Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fantasy Plastic --- Day 4/152

Walk: JCC
Distance: 2 miles and yoga class

Image result for Delta skymiles 50,000 card

Down to the wire. Ciwt is confused.  Should she get a 50,000 mile (2 continental trips) bonus card for her imaginary trips?  Deadline is tonight.*

* Later, just under that wire:  The answer is: ....Yes.  Real Ciwt trips ahead!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Another Long Look -- Day 4/151

Walk: JCCSF, Trader Joe's
Distance: 2 miles and yoga class

The Lake, Petworth sunset, fighting bucks - William Turner
JMW Turner, The Lake, Petworth: Sunset, Fighting Bucks, ca 1829, oil on canvas

         Joseph Mallord William Turner ‘Petworth Park: Tillington Church in the Distance’, c.1828
Detail: JMW Turner, Petworth Park, View of Tillington Church in the Distance, c. 1828, oil on canvas            

Ciwt's mind continues to linger on two of Turner's Petworth Park paintings. She wrote about the bottom one in CIWT 4/149.  It was completed and hung first at Petworth House, and about a year later top one became its permanent replacement.

The detail shows a large empty chair, the master in the distance framed by the setting sun and  his loyal dogs running to greet him.  It is a poignant passage subtly presaging a time when the master won't be there at all and only the peaceful, unconcerned deer and lawns will remain. Above it, in the replacement painting, the master and dogs are gone, replaced by a lively game of cricket,  and the deer are active and virile.

The oils were painted a year apart at the magnificent Sussex estate of his friend and patron, George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont who had offered Turner a studio within Petworth House.  The first was painted as Turner's father's health was failing. James and "Billy" Turner were the closest of friends and companions. They lived together for most of the young son's life and James was Turner's business manager/associate as well mixing paints, stretching canvases, running the private art gallery adjacent to Turner's town house and much more.  The guarded Turner didn't get close to many people, so it is nearly impossible to imagine the sorrow he would have been grappling with at the thought of losing his father.

Ciwt speculates that it is his alone and heavy heart coming to accept the inevitability of his father's end that determined the imagery of the first painting.  (James Turner died in September, 1829)

Ciwt also believes that Petworth would have been the refuge he sought to process his sorrow at the great loss ahead of him - which would leave him alone and bereft.  He had been a welcome guest at Petworth over many years, and, by the time of these paintings Lord Egremont had offered him a studio of his own inside Petworth House as well as a commission to paint four special-sized landscape canvases.  Turner would have welcomed the commission and the opportunity to wander Petworth Park, which he loved to paint.  (Turner painted more than twenty important paintings for Petworth House)

Ciwt can also understand Lord Egremont, a man of conservative tastes, wanting a landscape for his Carved Room done more conventionally and in a happier spirit.  That said, he too was a father-figure to Turner, and probably the artist had noticed his friend aging over the years.  So the sense of loss and mortality in the first painting were likely also related to Turner's sense that the years were ebbing for his beloved and generous patron. In fact, In fact the 3rd Earl of Egremont did die eight years after the second painting, and Turner, followed by other artists walked before his hearse.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Something Begins - Again --- Day 4/150

Walk: Sundance Kabuki, Curbside Cafe
Distance: 2 miles

Yup, Ciwt (who paid no attention to the original event) went because a more sentimental friend wanted to. Actually as it ended up she wouldn't have minded a few more sentimental moments among the procedural and sermonizing ones. And she sort of can't imagine getting involved in the movie if it hadn't happened in her home town where she could track local venues and personages - like all the truly heroic volunteers from here and points east and west.  Toward the middle of the documentary even Batkid himself - who didn't ever appear to be completely connecting to his day - just wanted to stop, go home, rest.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

How Much for No Shadows? --- Day 4/149

Walk: Presidio, Sloat Garden Center, Pier 1
Distance: 4.5 miles and home yoga

Ciwt was asked by an older friend to give input on furnishing an apartment at a retirement community she was considering.  Apparently Ciwt is quite thin-skinned about 'certain topics' because, after spending a few hours in the retirement community, Ciwt was up all night trying to figure out where to place her own pieces of furniture in that apartment. (Memo to self: keep these visits to a minimum).

She also began thinking of Turner's hauntingly poignant sketch for a painting of Petworth Park:

JMW Turner, Petworth Park: Tillington Church in the Distance, @1828 Sketch, o/c,  25 3/x 57 3/8" 

The first study for the painting - shown above - tugs at the viewer's eye and emotions. A solitary figure is silhouetted against the sun as it sinks below the horizon. With its curving composition, long shadows, empty chair on the terrace front left, a distant master whose dogs run to meet him, the whole painting moves inexorably away from the viewer. All this makes for Ciwt one of the most moving paintings she has seen.

