Thursday, May 1, 2014

May 1, 2014

May 1, 2014

I detest the 8-hour work day.  It shouldn’t be more than 5, and that includes breaks and lunch time as well.  And to be even totally more honest, I hate clocks.  The whole clocking in and clocking out of a work place is insulting at its best.  Work should be a partner in with desire, and nothing less than that.  People live to eat, to breathe, and some to work, but work is more meaningful and beautiful when the worker sets his or her’s time and place.  It should represent an organic relationship between work and pleasure.   Work is often fastened to a purpose or to achieve something, which of course includes money - but to work with no purpose at all, except the pleasure of doing the job is the best way to live.

My two favorite painters are George Inness (1825-1894) and Jules Breton (1827-1906), both are considered to be landscape painters, but the big difference between the two, besides one being an American and the other French, is that they use the landscape to convey different meanings.  Breton was influenced by the French countryside and basically sees the beauty and idyllic vision of the pastoral existence.  Inness sees the landscape as an emotional expression of various degrees.  The aesthetic difference is great, but what is astonishing in how two artists can look at a tree with the skies, and be totally different in how one sees the world.

Of all the schools and thoughts regarding the subject matter of painting, I will always give a deep reflection to landscapes, because it expresses to me either the perfect world or the emotional state of the painter towards their subject matter.  As I write, I look outside my window on Waverly Drive, and I pretty much see the same things every morning, but the difference is not the landscape itself, but how I see it on a daily basis.  Due to my mood swings, the landscape changes on a consistent footing.  Yet, it pretty much remains the same, but only through my vision does it become something more vibrant and emotional.

On the other hand, the paintings by Cecilia Beaux (1855-1942) which are portraits of individuals of a certain class in America, are very straight forward.  I don’t really care for her paintings, but I do admire her thoughts on perfection.  She has been quoted saying "I can say this: When I attempt anything, I have a passionate determination to overcome every obstacle…And I do my own work with a refusal to accept defeat that might almost be called painful." Which I can totally identify with, because I too, struggle to overcome my personal troubles, and my rather doubtful habits, in trying to maintain a certain amount of work - but God forbid it can’t go beyond five hours a day!

An interesting figure from the past, Calamity Jane, was a force of nature that was part of the wild west, but with the additional talent of adding ‘perhaps certain’ myths along the way.  It has been commented that she was a handful, but on the other hand a very sweet person.  Yet, she was driven to make an identity of some sort, and it always makes me chuckle that she called herself “Calamity,” which is probably her take on the force of nature, and how she places herself in the eye of the storm.  Disaster is sometimes fate, but often made by eager hands to control fate or even worst, the ideal vision of a perfect landscape.

At a certain hour of the day, I like to read “The Magic Christian”, ” with perhaps music from Les Rita Mitsouko, while causally looking outside and making notes of the ever-changing landscape, that is my soul.

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