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Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Art of Patience


This beautiful creature sat with me on my favourite sofa one day last summer. We both basked in the sun. In fact, he (she?) was truly patient, and waited around while I dived upstairs for my camera, and took one or two photographs. Then s/he sat around some more, until one of the cats came, and decided to investigate. Discretion being the better part of valour, s/he flew off, out into the day.

Sometimes, there are moments when all you can do is sit with something or someone, and be patient. I spent a lot of time sitting with paintings, my own, both in process and finished, and with other people's work, usually in museums or galleries. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly people drift through art galleries, giving scant attention to each picture, occasionally pausing in front of something they find interesting. I have been known to sit for an hour with a favourite painting, or just with something that appealed. After about twenty minutes, I find my attention waning, but I know that if I wait just a bit longer, there will be even more to see in that picture. I make notes, too, mostly about how the painting feels to me, about what I might make, myself, in the future. Or just whatever comes to mind. I haven't done that in a while. Maybe it's time to do it again.

4 comments:

Valeri said...

What a thought provoking post. And how true. I remember as an art student going up to London to look at the galleries and spending hours, almost days in front of various paintings that appealed to me and yet now I waltz past things barely taking in the details, not really knowing whether I like them or not, whether they speak to me or not and all because of the God Time! I must get back into the wonderment and awe that I had as a student and open up to visions and let time go hang occasionally. Thank you for the heavy nudge!

arashi said...

The Dallas Museum, a prominent fine artr museum in the US, sets its arts do that it its iuf to have esdeeef ojjjm of their ole ones. we get rminders not to stand in frontg o any one item too ong and thee is now plade to just sit and look at a wok. The fort Worh Museum of Modn Art is quite different. We ae lucky that the Anselm Kiefer exhibit is in Ft Worth.

Lynn said...

A perfect post for a Sunday, my more contemplative and less rush-about day of the week. The Buddhists have a phrase "cultivate patience" which is one I frequently must remind myself about. It takes time to make the transition from the whiz-bang life of a big American city to village life. My husband and I both have remarked to each other how just a trip to the butcher's can take half an hour because you must wait while the butcher blethers with the customers in front of you, and then when it's your turn, he must blether with you too. We feel the urge inside us to start backing toward the door even as he speaks, while our hearts tell us to "cultivate patience" and really experience this extraordinary (for us) connection with another ordinary mortal.

Thank you Marion for the reminder, particularly as it pertains to the observation of art and the life around us. Blessings on your head.

Omega said...

Your interesting post prompted too long a response, so I've put it in a post of my own.