It was also one of the most irreverent landscapes of its time, starting with that elliptical structure  continuing onto the recognition of mortality embedded in the work.  This simply was not how acceptable landscapes were to be painted.  Nor was impending mortality the feeling any wealthy patron (in this case Lord Egremont) would have in mind in commissioning paintings of his estate.

Shockingly irreverent enough in fact that the final version - which still hangs at Petworth House Image result for petworth house art collection - omits the empty terrace and is more conventionally painted.  After her day at the retirement apartment, Ciwt is happy for Lord Egremont that the painting he got to live with was more removed and uplifting.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Succulentophobia -- Day 4/148

Walk: Sequoias
Distance: 2.5 miles, home yoga

You know those little things to others that are phobias to you?  Ciwt's father couldn't eat if any of the foods on his plate touched each other. (brumotactillophobia) Her best friend growing up was terrified of all spiders. (arachnophobia) For Ciwt it is rats (musophobia) and, in a milder form, succulents.  Yes, those drought resistant favorites of many which are becoming more and more prevalent as the rains continue to determine our plantings.

Ciwt  sometimes comes home and looks out the window to find that Andy, the gardener, has planted yet more succulents.  Through the glass she sees they start singular, small and unhealthy looking. .  Good!  Ciwt waits for them to die their natural deaths.  But, instead, they get bigger and   heavier and start sprawling out over the edge of the planter box and lumbering across the roof, growing and growing.

It gives Ciwt the creeps.

There is also the problem with the waxy, smooth surface.  It causes Ciwt the same nauseated visceral response as those glossily, slithery Dali paintings do .*

So today she asked the young man who is repairing her deck to take away one of the largest succulents. She feared he would be judgmental, but he was delighted because he and his wife love succulents. AND, turns out, all you have to do is stick them in dirt and they will begin regenerating themselves. (Gawd! But they are happy).  So, it was a win-win.  The succulents (a few at least) are all cut, packed up and ready for a burgeoning new life - Elsewhere!  

*Salvador Dali, Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man, 1943, 18 x 20 1/2", oil on canvas

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Drive! --- Day 4/147

Walk: Union Square, Corte Madera,Trader Joe's, California Shell
Distance: 6 blocks +/-, the rest in Ciwt's car 

Thursday is driving day when Ciwt travels distances, buys heavy things, and today got the ever-traumatic-to-her haircut (hair 'dust' actually, not much taken off at all, but still....).   Now, she finds herself a bit faded, er...out of gas Image result for out of gas.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sick Dope --- Day 4/146

Walk: Sundance Kabuki
Distance: 2 miles, home yoga


Ciwt says Dope is very dope if you want the dope about dealing dope - the 'smart' way.  If not, don't be a dope; you know, skip it!  Ciwt liked it okay: smart, unconventional, some good acting but a little over-long.  Know what she means?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Early and Late, Momentous and Intimate -- Day 4/145

Walk:  Van Ness and de Young Museum
Distance: 5.5 miles

So, yes, of course Ciwt got herself to the Turner show* (see previous CIWT) almost immediately after it opened and very late in the day where she hoped to have it mostly to herself.  With those moody skies of his, it feels so appropriate to commune with him at a time when the natural world is immersed in either sunrise or sunset.

Of course there was much to think about and probably more later on JMW Turner by Ciwt.  But today she enjoyed just seeing what spoke to her.  And it was the details.  You just know Turner knew the devil was there.  Along with the sweeping epics, historical and mythological.  The play between them, which Ciwt felt was also a play in Turner's mind.

A highly intelligent man, Turner was truly attracted to history (particularly English history), the grand, the dramatic.  He knew his famous sayings and often displayed them next to his paintings.   And of course he also knew history paintings had classically been considered the highest form of fine art and commanded the most prestigious following, reviews, conversations and dear prices.

But Turner was also a romantic who loved his long walks in nature.  Who loved the sea, the hills, the animals, the entire landscape beauty which surrounded him (but was not - yet - considered admirable subject matter).

So what Ciwt enjoyed today were the little, intimate, natural details that so humanize even his most monumentally epic paintings.

Like the tree  so prominent in  this mythological painting.  Or the goats   
in small front corners of larger canvases.  And then there was that snake 
and the expressive sails  .

No matter how enormous the subject matter and scene, Ciwt always felt personally involved because of these touching, real life images that spoke to her and also spoke of Turner's love of nature and the the dignified intimate.

