The Mona Lisa Smile…

#3 Art: “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder”

What is art? cropped-img_83945.jpg

Why is art important?

Why does art resonate in different individuals lives?

These are a few questions I have asked myself over the several years I’ve been old enough to admire the masterpieces within the artistic realm. I have experienced these 9″X13″, 10″X12″, and 12″X36″ paintings these priceless pieces of history, culture, and overlapping oil paints as they are so often described, how would our appreciation be different without them? How do you value art?

Value – the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

As someone who participates in creating visual designs I place a very high value on art, it is an extension of my emotional intelligence and it allows me an escape from the world around me for an hour or two. I can get lost in my imagination creating a world that may not otherwise exist. The benefit from this are the small moments in which someone unexpectedly peaks over as asks “how did you do that?” or “that’s very cool, what are you creating next?” this is the little motivation that extends an invisible hand to continue creating. Sharing little pieces of myself in the form of art allows one to see a part of myself that otherwise may be hidden. As an introverted person finding the “right” words to say was difficult and pictures are worth a thousand…so I practiced, pencil to paper I let the negativity out, and what came appeared on paper as collective circles, swivels, and loops all connected to create animals, characters, and figures. This maintains the place I can escape to that and the occasional museum…

As a culture we must place a high value on art we have museums where one may pay on average $20-$30 dollars to walk around and look at matte framed oil painted artworks. Most of the paintings were created in the early 20th century, considered relics at this point. Most of these museums are large enough to spend a couple of days, but most individuals only spend a couple of hours passing most of the art headed for the so-called “masterpieces” at least this was my experience when I saw da Vinci’s masterpiece.

It was July, it was Paris, and it was the Louvre I walked through the front doors to several sets of steps and corridors leading to all different types of art based on the century, medium, or culture was of interest. I was quickly being directed through all the french labeled paintings by a french tour guide with a time schedule. I looked from left to right taking in all the oil paints, water colors, and sculptures as we were whisked from one corridor to the next. I would occasionally bump into a stranger as we both were guilty of gawking at the size of the structure and of course the art. We finally made it to one room with a large crowd in the center of the room, I didn’t understand at first as to why they were standing in the middle of the room when across on the far wall was a painting that dwarfed me immediately. As my curiosity grew I quickly made my way through the crowd and fought to the velvet roped barriers, looked up, and there she was…the Mona Lisa…I remember thinking “she’s smaller than I would have thought,” it appeared she was an 8″X10″ I stood admiring her beauty then looked to the right and looked to the left, cameras to the faces shooting the best possible angle with in the low lighted environment. I couldn’t help but think how many experiences do we have through a camera lens? Do we only value these experiences for the proof of checking it off a list of things to do before we depart these organic bodies? I quickly retreated to allow the person behind me to glance at the most recognized painting in the world.

What the Mona Lisa taught me…

  1. She is not perfect, but she was painted within a perfect atmosphere since da Vinci used the golden ratio to place her
  2. She has a watchful eye as she follows the direction of your movement no matter what angle you admire her at
  3. She holds many unanswered secrets

Similar to the life we all live, we are not perfect, but we live in a place considered perfect, we all carry a watchful eye to those who come in and out of our life, and we all have unanswered secrets we hold creating a sense of mystery to those around us. Maybe da Vinci painted her in this was to taunt the observers, to intrigue them to continue asking these questions. We’ll never know all the answers to the why, how, or what, but we can keep looking…

She is Beautiful

She is Unique

She is admired by many

But only a small few

will have the secret

behind her sweet smile…

-Kalyn Danielle

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself”              George Bernard Shaw



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