Tuesday, December 2, 2008

breath on glass


paint should not be applied thick. it should be like breath on the surface of a plane of glass. ~james mcneill whistler.

pardon my ignorance. it's amazing to me how i can discover something and someone so famous. what i mean to say, many times i stumble upon a thing that impresses me that i've never known before. in my amazement, when i share it with another i so often find that i'm one of the last to know. while browsing/reading an interior design magazine i came across a nicely written article on the works and attitude of the painter whistler. i thought how sweet and delicate are his works. never heard of him. when i mentioned him to m., he says 'you haven't heard of him?' m. is always gentle in enlightening me. many years ago i picked up a collection of stories by dostoevsky. i'd never heard of him. i borrowed it, read and loved the stories with a heavy heart. when i returned the book, in all confidence i said 'you know, this dostoevsky guy is pretty good.' m. says gently again, 'that is incredibly generous of you, considering he is thought to be one of, if not the greatest writer ever.' i looked on quietly, not embarrassed by not knowing, but delighted in the idea that i was quite moved by one of the great ones. what would i do or think if i thought it was crap:)

i always know that my education in the arts and literature are 'lacking,' but i do so love learning and discovering. the above painting is by whistler... one of my new 'discoveries.' hope you like it...

5 comments:

La Belette Rouge said...

Your M sounds lovely. And, hey you have good taste. Most people hear Dostoevsky is pretty good before they actually read it. You did it the other way around. It is a beautiful Whistler. Very delicate.

Justin said...

I found that as I get older I am rediscovering artists, musicians, authors that I did not necessarily like in my younger years. For example the other day I was listening to some Bach and was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed it... granted it was a Wendy Carlos version in heavily synthesized harpsichord, but I loved it nonetheless... Now I need to go read some Dostoevsky and see if I like him as well (seeing as I am ignorant about his writing as well)

Julianne said...

I love the painting. It fits the theme with most of the images you post. What I love about each morning is that it's an opportunity to discover the new. It's a big world and you can't know about everything! Probably a lot of things that you know that others don't. Glad you give yourself some grace.

Susu said...

I like the image of paint breathing through the surface of a painting. Whenever I paint or draw, I try to leave open spaces so it can - using the exact image - breathe, not jamming it in with too much color or other stimuli.

Art is not about culture and education, it is about appreciation of what you live through and experience. How wonderful that you can keep discovering new artifacts... and that you greatly appreciate them. Not everyone does - so that's education in a big bunch already;)

vicki archer said...

I am learning new things every day and cannot believe how much I don't know - but that is the beauty. A gorgeous Whistler, xv.