18 April 2020

Morandi and me

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 30 March, 2020, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

This is a curious picture, full of a gentle feeling like when one wears Cashmere. I don't thing about other painters when out working in front of this motif. Myself, yes, I often have the previous day's pictures' still simmering in my head, but other painters? No, never. And I am glad for that. Yet in looking at it now 3 weeks later I am thinking of just how much Giorgio Morandi has infected my artistic sensibilities over these 60 years or so. He was one of the first painters I immediately responded to as a child. My father had lots of Art books and several about Morandi. And I looked with a great fascination at how his small and intimate oil paintings seemed so alive to me. My father was a painter too, but in a halfhearted sort of way. He had lots of talent but also a life which kept him from the discipline of being an artist. He did paint wonderful and life-like portraits all over his bathroom wall (with oil paint) Piero della Francesca, Mantegna, Masaccio, and others. It was wild, and I was amazed that he would do such a thing. But my parents had their own bathrooms.

So, in this picture, done so far away from Bologna, I can see the quiet atmosphere of Morandi. And while his pictures of bottles, cups and jars live in a small protected and confined space, there is an inverse connection to my own, done out in the open sea and big sky. It is through the soft luminosity and sensual touch.

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