Sunday, January 13, 2008

still thinking about paintings and life

Out for a run after posting about my paintings yesterday, I started thinking about a couple of smaller marine paintings we bought years ago while living in Prince Rupert. We gave one as a wedding gift to friends who missed the coast and we kept one for ourselves. I tried to find it today to photograph for you, but I've either let one of the kids take it or it's in the back of a closet right now for lack of wall space. It's a very cheery painting of fishing boats jostling one another at the wharf in Prince Rupert, the flourescently bright buoys shouting for viewer attention.
When I got back from the run, I Googled a bit and was pleased to find this website which commemorates Tim White, the Prince Rupert artist who painted those pictures. Obviously put together by someone(s) who loved him, the narrative is fairly brief, quite laudatory, and only in spots hints at the colourful personality I remember meeting. Tim came once to speak at a Moms and Tots program I used to attend and I would see him at various events around town. What I was remembering on my run yesterday is running into him at some Arts and Crafts fair selling small metal sculptures alongside his paintings. Pausing to examine them more closely, I could see they were renditions of boats, and he was delighted to tell me that he'd made them from deconstructed dog food cans. In fact, he said, he figured he had the perfect system for supporting himself in his old age: should his pension prove too meagre, he'd worked out that he could always live on dog food, then recycle the cans into sculptures which he could sell to buy more dog food . . . An elegant, if not wonderfully palatable, solution!
Also thinking about paintings in our lives, my internet friend IndigoAlison, an art teacher living in London, England, posted last week about the current absence of prints on her walls despite her fond memories of them in her childhood.

My taste in painting I have noticed over the last 8 months of posting
leans towards the abstract/brushstroke/colour school yet strangely I do not
have any prints of my favourite artists work on my wall at home, preferring
to buy real art instead. Yet as a child I grew up with prints my parents
obtained of favourite pieces that were lovingly framed and hung, if my
memory serves me correctly they included Van Gogh's starry night,
Modigliani's Alice and a Utrillo, these artists are some of my favourites so
I must have unconsciously absorbed their influence as a child. My mother
however like me, prefers the real thing and now has a small collection of
lovely paintings, my sister too collects, but part of me wonders whether or
not I should mix it up with some "bigger" named prints.

Then she followed up a few days later with a post detailing some of the prints she remembers, a post which includes a charming description of her young self telling visitors that the Modigliani print in her parents' home

was a portrait of me . . . . It seriously does look like me when
I was a child. The long slightly sad face, my hair was that length and that
colour, plus ALICE is clearly written in the top left hand corner so I would
explain to visitors that it was the Italian spelling for Alison!

This particularly charms me because one of our mementoes of a family trip to France is a Botticelli print we got at the Louvre after noticing a striking resemblance between a face in it and our Megan. And while Megan didn't try to say that Botticelli had painted her, I could imagine her trying that out (after all, she's the one who supplemented our collection of author-signed children's books -- the real thing, signed by authors we've met -- by scrawling her eight-year old facsimile signatures in scads of others, so that now it's a bit hard to tell which are which!)

After all this chat about the visual world, perhaps a photo or three is in order.
First, here's my progress on a Koolhaas hat that I'm making out of some stash Alpaca Peru. I really need to sit down and figure out where I am in this, pattern-wise, so that I can get going on it again (Why, oh why, can't I remember to make a little note each time I put a project away -- I'm so sure I'll remember where I was when I pick it up the next day, except that the next day becomes four days later, and then . . . )
and here is a photo of the Ribes Sanguineum 'White Icicle' flower that is currently erupting on my kitchen counter. I was cleaning up in the garden last weekend and brought in a few branches to try forcing. Not much was happening all week and then Friday I started to see some swelling in the flower buds and today, voilĂ !

And finally, a visual message to remind you that this week is de-lurking week in the blog world, so comments from inveterate lurkers are especially welcome. (Although make no mistake, you're still welcome even if you refuse to break your lurking habit.)


  1. De-lurking week? Sounds like a WWII-era government campaign to flush out the spies...

  2. Karumba Its sobering to see my ramblings elsewhere! I never know who visits, but I have forced my self to comment more as it is nice to get feedback. So I will embrace the De-lurking code of conduct. Finally please, eveyone, be assured my days of looking even remotely like one of Modiglianis beauty's are long gone, I am now more tarred with the brush of Lucien Freud!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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