Saturday, June 20, 2009

Quick Trip to Houston

I went to the big city to paint an Indian/Hindu wedding ceremony. What an amazing event. Part of the time I got caught up in the rituals and admiration of all the gorgeous saris, what a feast for an artist's eyes! But then I remembered to get back to painting. I didn't make a lot of progress, but have a decent start. It was really an honor to get to be a part of this celebration.

This morning I went to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston before leaving town. There was no special exhibit, but I thought it would be good to get some references for paintings.
I was one of about 4 people in the galleries. There were three times as many security guards - all very welcoming and friendly.

It ended up just as well that I didn't find many people perusing the art, since my camera batteries died anyway. My extras were in the car of course. Can you guess my frustration?

Aside from those shortcomings, the visit was a success. An important part of seeing the work of masters is to see that even their work is not perfection. Remember that I gravitate to the impressionists and contemporary artists. Its a reminder to me to strive for expression not duplication. I saw how thin and gestural some of their paintings are, how the underpainting remains in the finished product, even a Matisse where you could see how he scrubbed away sections and tried to redraw them. I wonder if that was intended to be shown at all, but his name is on it, I suppose he considered it finished. I wish I could get that loose and expressive for these wedding events. Maybe then I could finish more of the work on site, or paint larger. But I try too hard to be perfect and exact even in the dark, even with a crowd around me, even with my subjects moving constantly.

Another thing that I find interesting in museum collections is to see what the works are painted on; cardboard, tracing paper, "fans", wood. Funny, too, that the works were so often reviled, yet they amaze me more than all the highly-rendered European salon works.


Charlene Brown said...

What a unique event to paint! And what a fantastic start (looks finished, and beautifully so, from here) you've made in a crowd, with constantly moving subjects!

LSaeta said...

So glad to see you are still "painting events"! As you know, I think this is a wonderful idea and you are so talented at this. Can't wait to see the finished piece.

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