The Denver Art Museum is a super funky building. In some aspects, it reminds of the Disney Concert Hall in L.A. but with more angles. Not as swoopy. It’s definitely recognizable.

Inside, the museum is a huge space. Soaring ceilings. Abundant natural light. Crazy angles. Fun spaces.

For me, I love people watching there. Such a variety of people. Wandering. Studying. Whispering. Pointing. There are people that stand, or sit, to study a piece intently. They fall into the piece, getting absorbed, taking in every nuance in color, brushstroke, composition. There are others that wander slowly, the drive-by viewers. They rarely stop at a piece but take it in as they move by, floating through the gallery.

The standard exhibits are well worth it but the traveling exhibits are extraordinary. Van Gogh. Georgia O’Keeffe. Miro. Matisse. My inner geek is looking forward to the upcoming Star Wars costume exhibit.

Currently on exhibit, until next week, is Rhythm & Roots. Being a family that is fairly immersed in the arts, we took the girls a few days ago. The exhibit showcases dance in American art. Everything from the Lakota Ghost Dance to barnyard jigs to the Cotton Club to ballet. Fantastic photographs from the 20s and 30s of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Fred Astaire.

There were a few larger paintings that definitely captured me as well as others wandering the exhibit. Some still had compositional pencil marks while others had complete sections unpainted with the underlying sketch waiting to be filled in. Those were fascinating to me. What happened? Was the canvas rolled up and forgotten? Who found it?

The subtle, or not so subtle in some cases, use of color is really on my radar these days. I’m interested in how it is used not only as a mood invoker but how it complements the composition. Darker colors following leading lines to a focus point in lighter colors. It wasn’t always dark to light, some were shifts in hue, others were a balancing act in temperature and contrast. My focus lately is to teach myself how to bring those concepts into my photography. Think more. Shoot less. Shoot better.

At the end was Anna Pavlova’s Dying Swan tutu. Roxy studied this the way I study photographs. Laser focused. Nothing else mattered at that moment. She crawled all over the glass box that encased the tutu studying the construction and individual feathers. For me, I was just amazed that someone could move in it. Granted, a 90 year old tutu is going to look stiff no matter what but it definitely did not look comfortable. That’s part of ballet as an art too though. Structured. Rigid. Precise. Very precise.

Go. Get out. Wander your local art museum. Soak up some masters. Have a zen moment and get immersed in art for awhile. I see it as being just as necessary as soaking up some nature, Vitamin N as Richard Louv puts it. We all could use a little more of both.