Opening the New Year and Avoiding the Measuring Worm

Back Home, and Ready to Work Again

Back Home, and Ready to Work Again

He comes over from London and he sees a good picture and takes a pencil out of his pocket and you watch him measuring it on the pencil with his thumb.  Sighting on it and measuring it and seeing exactly how it is done.  Then he goes back to London and does it and it doesn’t come out right.  He’s missed what it’s all about.

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

The words posted above are Hemingway’s recollection of Gertrude Stein’s description of the painter Wyndham Lewis.  She always referred to him as “the measuring worm” because he seemed to believe that art could be quantified by the correct arrangement of techniques.  From her perspective, Lewis was always assessing other painters’ works in terms of design elements, beleiving that if he copied those elements he would create the same quality of paintings.

These words have remained at the forefront of my thoughts during the past couple of weeks as I have enjoyed the holiday season.  My travels took me to Austin, Texas, across Oklahoma, and all over Missouri.  Returning home briefly I then took another New Year holiday to east Texas, enjoying the company of the best of friends.  All the while, I thought about art, worked in my sketchbook and journal, read many texts, and continued pondering the magic of Art.  After this respite, I feel that I am no closer to describing what takes a work of art to the sublime heights of Art.  And I am no longer confident that I will ever reach that summit where I could speak clearly about the essence of Art any more than I could describe the essence of Religion.  But I love the endeavor, and this evening, finally enjoying the quiet of my own home and listening to the music of Anita Baker, I took out this watercolor sketch begun a few days ago in Missouri and tried to push it a little further.  Bending over the wet surface and watching the reds, greens and yellows floating in the layers of water, I got excited all over again, watching the pigments emerge into the semblance of an image of fresh apples.  Yes, the composition is quite small, but very intoxicating to me tonight.

I’m ready to lay this aside and return to reading texts from Hemingway, Wilder and Henri.  I feel the stirring of muses and hope I can put some things into my journal that will breathe new life into my art endeavors.

Thanks always for reading.  I have so much I would love to share about this recent holiday vacation.  I’ve been in remote areas where I could not access Internet, but time away from the blog has helped recharge my batteries.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am never alone.

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One Response to “Opening the New Year and Avoiding the Measuring Worm”

  1. archiabyssniya Says:

    Reblogged this on archiabyssniya.


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