03 September 2008

Seeing something different

Let's try this again. I am blogging from the bus, on my way to the Denver Art Museum. I tried a few minutes ago but running the iPod seemed to make it ultra-slow. Nothing really post-worthy yet but I'll let you know if I see anything great.


There was one painting that stayed stuck in my mind after I had left the museum. It is in the Western art section near the bridge between the Gio Ponti tower and the soaring new Daniel Liebeskind building. The painting was made by a Nebraska artist named Keith Jacobshagen, in 2005-06, that shows a sliver of flat farmland from an oddly distant vantage point occupying a thin rectangle along the lower edge of the large canvas, the remainder filled with a vast, soaring sky with wispy clouds and dissipated jet contrails. It is called, "By June, The Light Begins to Breathe."

As always, I love seeing the impressionist pictures and landscapes. They are a kind of medicine, that reminder of the possibility of representing something very specific about the way you see the world.

The information nugget I gathered today was during the 2 p.m. tour, when a docent said that Monet only painted with about half a dozen colors, and never black: "There is no black in nature," he was said to insist. Monet also didn't blend his few hues (which included just a few colors: cadmium yellow, white, and madder rose, cobalt and another blue) on his palette but mixed them on the canvas with his brushstrokes.

It's as if I need continual reassurance that it's both okay to see differently but also to represent individual versions of reality. It feels, in the same way listening to Gomez does, like permission, a key to a door.

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