Above recent self-portrait
So painting has been playing in my head, yet frustratingly I've had no time to be in the studio!! Yes school has begun and with it lots of travel and the launch of our new MFA program in Emergent Media. So wonderful this new group of Champlain students! Below is my NYC observation from two weeks ago, tied perfectly to the questions we've been examining in the MFA course I'm teaching "The Emergent Landscape" on the nature of media, art, and technologies. Books are becoming antiques. I saw a similarly themed shop window this week in CA; book jackets torn off the books.
Besides the ability to find cultural commonalities, travel has another benefit for the artist and that is the ability to see outstanding art. Whenever I travel, if there is time, I visit whatever museum is in the city I've traveled to. Two weeks ago I was in NYC and I had a whole afternoon and early evening before my flight!
(Below the corner next to my hotel by the UN.)
I chose MOMA and there I spent over 6 hours! I ended the day "walking with Monet". I was enthralled. So luscious and intoxicating is his paint, so expressive of the place and moment it describes, yet universal in expressing the nature of water, plant, reflection, light...
Of course the subject of water and reflectivity and lilies I've recently been photographing and painting and there in MOMA painted by its master! I felt why should I even attempt to paint anymore?
To my rescue came my cell phone! With it I could take Monet home and examine his paint in a new way—in many ways far superior to the art books sold at MOMA. Printed reproductions can not come close to the phone's quality at representing the beauty of his paint. I held the phone at a certain level and photographed every step of the way. I walked with Monet and as I did so I felt as if I was walking by his pond and waterlilies.
Posted here are my results from walking one of his two paintings in MOMA—note is is about 16 feet long! Too bad a blog is vertical instead of horizontal—still gorgeous—then perhaps this is the modern day form. Regardless of how transmitted, painting from the Masters—unlike book jackets—seem ever new and revealing.