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:

What You’ll See and Not See in 2017

So it’s a bizarre thing to be a blogger and an artist and writer. Part of the reason I blog is to share my process and work in progress along with whatever catches my eye or ends up in my camera. Sort of journal/diary-like but not too personal.

Truth be told though, part of being an artist and writer is getting your stuff out there into the public view and these days almost every single entry form says something like “cannot have been published, even on a personal website.” Just this year Quilt National relaxed its view on this but after all the years of such a big fuss being made over what constituted publication, I didn’t feel comfortable showing this quilt until it was done.

And frankly, the whole thing makes me laugh since on a good day I might get ten to twenty visitors and a few of them are my mother. So yeah, previous publication, big deal.

But, you have to play by the rules of others when you enter their arena. So you’ll probably be seeing more painting and photographs than poems etc for awhile anyway. More musings about process and life. Not like things will change that much but just in case you’re reading this and you’re wondering what’s going on.

Happy Birthday J.R.R.!

Happy Birthday J.R.R.!

…the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep.

~~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Book II, The Land of Shadow.