January 9, 2012
Lumens Borealis

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Recalled to Life – Reflection and Reminiscence

With one key element of impressionism being that of concentrating upon a general impression produced by a scene or object, my mother was attracted to the beauty of this style of painting most certainly because with flowers and humans the style strove to capture a resonant moment in its use of primal colour and miniscule strokes, all in a painting style that worked to simulate reflected light.

In the prints of impressionist painters, my mother was attracted primarily to Claude Monet and some works of Auguste Renoir; subtlely as she collected and displayed these works she pointed to the core message of still life – that beauty has duration; living beauty resonates for a time, then diminishes and is no more. And, this theme carries over to her love of flowers – my mother was happy and most at home among her flowers, nurturing and pruning flowers and entertaining others among her gardens’ flowers.

Most, if not all prints she adorned her home with had flowers as their subject; and, I wonder, on the one hand, if these were winter purchases (in remembrance of the beauty of flowers) or as years went on if she used such prints to express life’s stages as parallel to where she and Dad were in the older ages of their life development. Among all her prints, one is a still life of a flower that still retains beauty but is beginning to wilt; the flower, a cut stem, resides in a glass vase filled with water. It is not a picture that one would readily display upon a wall because there’s an awkwardness of the beauty diminishing that disturbs. The flower requires grace to see it through its disturbing diminishment.  Mom was teaching about Life with these prints, quite subtlely.

What is ingenious in this print is the play of light reflected within the glass vase. The connection to the photographs I present here is somewhat adjacent; the light reflected in the glass vase got me started on the play of light reflected on and moving within glass and I have photographed candlelight among glass.

Listening to The Valley by Sarah Masen, a reference to Psalm 23 (a psalm of David and place of solace for my grandfather).

Quote to Inspire – “Technique is to me merely a language and as I see life more and more clearly, growing older, I have but one intention, to make my language as clear and simple and sincere as humanly possible.” ~ Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

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