Visiting Emily’s Bedroom

This very cool 360 experience from the NYTimes

https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000005045504

NaPoWriMo Day Twenty-five and My Tuesday

rain on a Tuesday
wind makes it chilly
tree buds just showing color
below a swatch of ski-slope
more rain tonight
but driving home
forsythia
splattered against
hedgerows and yards
splashed across
the wet pavement
and still-dark woods.

Today I went to pick up three books I won at auction at the Milne Library book sale. Then, the plan, weather permitting was to paint on the hill overlooking the Clark. If the weather didn’t permit I figured I could always go inside to the two exhibits I missed last time. The weather held – no rain at least – so I trudged up the hill and set up and started to paint. It was very windy. I had to make a few adjustments to batten everything down after my board with paper tried to fly away. I finished the first landscape and decided to try the Crystal by Thomas Schütte – an installation which is inspired as I recall by New England-y sheds. I walked up the path and found a double door on the back and there I was, inside looking out through the opposite opening. And, conveniently there’s a bench along one of the other walls. So I set up there thinking it nice to be out of the occasional sprinkles and a little more protected, when a burst of wind blew through the opening and pushed out through the two doors. How very exciting. There were two couples that wandered up the path and through the Crystal too but they weren’t anywhere near as exciting as the wind.

View from the Crystal by Thomas Schütte

By the time I started down the hill again I was pretty darn cold. I dumped the painting stuff in the car while wondering if the museum cafe was still open. As soon as the hatchback of the fiat closed, I knew the keys were inside. Started AAA on the way, found out the cafe was closed, warmed up a little inside the building and then went out to wait. Young guy showed up in his big tow truck and had the front door open in no time. His first Fiat, he said.

Drove home. Ordered a few more watercolor supplies. (That’s it. I’m done unless I run out of something. Seriously. No more!) Watched The Voice. Write my NaPoWriMo poem while drinking some peppermint tea. Now I’m going to heat up the bed and go finish The Martian.

It Followed Me Home From The Clark

I went over to the Clark. My intention was to maybe climb the hill an sketch or paint but that didn’t happen. I went in, got banded (LOVE being a member! support your local art org!) and wandered around looking at paintings. Mostly favorites, but I did look at some of the Dutch genre pieces (very cool) and I looked at part of the Looking North and South exhibit which was mostly drawings and printed material. I saved that for another day because I ran out of time before the movie. Like any movie venue they run little announcements of upcoming events, remind you to look for the exits and not to eat in the auditorium etc. When the feature started though, it was so quiet that a good portion of the audience kept right on talking… They finally settled down.

Visually I, Claude Monet was beautiful, often morphing between real landscapes and views to the work of the artist. I didn’t know anything about his biography so there were parts that were interesting, all told via his letters to others but it seemed to devolve into ‘my life is miserable, the painting is hard or impossible and I need money.’ It was all done with a single narrator, which didn’t help. Monet did have hard stretches of life especially in is young adulthood, but I would have liked to know more about his thoughts about the work of others or other’s reactions to Monet’s work etc. To put it better, they could have made him more three dimensional.

I might watch it again given the chance because I was warm and sleep-deprived and my eyes wanted to close. I fought this because the views were gorgeous and seeing the paintings that large was wonderful.

When it was over, I went back through the building to get to my car and this book leapt into a bag and insisted on going with me. Whatcha gonna do?

Today in the Sunshine

Also found planted in the nearby garden, in case I ever need to verify my location:

I’m off to the Clark Art in Williamstown to look at new things and see the movie I, Claude Monet. I wonder if future people will be rummaging through our emails to gain insight about what we did today?

The artist and still today

In case you need to listen to a more inspirational voice today. I sure do.

The artist, however faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an officious state… In pursuing his perceptions of reality, he must often sail against the currents of his time. This is not a popular role.  John F. Kennedy

Helpful Life Hints: How To Respond To Art You Don’t Like

I think anyone who has ever made anything has had someone, sometime, make some flip, off-handedly bashing comment about it. Not always to the maker directly, not even considering that they or someone they know might be nearby to hear it. It just spurts forth into the ether.

You might recall the summer’s incident where a viewer couldn’t just walk past a piece of art she didn’t like but complained and set off a chain of events where the exhibited quilt got pulled and then another one by the same maker got pulled etc etc. Outrage on one side and stupidity on the other ensued. Oops did I say that out loud? Sure did.

Anyway, here’s a helpful list of things you might need if you find yourself reacting in more negative ways to some piece of art. This reminds me of a book I have read Pictures & Tears by James Elkins. Most of my readers don’t need this reminder but maybe we need the information to hand out as needed.

You are not meant to like everything you experience. Art is often intended to be challenging, shocking, eye opening or outright uncomfortable.

Saturday – Full of Art and Stuff

I went to the Clark over in Williamstown to see No Man’s land with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. I hadn’t been in the Library part of the campus since it reopened – it really looks like a library now. The woman checking names for the performance listened to mine and said – oh, I recognize that name because I see it pretty often! – which I thought was an exceptionally nice thing to say. I did thank her for letting me cancel the duplicate ticket I’d purchased in a moment of panic.

The theater was quite full which surprised me. It also surprised me how many people asked their seat mate during the performance, “do you understand what’s going on?” Some of the people nearby joked that they were going out to the lobby during intermission to see if they could get some insight as to what was happening on the screen. One came back and said they’d not gotten anything useful. There was a short documentary before hand and then a Q&A afterwards about it which most people stayed for.

I had swung quickly through the current exhibit of Japanese woodblock prints. Really good stuff. To get to the performance I went through the permanent collection and as I went through the room of impressionist paintings I looked over my shoulder to see a favorite painting – and it wasn’t there! Who knew? They rearrange things from time to time. They had a focus on Renoirs in that room and the side gallery had a lot of Pissaro. Anyway my favorite was there but moved mid-wall. After the performance I backtracked and saw the few prints I’d not seen at all but think I’ll go back and spend more time there and with the Renoirs.

Here’s what to do on a Saturday night at home: