I've had my mind on art the past few days, and I've posted a couple of drawings I did back when I was a lovesick teenaged girl: one, a 1975 red ink sketch of my husband/then boyfriend, back when we were in high school; and the other, a 1976 charcoal sketch I did of a little girl in profile, while dreaming about what our future daughter might look like. And I told you that people--faces--are, and always have been, my favorite subject when it comes to artwork.
Well, this morning I came across an image that I just love, love, love, while reading another Catholic mom blog. The faces in it are simply heart-melting. Have you ever seen this painting before?
I had to go on-line immediately, to try to find out the name of the artist responsible for this endearing painting. What I unearthed was the title, "Young Peasant Woman with Three Children at the Window," by prolific Austrian artist Ferdinand Georg Waldmuller (1793-1865).
From the moment I saw it, this image spoke to me, it really did. It made me completely happy to look at it--until I let this unwarranted thought niggle its way into my brain: If only I could paint like this...
But God gives us each our own unique talents, and He gives them in whatever degree He knows will be best for our immortal souls. I do believe this, truly I do; so instead of being all self-deprecating about the amount of artistic talent I have, and comparing myself to artists such as the brilliantly gifted Waldmuller (because I've been reminded recenlty that "Comparison is the thief of joy," and I am taking that saying to heart as best I can), I want to thank God for giving me just enough ability to create some drawings and paintings and crafty things that, however unprofessional in quality they might be, give me a happy heart when I'm working on them.
But oh the joy I get from looking at the works of certain well-known artists! I've blogged about some of my favorites before: Besse Pease Gutmann, Jesse Willcox Smith, Norman Rockwell, Mary Cassatt. Well, now I'm going to add Ferdinand Georg Waldmuller, an artist whose name I'd never heard before today, to that list! Like Mary Cassatt, many of his paintings contain mothers with their offspring--but also fathers, grandfathers, and grandmothers. These images of multi-generational families (many of them big families, with lots of pink-cheeked children and babies) doing everyday things together are just so precious, in my eyes. So joy-inducing in their simple beauty.
I want to share this newfound favorite of mine with you, so here are some of the other works by Waldmuller that speak to me.
God bless artists such as Waldmuller, who with their God-given talents make the world a much more beautiful place for the rest of us!