How are you? I've been wondering how you are doing and what happened with your Philosophy degree? I bet you are almost done now. How did it go? I wonder if you are going to march for science on Earth Day as I am or if you've decided against it? I'm planting little flowers in my yard early because it's so warm this year, but so far no spring rain. The earth is dry like the gray dust from late August. We've been enjoying the blossoms anyway.
My daughter and I went to the art museum today to see the new Bloch galleries. It's the new exhibit in town, only better we get to keep it! A new permanent exhibit. There is nothing really like the feeling of knowing I can go back and see this work every day or every weekend and I think I might. I want to memorize it. I do.
Now I haven't seen as much of the world as you, but this exhibit was a bit like traveling to Europe without leaving home. There was so much. So much! One of my favorite Gauguin's as well as a beatiful Van Gogh of the Olive Orchard. Pastels by Degas and Cassatte as well as as two original Talouse LaTrec's! A Miro! A Kandinsky! Oh and a Dali Sculpture, one I actually like with a cast of his face in gold! A Braque, a Matisse, so many Monet and Manet and Pisarro and a study from Seurat! There was so much, so much! A such intensity and such spareness.
Now that I've seen so much more work in person of the pre and post impressionist I am aware that they understand something about painting I still do not. They understand that painting is painting. They don't try to recreate something with paint to make the paint into something else. They do not try to make a picture with paint, they make a painting. I sure wish I could do that myself. However I cannot. We care about different things being so many decades apart. Why they were in love with the paint iteslf, I am in love with negative space. I dream about it. Sleep on it. And try to capture it. The impressionists loved light and air. They suggested, they made marks. They used the paint to create an impression, a glance, a casual bit of scraps that viewers could piece together with their imagination to make something greater than what was actually there. That is one thing that is so great about them! We get to participate.
I on the other hand am not concerned with light or air. I have some surrealism at heart, though I love Jung and detest most of what I've read of Freud not that I found it too inaccurate. But what I care about is not light and air, but symbol and composition. What I one day want to achieve is the perfect composition of positive and negative space that somehow share layers and layers of symbolism, stories within stories. The texture is just icing-- that's where the fun comes in.
I went crazy on the book store sale, I bought so many books. Now that I am finally accepted that I am an artist forever that I cannot and will not quit, that I did not imagine it-- I can allow myself a few books to study and use again.
I wonder how your art with wood turning ended up. Did you make more pieces and what kind? I thought of you today because one of the artists had the same name as you, last name. I wonder if you are still reading Pablo Neruda? And I wonder if I will ever meet anyone else who can talk about art and science and philosophy and poetry as much as I'd like to. It could happen, but I'm sure it's rare. Now that I finally have some new art books, maybe a few new poetry books are in order next and some music I always save that until too late. I'm trying to trade some art for a cigar box guitar soon. I think maybe I really could learn to play. Guitar playing I haven't practiced in two years.
Since we last talked I opened up an art gallery with friends then began teaching as an English professor. Life has moved fast but last week was my first time to stop and take some time off. I planted flowers and cleaned out the old flower beds. I'm still working on them actually. There is nothing I learn from better than gardening. Gardening seems to teach me everything. Like that there an be too much of a good thing. I have some sweet smelling ornamental plant in the garden that is taking it over, but I'm trying to take back the garden for the rest of the plants. Life is like that. Too much of a good thing somethings and then there needs to be more room for everything else.
Next week, I fly to Savannah for a conference. This time I'm not speaking but I'm learning about teaching and learning. What a name. You coached me really well for the last conference and I think after about 90 hours of teaching/ lecturing I could never be nervous again of public speaking. It's beginning to be natural to me now. I only have to worry about getting a big head. After four hours of talking and everyone taking me so seriously, it's hard to go back to the rest of my life where people don't think they should listen to me at all. lol. So I guess it won't go to my head.
I'm planning a new series of art for this year and I even have been promised my first solo show in a an art gallery in the arts district. But mostly I'm glad that the kids are happy, the garden is planted, and I have a job for the rest of the year. I'm getting a few things published here and there and I'm just really feeling like the more real version of me. Sure there are some tough things, but I know that those rooftop views are worth waiting for. I bought a little glass horse for my daughter in the gift shop. She's going to start her riding lessons again this summer. There is nothing she seems to love more than horses. Big dreams start small and sometimes that is enough.
By the way you still owe me a BBQ lunch in NKC,