lines that remember


If I had but known the memories brought back by incidental things like this drawing of my mother’s sofa, I would have drawn every item of my parents’ belongings.  When events are actually transpiring and you live inside the moment you never realize how quickly time passes and how changed the world will become.  These are morning thoughts remembered in the afternoon.

That sofa was the scene of so much talk and laughter.

the motif chronicles

bouquet with owl etc version

I started the idea of the flowers against the window about two years ago.  I recall at the time that I linked several posts to each other hoping to retrieve and to remember where all the related materials were.  But right now I cannot find any of the linked posts.

I’m giving myself a few links to related posts now, things I found via an image search.  I’ll post those below.  Maybe I’ll find some of the others eventually.  In any case, I track my progress on the painting and record thoughts and problems in the blog as a helpful diary so that I can consult my own earlier opinions whenever I get stumped.  In the previous post I remarked on the consistency of light as a potential problem, now I’m wondering about the angle of vision.  Since there’s no actual still life, I have to figure out where I am imaginatively standing inside the imaginary room — which I suppose, if I must pin it down, is the Villa Castellamare that Bonnard rented where he painted his scene, the one that I love so much.

I’m trying to live there “rent free” as the saying goes ….


I don’t expect anybody to follow the links.  I put them here as part of my own filing, but if curiosity strikes … well, whatever.  Here are links.


I’ve decided to add the frog teapot to the picture, a previous drawing of it is here:

Here’s one of Bonnard’s drawings for his painting


Unrelated, but this landscape drawing indicates how a plane can lie flat and stretch out.  The table in the picture needs to recede flatly in this manner and reminds one of the links between landscape and still life.


more notes to self/early stages

The color contrast in the photograph


of this watercolor in its initial stage brings a violet into the picture that isn’t actually there. I wonder if I shouldn’t put violet into the wall of actual painting. Wouldn’t violet be better, and probably truer, to the light effects at dusk? Since the room’s interior is lit with warm yellow light, it’s hard to say what would be going on around the edges of the window, whether those passages would be yellow or violet, warm or cool.

There have been a bunch of things that I’m aware I need to solve. The falling off of the table was a question from the outset, when the still life was actually assembled. I was seeing the motif from two different angles. Now I’m trying to figure out how to split the difference.  The pattern of the cloth logically follows that decision. And how is it to look down at the cloth as it falls away when the painting is hanging on the wall?

101_8767 (2)

I was also just now wondering if the painting could reflect, could be about, a state of innocence. That possibility immediately brought to mind Fra Angelico’s San Marco frescoes. But I was also just thinking about the parlor of elderly woman whose home I visited thirty years ago, the woman who lived across the street from the church. The loveliness of that room was a microcosm of a whole civilization.

It’s such a beautiful day outside. The cool weather comes inside through the open windows, giving the rooms an oceanic feeling. We could be on a great ship sailing toward some magical place. The slow pace of life, awareness of the weather outdoors, shifts of light, movement in the leaves, interior and exterior meeting at the window are all qualities I want to materialize in this still life.

The flowers on the table. The flowers patterned on the cloth. The space that extends outdoors with the tree that’s visible on the other side of the glass, and also the reflections on the glass that are like a crystalline barrier. The panes of glass at the hour were reflecting the images of things inside the room. There were so many intersections of images meeting at the window panes.

An earlier version:

flowers window

Make yourself comfortable

Art is something that embraces the whole of life.  It’s so hard to define because it’s so big and varied.  Still we learn by attempting to make distinctions and definitions, taking them as paths to discover where they lead.  I hope that readers are enjoying this blog.  I’m having so much fun writing it, and I am continually trying to extend its range.

Meanwhile, I invite everyone to share their ideas and insights through comments.  Or through questions.  If anyone has a question about the topics discussed here, please let me know.

Peruse some of the earlier posts, too.  There might be topics farther back that will interest you!  I want the blog to be like a comfy couch where people can relax and read, look and muse.

[Drawing of a dark blue couch, by Aletha Kuschan]

Lady in an Interior

Good manners can bring moments of stiffness, yet it’s a wise alternative to war.  If nations could conduct themselves with the dignity of civil people who don’t like each other, certainly we would all be much better off.

And afterwards, even in surroundings that made one uneasy, one can still find memories of something that was fine or noble.  The tea things on the table, the beautiful lush design of the chair, the attire of one who sits stiffly, all have a dignity and calm that bespeaks something wonderful and self-managing.

[Top of the post:  A Woman in an Interior, by Aletha Kuschan, oil on panel]