by Eastman Johnson
This is another of my favorite paintings at the San Francisco Fine Arts museum. It shows just an anonymous lady daydreaming. What is she daydreaming about? Travel? Moving somewhere else? A loved one? A beau? We don’t know, but that’s okay because this draws us into the painting by allowing us to put our own daydreams in her place.
We connect with the young lady because we all have dreams that occasionally yank us out of the present and get our minds spinning and away from the duties of the moment.
She is inside the confines of her home which is comfortable and familiar, but at the same time it is dark and there appears to be light and possibility and more room and freedom outside, and we wish we were there in that other place and away from the mundane.
This is what a great painting does. It captures our imagination and makes us think, and draws us into the world in the painting.