are American. I can see these places and remember being in gardens like them, out of doors under splendid trees. A cool breeze, gravid with the smells of a nearby bustling river, whispers about me, gently teasing my hair as if I were a scoundrel child, the touch so delightful I am afraid to move and ruin it. The teas they serve here are black and sweet, the cakes dry and almost savory, or soaked in rum and bursting with citron fruit. These images celebrate more sensuous times when we were given the grace and leisure to experience on our own without the clamorous rattle we endure almost every moment of our modern lives.
These are ladies who “lunch,” who sit and dish on their children and their men as if they were the same thing, which of course, they are. They are witty and blunt, even coarse with each other at times, and laugh with deep, knowing chuckles like valkyries sharing a clumsy lover. They are wise and we admire and desire them all at once even as we fear what they might think of us.
There are those who disparage decorative art, who say it is empty and without purpose. That’s okay, I suppose. But I wonder if we have not become too judgmental over all. We are so quick to offer negative opinions on virtually everything that we have almost forgotten how to simply admire someone. People gripe because their favorite actor isn’t making one fabulous movie after another, or their favorite singer doesn’t repeatedly outdo herself. I know I catch myself dwelling on the negative all the time. I wish I didn’t, but I do.
I would prefer to be a better person than that. I want to respond to work that makes me feel happy, or wistful, or anything, really, with simple innocence. I want to turn my cynicism off; I want to stop judging.
I see these women and I want to go be with them, to fit within my surroundings as they do, as if I were just another piece of the world, another flower, another tree, another blade of grass. I want to be with the world and not against it.
I want my tea black, and sweet, and cold.