How would we have known? You travel. Your local guide tells you facts you had never considered. Being fat was a sign of wealth. And the wealthy also traveled to the “continent” for their portrait to be commissioned to a famous painter (of the time). In this instance, the lord was young and not yet corpulent. So, the painter painted up his hands and face. And then, the lord paged through a catalog and picked out a body to be painted and matched. Voila! Fat and rich! Who’d have thunk…?
Grandma Moses. Anna Mary Robertson Moses (September 7, 1860 – December 13, 1961), known by her nickname Grandma Moses, was an American folk artist. She began painting in earnest at the age of 78 and is often cited as an example of an individual who successfully began a career in the arts at an advanced age.
I am okay. But the painting is pretty primitive. Is that fair? Maybe childish? Juvenile? Here’s my point. Look at the eyes. They are just painted dots. Dots. Not even an attempt at making them symmetric. I was kind of shocked. Because you start when you are old, it gives you a free pass on technique? I guess, I should get out my paint again. I did some mickey mouse watercolor work last year. I dispatched the efforts to the junk pile. Right place, right time, favorable critics – timing is everything.
Van Gogh painted his bedroom. It’s famous. It’s been in my subconscious always. I think. I’m not an artist nor too much interested. The Chicago Art Institute is well known. Duh? They put on an exhibition,” Bedrooms.” The lines were out the door. Wisely we looked up the time and found that you could order up a fast pass. Skip the lines. Get into the exhibit fast. Pay extra. Time was money. Paid online an hour before we went. It seemed like cheating. Well, we paid for it, for sure.
Got there, got in, cut across the big line. In! To the exhibit. There’s plenty more to the museum but we wanted to see the exhibit. Go! Front of the line and the man with the bar code scanner said, “Whoa! You have a fast pass but that does not get you into the Van Gogh exhibit.”
“Foul!” I cried. No problem. Back up. Pay $5/per more for entry. Dammit. You’d think that all that other money would have gotten us in…
The fuss? Van Gogh painted his bedroom three different times. Side by side you can see the differences. And otherwise I am sure I have seen this painting. But I never knew there were three versions. Yes, I do brain surgery. I’ve been under a rock. So, look. The background in each version is slightly different. The three paintings make for an interesting exhibit. I am a photographer. I took advantage that the museum let me take pictures. So many people crowded in front and with their smartphones shot a remembrance. Few paused long enough to appreciate the paintings. I mean ten seconds and one smartphone pic later, that’s not terribly fulfilling. But in today’s world you have about fifteen seconds before the next event hits the news cycle.
To be honest, I did not notice the differences until they were pointed out. This is art not science. I gladly claim happy ignorance. Teach me.
No, I won’t photograph my bedroom three times. No one will care a hundred years from now.
I like to see artists at work. It is human curiosity to just be nosy. As I looked over their shoulders I was puzzled. There were three artists at work. It was in the middle of chaos at the Cape Neddick lighthouse. They are not, and I repeat, they are not looking at the light nor the ocean. They were facing the parking lot. So I am puzzled. I guess I might even go so far as to say they are working on imagination or it might as well be a photograph. The middle of a parking lot? I grant that there was a lot of traffic. I don’t get it.
I guess I might best describe this as the center grass of a round about. The cars circle and you get the benefit of all the fumes. Peace and quiet it’s not.
She was hard at work at dusk painting the scene. It is Maine and I suppose it is quintessential. At least there were some boats off in the distance acting as inspiration. The view below is more or less about the view my naked eye had for the rowboats. So detail was not so important. The boats and the place were the inspiration.
There is a spot in Central Park where there are some spectacular displays of tulips. It doesn’t appear every year. But this year they were in full splendor. And what is better than painters catching an artful interpretation of the display? So I ask why their easels were set up before the tulips and at the top of each easel was a picture (not this scene) from which they were referencing. Did I miss something? They are painting a picture in front of a real scene of beauty. Hey, it’s a way to go, I guess.