Good of you to drop in.
Friday’s blog a private peek, right?
Well, let me tell you about my day yesterday.
It was absolutely brilliant.
I caught the train to Charing Cross in the morning,
and - it being a lovely sunny day -
I decided to walk to my destination,
rather than scurry around on the underground.
Across Trafalgar Square and towards Picadilly Circus.
It was a glorious morning,
and there was a real upbeat vibe in the city.
Opposite Fortnum and Masons I stopped.
There it was: The Royal Academy.
I walked through the archway and started looking for my date....
There she was, sitting underneath the statue!
Miss Jenny Day, my old art teacher!
She was fabulous then,
and she’s even more fabulous now.
I cannot tell you how brilliant the next few hours were!
For Jenny, dare I say Jenny, and not Miss Day? it was probably a run of the mill kind of experience in a gallery,
looking at the old masters and enjoying the art.
For me though, it was much much more than that.
Not only was I hanging out with the legend that is Miss Day
(she doesn’t realise how we all idolised her at school!),
but I also got a perfect one on one guide to the greats.
In her own inimitable, modest way, she guided me round the gallery, chatting about Monet, about Matisse, about Van Gogh,
explaining to me the essence of Impressionism.
We looked at the Monet’s studies of Water Lilies,
How he came back at different times of the day and painted the same thing in different lights.
She told me about his garden in the North of France at Giverny.
It sounds perfect. Jenny was saying that when you go there,
it’s like walking into his paintings.
So I’m thinking I would like to take a trip this summer with Dave....
In a very logical way, she talked about the art of light and shade,
the skill of colour.
The way the artist was using this colour and that colour
to achieve a certain effect.
It was incredible.
I didn’t speak much. I was soaking up what Jenny was telling me like the proverbial sponge.
Monet definitely carried the show!
But there were some other fabulous masterpieces which drew me in.
One the subject of gardens, the Japanese Painter,
Hiroshige had me entranced.
When you get in really closely, you see the little people !
So we spent quite some time wandering around the rooms of the Painting the Modern Garden Exhibition.
There was a rather dodgy looking painting on the wall.
It looked half-finished, the colour was mushy and the perspective was very off.
You can’t help the thoughts that come into your head, can you?
You just don’t have to say them out loud.
So I was looking at it, thinking about how crap this particular painting was.
Suddenly, Jenny the mind reader, said, “Yes, it’s crap isn’t it.
But art doesn’t have to be perfect. It is a journey of expression, and it is just as important to see the art in between the art.”
It was as if she lifted a massive weight off my shoulders.
The performance does not have to be perfect.
Better to perform and get it less than right than not to perform at all.
We have been working towards this for years, you and I,
haven’t we ?!
But to see a HUGE very dodgy painting in the Royal Academy by one of the most famous artists ever in the world
And to finally grasp the importance of it on HIS journey.
I felt very honoured to be privvy to his experiment phase.
Do you know what I mean?
We are always seeking approval for our artwork, aren’t we?
We post it on Facebook, we hand friends our cards and wait for them to praise us.
We showcase it TV, we get it published in magazines, and we think we have reached the pinnacle!
Staring at this Dodgy art, I suddenly understood what it’s all about. It WAS dodgy, there’s no doubt about that.
But it was an experimental phase of an artist who was breaking the chains, the perfection of art prior to impressionism.
That made it a masterpiece. No. A VITAL link.
We were looking at a Van Gogh, which was very beautiful.
Jenny whispered to me,
“He only ever sold one painting, you know, just before he died.”
So I looked him up this morning. He painted 900.
I want to read more about him now.
Yes, I want to go to France, to Monet’s garden,
and I want to learn more about Van Gogh.
If you can, if you have time, I can only tell you that a visit to this exhibition is illuminating.
Being guided gently through by Jenny made my visit enlightening and magical though.
When we were galleried out,
we went over the road to Fortnum & Masons for lunch.
It was excellent.
But what was even more excellent was the catch up.
40 years of catch up.
We talked for 5 hours non stop.
We sat by a window and gassed all afternoon.
It was amazing how much Jenny and I actually have in common.
I feel different today.
There’s been a shift in my reality.
And I have Jenny to thank for that.
love & hugs.