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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Humming in front of Lucas

I waited until the room was cleared of school groups to step close and study the young maiden.

Proximity to a rarely, if ever, seen private collector's jewel-like painting by Cranach, another of my family's artists, inspired my father, step-mother and I to make a pilgrimage to the Clark Museum in Williamstown, Massachussetts, yesterday. We had glorious weather, enjoyed talkative docents and guards, and read every label we could find, including a special exhibition tour of Durer apocolyptic woodcuts and the room of my favorite Winslow Homer's paintings.

Standing in front of the Lucas Cranach painting, I startled myself with the realization that my visual experience had moved me to emit soft humming exhalations. Looking at her lines, I smiled over the exxageration and the seriousness of the marks. The necklace looks like the pasta links my boys graced my early madonnas in, and the sleeve has Dr. Suess-ical fabric splits, featuring highlights that speak to the joy I too find in looking and painting. But what really got to me was the similarity in the focus of specific details that makes both me and Lucas loose the overall continuity of an area- like the fabric folds... there at the bottom was a detail that must have been fun to paint, must have existed, but somehow lays disconnected to the remaining folds. I don't want to come out and say that I paint like Lucas- but he sure paints like me!
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