I’m reading The Art of Cézanne by Albert C. Barnes and Violette de Mazia.* This is their introduction to Cézanne’s work in the first paragraph of chapter 1:
“To the uninitiated, Cézanne’s paintings seem strange to the point of bizarreness, alien to all the traditions of painting; but to the student who has grasped the essential nature of these traditions and observed their evolution, the novelty, the bizarreness in Cézanne’s work are the identifying marked of a profoundly individual vision, in which the forms basic to some of the greatest works of art in history are re-created and revitalized.”
Nice complement… I think…
They go on to say, in chapter 2, that “[h]is early painting [are] for the most part the work of a beginner handicapped by unskilled craftsmanship but feeling his way toward a personal form of expression.”
Ok, everyone has to start somewhere…
Later on in chapter 2 they say, “Cézanne’s inability to achieve a consistently high quality of color is usually compensated for by an array of other factors…”
Thank goodness for that!
You may wonder why I am picking up on the negative energy here. I think it has to do with running out of inspiration… Maybe I’m trying to comfort myself by realizing that even very great artists are not always consistently great. I am not comparing my work to that of any great artist. I just want to know that I won’t always be uninspired; I will have better days ahead.
What a build-up to my experiment of the day, no? You might guess that I am not too happy with it.
In today’s watercolor sketch as well as in yesterday’s I was experimenting with geometric solids. I just applied brush to paper with nary a pencil mark laid down in preparation: ‘flying by the seat of my pants’ is an expression that accurately describes my process today. And, like ‘Wrong-Way Corrigan’ I didn’t end up at the destination I thought I would.
No worries. Tomorrow is another day and I have books to read, pictures to look at in hopes that I will come up with something more inspired.
* Barnes, A.C., de Mazia, V. The Art of Cezanne Merion, PA.: The Barnes Foundation Press 1986