*JMW Turner: Painting Set Free  June 20 - September 20, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015

Paintings Set Too Free --- Day 4/144

Walk: Monday Errands
Distance: 3 miles and home yoga

J.M.W. Turner, The Storm

Ciwt is torn about going to the current de Young Turner exhibit, J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free. Perhaps by writing out loud about her doubts, she will be set free. 

She has loved Turner's art since first setting eyes on it (rather its images in History of Art classes and books), and she went to last year's Mike Leigh movie on him numerous times*.  (And would go again if it ever comes round the theaters;  no good seeing it on the small screen, too much would be lost).

Why she is torn concerns Turner's will, his last wishes.  It is a complex document but Very Specific on (among others) the point that all of his finished** paintings were to go to England.  They were to be kept and displayed "constantly" together in a Turner Museum to be built with the monies from his huge estate.  Until the new museum was built, the finished paintings were to remain in his home studio/gallery.

Simple enough: new museum, all together, - not some at the Tate, some in mothballs at the National Gallery, some here, some there.  And certainly none abroad.  After the Turner Museum was built, his testamentary wish was that the remaining monies would go to support what he termed "decayed artists." And for those needy artists he planned and designed an almshouse with a gallery for some of his 'unfinished' works.

None of this came to pass. England ignored, or let be violated by haphazard, irresponsible execution and/or by submission to greedy (and improper) relatives, and it took the all the artwork - prints, watercolors, drawings, sketches - not just the finished paintings.  That museum was never built, nor the almshouse, the cash in the estate was given up by the executors.  On and on, all betrayal. It is a sad and cautionary tale, particularly for the impecunious artists who would have sorely needed the help he intended.

So, obviously Ciwt hesitates to go to a show based on the betrayals and also benefits U.S. museums instead of the "decayed artists" Turner had in his mind and heart.

On the other hand, Turner died in 1851, over 150 years ago.  Ciwt's going or not going to the present show, will have no effect whatsoever.  And who knows what would have become of that almshouse if it had been built?  Also, Ciwt can think of artists who left their works with slightly similar stipulations, and the museums in question have had to devote much precious space, time, upkeep to art which may be of little regard.  So, artist's wills can be problematic, like any legacy left with strong strings attached.

So, now Ciwt will 'sleep on it'  ---  and most likely attend the show.  Stay tuned...

*  See CIWT 3/340, 343, 346, 349, 351
**The designation was his, and apparently very important to Turner as he always used the adjective "finished" when referring to the paintings to be left to England - and he left his studio with paintings  leaning in stacks according to what was and wan't finished.  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Dances with Batman --- Day 4/143

Walk: Embarcadero Cinema
Distance: 3 miles

The Wolfpack

Ciwt is just back from the documentary above.  Strange, upsetting, appalling,   .  But riveting much because of the subject matter - seven children essentially jailed by their parents in their lower east side apartment until they gradually escape into the real world.  Up to that point they live much like (literate) wolves - fed  but doing as they please.  Interestingly, what pleases these six brothers (and one probably retarded sister) is mostly violent U.S. movies (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Batman...the list includes 5,000 - 6,000 titles).  They type and memorize entire scripts, make costumes and props with found objects, and act out and film the movies, with seriousness, integrity and all honor to each movie.

But the documentary is also riveting because the director has edited it in such a way that the audience is basically as trapped as the family.  Things happen randomly, there is no chronology, no questions are answered (like how could this have happened?  why doesn't it stop or get stopped?  who is paying (me?) for the constant food, clothes, housing when the father has never had a job/'doesn't believe in work and the mother's sole profession is home-schooler for her children, and many, many more).  It's upsetting, it's too much, it's random, disturbing to say the least. You want to get away, impose some sense or order -  But You Can't; you're at the mercy of the controlling filmmaker.

Is The Wolfpack recommended by Ciwt?  Probably not except for (die-hard) movie buffs.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Nothing Just Now, Please --- Day 4/142

Walk: No, that Wind again
Distance: 0, medium home yoga

Ciwt sometimes finds it challenging to allow herself that empty space she's created by giving up teaching yoga.  People, students, yoga friends are in touch.  They are good, yoga is good, the studio where she taught is good,  but for an undetermined length of time she needs to be away from them, to listen to silence, find new bearings.  It is difficult but essential to say "no" for a while.

A few thoughts about empty space from around the net:

- Your inner wisdom needs silence and space to feel safe enough to come out of hiding. 

