Misty Mountain Hop

He took the wild flowers gathered from their hike earlier in the day and put them in a little vase centered on the picnic table near the fire pit. As night softly fell over them, he lit the fire, opened a cheap bottle of wine and poured two glasses for himself and his lover as the sun’s pale glow lingered over the mountain peaks.

A few glasses later and she playfully persuaded him to get his guitar and play a couple of tunes for her. He gladly obliged and retrieved the instrument, taking a seat on a large rock facing her. He strummed out the crisp sound of fresh strings from his acoustic guitar, the notes reaching into the valley, eventually dissipating into the blue air. He chose a selection of songs they both knew well; the soundtrack of their romance.

Not far away, a stranger walked leisurely down a gravel road that ran by their campsite. When he came upon the faint sound of music, he lingered for a moment to listen and advanced at a slower, discreet pace along the path, stopping as the sound grew loud enough for him to hear every note perfectly without disrupting the performance. Detached and relishing in the warm summer evening, he stood- the red glow of his cigar bouncing to the rhythm like some ghost conductor as pine trees cast occasional silhouettes, rounding out the audience. Through the brush, he could see her swaying to the rhythm in front of the fire like a dancing phoenix. What a painting that would be, he thought, hoping the fire would burn the scene into his memory and not fade away.

The quality of musicianship surprised him to the point that when the song finished, he nearly applauded, but decided it would be selfish to do so and maybe even awkward so he resisted. No, he thought, better not to disrupt the trance of the muse and the musician. Oh, how the stranger wished he had his guitar at that moment, but then he wished for a lot of things. He felt younger, and took in a few more songs unnoticed, living out the moment vicariously.

The Significance of Impressionism

Last Sunday, I finally completed an essay I had been toiling over for months on Understanding Impressionism. It is a subject I hold dear, as the Impressionists have been a major influence on my work ever since my college days. Their approach to color and composition fostered, in part, the foundation for my own theories and systems on those same subjects which I have advanced into my own style.

Please click here to read the article. I hope you enjoy it.

Contrast

On a warm autumn afternoon, many years from now, two old men sit on a bench together in front of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. They are discussing the Jared Steinberg retrospective they have just seen at the museum.

Daniel, a short, pudgy man who covers his bald head beneath an old hat is grinning from ear to ear. Steinberg is one of his favorite artists and he can no longer contain his enthusiasm. “Man, nobody can paint the sky like that Steinberg could,” he says out loud. “I could sit all day and gaze at those sunsets and oceans. And those musicians… don’t get me started on those musicians. You could just feel the rhythm and movement from those paintings. Oy- what a beautiful show that was! I can’t wait to go back with my grandson to see that show again.”

Albert, his old friend since childhood, had made up his mind long ago about the dead artist and the retrospective did nothing to change his mind. “Ach! No way I’m going to waste my time on that garbage again. I think he was a putz! His paintings, with their skewed perspective… I mean they’re not even like paintings! They’re more like drawings with paint- with their squiggles and curly lines. I wouldn’t even call him a ‘painter’ really. I mean, Danny, if you want to see a great painter, take a look at Edward Hopper or even the old Renaissance painters, like Titian- now they could paint! This Steinberg isn’t even in the same league. I thought the show was very average… yes, very average.” He paused for a moment, looking over at his friend. In a slightly more relaxed tone, he continued, “Though, I sure am looking forward to that Caillebotte show coming up in December. Now that’ll be something to remember!”

As the words dissipated into the afternoon air, the two men sat in silence for a few moments after the exchange, contemplating their memories from the show with no regard to the contrasting opinions made by the other.

“It’s a beautiful day today, isn’t it,” Albert purposefully commented to change the subject.

“Yeah, it sure is,” replied his old friend. And the two of them got up and took a walk in silence, through Central Park.