Oakland has this thing, the first Friday of every month – a bunch of art galleries stay open from 6 to 9 pm, the main drag is closed to car traffic, a bunch of food venders set up booths, and all of the cool kids from 5 counties come swarming to cluster, smoke, and compare spectacles.
Even though this has been going on for almost 8 years, I’m about a decade too old and I have perfect vision, so I didn’t know about Oakland Art Murmur until just recently when I went to meet some friends there for the first time.
I wanted to escape the throngs almost as soon as I finished eating my street cart sausage, but am so glad we prevailed enough to push our way into the gallery displaying Jenn Shifflet‘s paintings, because I can’t stop thinking about them.
I love the dreamy, ethereal quality of her work, and the way they feel like they could be a landscape from some faraway planet or an underwater depth. Primordial ooze or the light and reflections of an otherworldly atmosphere. I love the fuzzy bokeh and the strange, sharply clear little details of plants or swirls of constellations or microorganisms.
And oh, do I love these colors. These blues and greens speak the exact language of my little Maggie soul.
(Doesn’t this last one look like what Monet might have seen if he were holding his breath underwater looking up at his water lilies?)
I love that these paintings make me feel like closing my eyes to further bask in the soothing quiet, but that I need to keep them open to keep looking.
I love that Jenn was kind enough to share some of her images with me, so that I could write about and share them.
And I love that she’s making me think about something I like about being in my mid-thirties… being old enough to consider buying art that doesn’t get attached to the wall with tacks.