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 confined space, there is a 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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