“Thoughts Through Art” Series

Sunday Afternoon

“A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” – A painting by George Seurat.

I have always been struck by the scene in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” when they are in the museum and Cameron stares at this painting as the camera zooms in on his face. You can see the longing in his eyes, and it touched me – I know that longing all too well.

This is a beautiful painting.Β Here are the different things I see in this image:

  1. Happiness, relaxation, families together, a simpler time
  2. Rich people
  3. I have to wonder, beneath the exterior, how many of these people are miserable underneath. How much is just for show?

And what I realized from this is that my “take” on this piece of art is heavily influenced by the things that have happened to me in my life, by my warped thought process. At first I see happiness, but then I immediately become suspicious. I grew up poor with a twisted family, a family that on the surface appeared happy but underneath, dark secrets ruled. I see this image as haunting, just as I imagine it appeared to Cameron in the movie. To many, you may feel joy when falling into this image; for me, I feel mostly sadness. It makes me feel envy.

We see things based on our own influences and experiences. I am trying to change that and see things from all sides, and I am so good at doing that with other people. But, I am still working on doing it with myself. One step at a time….

What do you see? How does this image make you feel?



10 thoughts on ““Thoughts Through Art” Series

  1. Well I think I like your point that things are not always how they seem, as a society we are very good at hiding things and keeping face. I am a tutor of resilience and a social psychologist and one of the things that I want to do in my work is to make people realise that sexual abuse happens in EVERY kind of family no matter how perfect or beautiful they may want to seem to everyone else. In fact sometimes their need to keep face makes it harder for us victims as we know we will be resented for rocking the social boat spoiling the image they have of themselves. In my family it has certainly been like that.

    The photos people put on facebook always project images of perfection and happy families wearing their best clothes and you know you will have to call that person to find out what is really going on in their lives.

    So I think for me this picture is about keeping up appearances. If I climbed into this picture I wonder how the people would react to me, now thats a thought to leave you with ……..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, I really like this though and this reply! I agree with you on so many levels. I have always felt that social media is such farce in that what we see is the best version of people and not the real truth. There is a need everywhere it seems to project out that our lives are perfect and I think that few actually are. But it takes work to keep that up. I tried for a while but then finally asked myself – what’s the point? Why be fake? Either like me, imperfections and all, or don’t. I am now at the point in my life where I would rather have a couple true people in my life than a bunch of fake ones.

      I’ll climb in the picture with you – it sure would be interesting… πŸ™‚


  2. I love this Seurat painting! Looking at the people i get courious about their personal stories. Everyone seems to have a different one. Is it not so typical for human kind: we are never alone yet often lonely?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My first impression is that they are all bored, except for the puppy and the man in the background blowing his horn. I don’t see anyone relating to anyone. Personally, I’d rather be home reading a good book or a good blog, or writing one. I’m kind of an avoidant personality, so that probably accounts for much of my projection into the picture,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The people are too stiff. The expression on their faces betray the scene portrayed .I am sure that may just be the style of art but it doesn’t make me happy. I like the colour. MY favourite part of this pic is the trees. They are hazy and not clearly defined. The only part of the picture that stirs an emotion. Isn’t it strange how we all see things from a different perspective? I am sure environment has a lot to do with the way we interpret art . I really enjoyed this post. I am no eagle eyed artist but it’s and interesting to do. I would definitely make this a feature in you blog . That’s my culture soak up for the day .:)

    Liked by 1 person

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