Sunday, June 22, 2014


I've been thinking about art.  What catches my eye, what moves me.  Like Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party.  
When I first saw it, at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. I could not tear myself away.  I think the docent thought I was casing the joint, she stayed at my elbow.  I must have spent an hour just staring, moving forward to see the brushwork, and and back to feel the party come alive.  I swear I could feel the breeze, hear the laughter and conversation.  

My mom knows more about the Impressionists than anyone I know.  Walking thru a museum with her, she tells me stories of their lives, how Monet got so wrapped up in painting, he almost got washed out to sea.  Who were friends, who painted with whom.   And the docents drive her crazy.  "That's not true, he painted that just before his wife died, not after."  And "That's not where he painted that - it was Brittany, not Normandy."

I go home, I look it up.  She is right, the docents are...well, confused would be the kindest term.
 I have a passionate desire to own a painting by Ben Aronson.
  Especially this one.  
His work moves me.   How can paint - ground up minerals, mostly, be so transporting?   How do they do what they do - with just these?  And their incredible brains, of course.

I have a big painting by  Joseph Loria in my living room.  Sometimes I just sit and stare at it.   Sometimes I expect the dark haired woman to turn my way, the lady in the bathing cap to walk out of the frame.

Or Scott Prior.   In case you're looking for a gift for me.  Or something astonishingly beautiful for your walls. 

I can feel the sand in my shorts, taste the salt on my lips.  He does magical things with light.

I love whimsey.  I love the unexpected, things that are silly and grown up at the same time.  Like these acrobats:

Or the Water Mirror in Bordeaux.
I love watching people and art. 

So simple, the process.   An internal earthquake when it works.  I've seen bad, or mediocre paintings by great artists.  As Potter Stewart said (and Oliver Wendell Holmes gets credit for saying) "I know it when I see it".  Don't we all?

I'm off to nap.  Sadly, not in this tent.  
Art is everywhere - if you're looking.

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