Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Scene in a Flowery Field

Something I'm working on now, unlit and lit.

But mostly I'm working on oils. I'd like to do some commissioned portraits. For years I thought I hated working from photographs, but today I spent all day painting a portrait from a photograph, and I discovered I didn't really mind it. Maybe it's because oils themselves are so fascinating and still relatively new to me. 

I'm still reading In Search of Lost Time. It's so clearly written by an art historian and for art historians, that I'm surprised it wasn't required reading for my art history degree. It gives you such a strong sense of a time when art was much better appreciated and understood than it is today. 

A scene that was running through my head last night: Bloch's father proudly shows Marcel and Saint-Loup a painting that was made by, he said, Rembrandt. Marcel knew it was a forgery and keeps silent, but Saint-Loup naively asks where the signature might be? Bloch senior brusquely replies that it unfortunately had to be cut off the fit the frame, and hurries the boys out of the house. 

This scene is a great example of Proust's skill -- it seems perfectly lifelike and in character for each of the three men involved. 

We have mice, or squirrels, or raccoons in our attic, and I'm too chicken to go up there and see what it is.

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