- Another woman decided to leave a work position that she found unfulfilling and unstimulating. She wanted to take a sabbatical period to rest and reflect on what she might actually want to do. She found it very difficult and even awkward, as at first she was doing "a whole lot of nothing".  When people asked her how she was spending her time she felt embarrassed that she didn't have an impressive answer.
- One of the easiest and most effective ways to effortlessly attract something new into your life is to create some empty space....All clutter represents stuck energy. 
Image result for empty space in your life
- Slow down so what you want can catch you.
Say no, thank you today so you can say yes tomorrow.
Make space for what you want to show up.
- Let go of the things that no longer serve you - so the essential you can show up.
Image result for empty space in your life

Friday, June 19, 2015

Name Dropping and Being Dropped --- Day 4/141

Walk: Sloat Garden Center
Distance: 3 miles and 2 small home yoga

President Barack Obama speaks to a mayor's conference in San Francisco, California, on Friday, June 19, 2015.

President Obama has deserted Ciwt's 'hood.  She learned this walking home from Sloat Garden Center (stay tuned) during which she heard helicopters overhead at intervals.  Too many and too close for TV traffic reports, what was up?  Then she came around a usually quiet corner and saw a long line of stalled traffic. Wha?  Turning toward California Street she saw a cavalcade of flashing lights and then a large,shiny black motorized 'box' zip around the corner just ahead.  The President!! of course. Ciwt knew because she is no stranger to Presidential motorcades* - and because anyone with the least intelligence would recognize one: flashing lights, motorcycles galore, every conceivable silent black automobile (vans, stationwagons, coupes), and the electricity in the air.  It's Fun!  "Obama just drove by!" a smiling stranger told me.  And a father walked by with his small son explaining what a president is - actually it sounded like he was telling him about our entire political system so I imagine the son was completely checked out.

Probably headed out to Sea Cliff Ciwt surmises....  Now she's home and  helicopters are again overhead, so maybe he is on his way to another event - near here.  Maybe he hasn't abandoned Ciwt's 'hood after all!!

* See CIWT Days 41, 2/88, 2/123
PS  On the other hand, Hillary Clinton might be just down the block.  Shhhh...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bonnie Fair Isle --- Day 4/140

Walk: A little
Distance: 6 blocks and home yoga

Ciwt's downstairs neighbors brought her a scarf from their vacation home in Northern Scotland.  When she saw its lovely soft colors and felt its hand she was also struck by the sense of Scandinavia this Scottish scarf imparted.  So, off to research went Ciwt.

The scarf is from Fair Isle, knitted in the Fair Isle technique.  Fair Isle is a tiny island north of Scotland where the Atlantic meets the North Sea and where there would have been a combination of isolation and trade routes.  Because of the former, the intricate techniques and patterns were allowed to be perfected over many generations.  And because of the latter, Fair Isle knitwear gained exposure and popularity far beyond the tiny jewel of an island.

The history of the Fair Isle patterns are either intentionally secret or just unknown.  But to Ciwt it stands to reason that with the northern parts of seafaring Scandinavia being so close to Scotland, and Scandinavia in turn being so close by sea to European Asia (Russia), there must have been much merger of design patterns among all those countries.  There is a also a rather romantic myth that a Spanish Armada ship, the El Gran Grifon, which was shipwrecked on Fair Isle contained Moorish patterned textiles, and the women of Fair Isle set about developing techniques for making these patterns their own. Whether Spanish or Baltic or some other region, it seems highly likely that a piece of patterned knitting was bartered into the isle from a passing ship in return for fresh food and water. And equally likely that the Isle women were already skillful producers of plain knitting and capable of eventually developing the patterns into a unique form of two-handed knitting.

When she realized her new scarf was Fair Isle knitwear, Ciwt was a bit surprised she hadn't known right away from memories of prep school days.  But, that mystery was soon solved:  The term 'Fair Isle Knitting' has come to be generic and is used worldwide to denote any form of multicolored knitwear.  However Ciwt's authentic Fair Isle scarf has its own distinct presence - so rich, thick and soft it stands completely apart from its imitators.  Fair Isle Knitting is truly and recognizably an art form.*

*For those knitters of you interested in learning the technique, go to  https://www.philosopherswool.com/Pages/Twohandedvideo.htm

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Deep South with the Author --- Day 4/139

Walk: Van Ness, Laurel
Distance: 4.2 miles, home yoga

Image result for west with the night

Ciwt finally got around to opening Beryl Markham's West with the Night, and she was quite blown away by the strength of the writing.  Powerful, confident, a bit masculine, gorgeously descriptive, wise, knowing.  Shockingly lyrical and beautiful - especially for a girl raised in Africa from age four who attended at most  three years of school (which she detested) , spent her motherless (she returned to England almost immediately) childhood freely playing and hunting in the bush with the native African boys on her father's (failed) plantation, riding and training horses.

