Monday, February 2, 2009

Derain: on "I don't know art, but I know what I like"

DerainThe Pool of LondonThe Tate Collection

Its funny how sometimes a painting will just leap out and grab a hold of you with that indefinable something that shouts “look at me!” This painting does indeed knock me over the head!

Seeing it got me to thinking (always dangerous!)… Many times I’ve heard the expression “I don’t know art, but I know what I like…”

Hmmmmm… I wonder if we really do know what we like about art.

I’m hard pressed to say exactly what appeals to me about this painting. The colors aren’t those that usually speak to me, the composition is rather strange for my liking; the subject matter is what I see around me all the time … Wait! That’s it!

The bridge in the distance looks very much like the drawbridge that connects Kittery, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I see it every day. In fact, my house is on the right where the left-hand mast meets the shoreline. Yup - tugboats. Yup - dinghys. Yup – lobster boats… hey! Where are the lobster boats! ... Whaddya mean this is London?

Hrmmph... (maybe I don't like it so much anymore.)

Gail Sauter – Journal: A Painter On Painting

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