Have you ever looked at a painting and wished you were there? Wished that you were living in the painted scene because of the peace that it brings or the motions it stirs in your heart? Have you ever wondered if the painter dreams as if you dream and if such places and scenes actually exist in real life?
The above painting is called Evening Journey by Russian painter Evgeny Lushpin. He is quite talented and his works reflect serene scenes, typically in a European setting either in the country, city, or small villas. I absolutely adore the painting. For me, it paints a picture of a calm, peaceful evening after a light rain. The people in their homes are settling down after a long day and those in the trolley speak amongst themselves as they head to their destination, maybe to meet some friends or wake a lonely walk by the pear. The weather seems cool, perhaps with a slight breeze. For some reason, in me it feels like the beginning of a love story. The painting is soothing. It is beautiful. And it is romantic.
What adds to the emotions projected by the painting is when it is accompanied by matching music. In the video below, the song Hampshire (County in the Southern coast of England) from Miss Austen Regrets which was composed by Jennie Muskett, adds to the ambiance of the scene. The song is moving and causes the mind to ponder things, like love, a peaceful existence, and a desire to find the thing we all look for in this life. Nowadays, our ears are flooded with cheap pop and rap music. Most is meaningless and seem to not be created to convey strong and pure emotions in us, but rather to sell records and promote promiscuity or cheaper forms of love. I honestly believe that enjoying a work of art such as Evening Journey and listening to instrumental music like Hampshire, is a sign of maturity. Of course, musical and artistic tastes vary from culture to culture, person to person, but it seems that central to all cultures and people is an appreciation for fine art and classical or soothing music, especially in regards to meditation.
For me, as I look at the painting while listening to the music, it is like I can picture myself in the painting. I’m taken to another place. When I close my eyes, the scene comes to life. The sounds of the wind, the light rain, my worries are lifted. This is because I desire the ideal: no pain, suffering, worries, etc. I believe most, if not all, people do as well. We each yearn for an escape from our troubles, whether it be debt, family issues, loneliness, health, etc. While the reality is that it is Christ who will ultimately free us from our worries eternally and while the Holy Spirit helps and comforts us in this life, I would note that we all still need another escape because we are all dreamers in some way or another. We want to find love, companionship, friendship, etc. I believe appreciating the arts, like the paintings by Evgeny Lushpin and listening to soothing music like those composed by Jennie Muskett can help each of us clear our minds as we mediate and let our imaginations take us to knew places we normally would never see.
What’s your favorite painting? How does it move you? Do you ever picture yourself in it? Have you tried looking at it while listening to music?
From my heart to yours, I hope you find enjoyment in the fine arts and music.