Sunday at The Clark

I went over to see the new exhibit at the Clark: Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900 and had a good time looking at the paintings. First off, they are, as a whole, much larger than you might expect. I will have to do more reading about this – maybe it’s what people who’ve been to real painting school do.

I took down this quote, her reflection on being an artist after returning to her homeland of Finland (where she did not exhibit for a decade):

How right you were when you wrote about museum men, critics. They kill everything that is your own, beautiful and alive, and take what is already a success. The little and poor just paint and struggle, they can die unless they love their work, then they live, rather briefly, yet forever.
— Helene Schjerfbeck, 1919

After enjoying the exhibit, I took some paint supplies up the hill and painted awhile.. There were a lot of people around and they came and went frequently. Many people commented on the little bit of trash that someone had left in the sculpture/building we were in, the Crystal, but no one picked it up to carry down the hill; I did though when I left. If there had been a broom handy, it needed a good sweeping out of all the rocks that kids bring with them.

Then it was off to have dinner with Mom and that was the end of my travels for the day.

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May Day, 2018

Happy May Day! I took myself on a little vacation from writing today, after writing a poem each day for all of April.

It was warm and mostly sunny and I had reserved a spot in a rare books something at the Clark. They’d sent a reminder email and I was thankful and I’m so glad I went. Besides hearing about the library and its collection and how to access it, we heard about an interesting array of “childrens” books – and passed them around the table to look at! There was much surprise expressed about this. I think we all expected either to be just shown the books or to wear gloves. One of the books was from the late 1600’s – considered to be the first known instance of the idea of Mother Goose – from France! It had been rebound by Mr. Sterling and was beautiful, as were many of the selection – beautiful marbled endpapers, beautiful illustrations and typography. A man who sat near me taught me how to look for the bookbinder’s signature. A good and welcome new skill.

I went with a bit of time ahead of it to do a little painting, of course and it was a pleasure to sit outside in the warm sun.

Sunday at The Clark & Sketchbooks

Painting up on the hill:

Tomorrow I start a short online course about using sketchbooks so these warranted another look at in the last tour of Drawn from Greatness. Degas and Cezanne! There was also a sketchbook (noted that it appeared to have been used as a phone message book…) used by Jackson Pollack. No photos allowed of that one.

Day Twenty-two, NaPoWriMo

Letter from V.

Another letter from V.
He’s out and about in the town
And sends a drawing of the bridge
Describing the jay blue sky
Arcing above the locals
passing in their work
Ignorant of the red
And gold and greens
That lay, a treasure,
All around them.
The sepia words are so small.
They spill down the page
Flowing with the river
Toward the sea.

Went to the Clark for a little plein air time and to see the last day of the Drawn to Greatness exhibit. Sat up on the hill under a cloudless sky. It was pleasant in just a sweater and a vest but a few times I held onto things due to wind.

Although the day started out all about the birds and hill, inside I visited my favorites from the exhibit and did a little people watching. Last days of exhibits bring out interesting folks looking at stuff!

My Day with Art

I went to The Clark today, having asked for a day off so I could go to the lecture opening the new exhibit there – Drawn from Greatness. There were drawings from the 15th century and up to current times (Pollack, Picasso, Kelly etc). Big selection of the impressionists – two pages of Van Gogh letters (with drawings) and a drawing. Sketchbooks which had belonged to Cezanne and Degas. Lots of ink and wash, watercolor, gouache, chalk, graphite, different papers, techniques. Part of the exhibit was in a different part of the building, So I wandered over.

First couple very interesting. The one behind me, lovely. Next one… hmmm quite interesting. Strangely familiar, a little cartoonish but very skilled and unique style… freaking William Blake. Around the corner from that was a, as the curator noted, “showstopper” by Victor Hugo. Yes THAT Victor Hugo.

I saved getting the catalogue for another visit and perusal. It’s about big enough to be made into a coffee table but it does look very complete. I did come home with this, thinking it would be a good read and good company for my copy of The Hours of Catherine of Cleves

Remember that this time of year The Clark is closed on Mondays! If you end up there by mistake you can wander over to the Williams College Museum of Art and see other interesting things. (Ask me how I know that!)

Halloween 2017

The sun was shining and I was out and about to look at it. Quick stop at Bucky’s Bagels in New Lebanon for an egg salad on pumpernickel to go, and to find out that next week they start with Tuesday Turkey Dinners! Woot! Then a swing by Stewart’s for gas for the fiat and some coffee for me. Then off to The Clark.

They’re in between special exhibits and I’ll be going back soon to look at The Impressionist LineFrom Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec (November 5, 2017–January 7, 2018) and then in February, I’ll be back to see Drawn to Greatness, Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection (February 3–April 22, 2018).

But today, I was propelled by the notion that soon enough it will be mighty hard if not impossible to stand outside and paint. Not sure what will happen then. Hmmmm. Here are my photos of the day. You can see my watercolor album here.

31 October 2017//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Then it was home and doing some laundry, some yummy leftovers for dinner and in about 45 minutes, the start of NaNoWriMo!

Lessons Learned: Plein Air Category

If you’re painting en plein air, your brushes should not be grass green. Ask me how I came upon this notion! I’m tempted to dip the ends of all my brushes in safety yellow or blaze orange just for ease of finding. And no, I didn’t find the brush I dropped and I spent too much time looking. If it turns up in the corner of a bag or something it will be a freakin’ miracle.

I’d headed over to The Clark for a 9 AM curator-led gallery walk of the Picasso print exhibit. That was very interesting and informative. I’ll go back some other early morning to go through again and look at everything with some new ideas. Afterwards, I enjoyed the rest of my coffee and headed up toward the back hill. It was hard to pick a view – there were great clouds in all directions. I took my roll-up stool with me because it poured last night. That was a good decision, unlike the green-handled brush. At least it wasn’t one of my new brushes – I’d still be there looking.

clouds 18 july 2017//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js