Then Ciwt came to the following description of her father's horse, Balmy: She lived and won races some time before the Noel Coward jargon became commonplace, but, had she made her debut on Park Avenue in the middle thirties instead of on the race-course at Nairobi in the middle twenties she would have been counted as one of those intellectually irresponsible individuals always referred to as being 'delightfully mad.'

Huh?  Pretty urbane and New York sophisticated stuff for a wildly self-centered, essentially illiterate Kenyan girl.  The description continues along these Thin Man lines: No well-brought-up filly, for instance, while being exercised before the critical watchfulness of her owner, her trainer and a half-dozen members of the Jockey Club..Again, huh? Why would this free-spirited, brazen, iconoclastic bush pilot be referring so knowingly to that venerable New York institution?

It began not computing for Ciwt: Markham's character (she was internationally known to be beyond unpleasant, she stole short stories (and a few silk shirts) from an African writer for whom she did typing and tried to pass them off as her own, her feats of superb horse training may have been due to her use of drugs - just for openers); her disdain for classic education and book learning in the face of the patience, dedication and discipline necessary to craft an excellent book, her restlessness and relentless activity (she was the firs to solo across the Atlantic against the prevailing winds).

What did compute for Ciwt was that Beryl Markham was not the author of 'her' book.  With a bit more research, she learned there are many who agree with Ciwt and the authorship of West with the Night is highly controversial.  Strong, lyrical, sophisticated, a romantic portrait of a virtually mythical Kenya created and promoted by the small cadre of Northern European white settlers.  A beautifully told book, a deservedly admired, recommended and beloved classic, but - Ciwt now believes - most likely not written by Beryl MarkhamImage result for west with the night

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Game's the Thing --- Day 4/138

Walk: Not really
Distance: around, up and down, 2 home yoga practices

      Steph Curry                                  LeBron James

Seven minutes until the 6th game of the NBA finals begins.  When your team is in any finals, it changes the whole temper and tempo of going around town.  Ciwt in San Francisco finds herself talking with total strangers at check out counters or on the streets or just about every where. Everyone is engaged - even those like Ciwt who has not until a couple of weeks ago followed basketball. Grandkids are reporting their grandparents are getting into it for the first time, and hockey kids are finally joining their basketball Dads in front of the TV.

Engagement in these games is made easier by two telegenic, personable, Fabulous players, Steph Curry and LeBron James.  Curry is graceful, lithe, tricky with the dribbling and James is so off-the-charts great there is strong conversation about him being MVP of the finals even if his team loses. That has happened exactly once in the history of the NBA.

OK, Ciwt is off to watch.  She can hear her readers thinking "Whew, Ciwt, what a basketball bore you've become!"

Monday, June 15, 2015

_ _ _ GO --- Day 4/137

Walk:  Laurel Village/Trader Joe's loop
Distance: 2.5 miles and home yoga

Image result for time management

Ciwt feels like she's beginning to get the hang of managing her life after yoga teaching.

Then again, we'll see....

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Uninhabited Sculpture --- Day 4/136

Walk: Open House
Distance: 6 blocks and home yoga

Ciwt finds it relaxing to look across the undemanding vistas out of some of her windows.  Like traveling to ancient ruins or European rooftops while staying at home.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

I Don't Know, Angie - You Decide --- Day 4/135

Walk: Sundance Kabuki (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), Clay Street Open House, T. Joe's
Distance: 3.5 miles

Ciwt wanted to get with all the sentiment being thrown at her; she really, really did.  How could she not?  It won the Grand Jury Award and the Audience Appreciation Prize this year at Sundance. It's Totally cute adolescents in adult jams are doing the best they can along with the hip/deep/absolutely loving parents.  What's not to like? (Besides the title).

Well, hopefully you'll see for yourself  because Ciwt also recommends going to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl; the casting and acting are spot on, and certain parts are cosmic and sneak by even the most 'not buying it' viewer.  It's quite/very good, but also full of itself and therefore for Ciwt not as good as it thinks it is. But Ciwt isn't an adolescent who might think the movie is the new Love Story, Catcher in the Rye, 400 Blows.  On the other hand, there were five people in the Ciwt's theater and a throng of younger people going to Jurassic World and Mad Max: Fury Road.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Strotz Art --- Day 4/134

Walk: Rock Ridge, Presidio El Polin Springs loop
Distance: 3.5 miles, small yoga


My intelligent and thoughtful artist friend, Lorna Strotz, has an easy way of bringing out the lush vibrancy in deep, rich colors. Difficult for Ciwt to capture with a camera but both soothing and intriguing in person; a rare and unusual combination.  

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Crisis of Creation --- Day 4/133

Walk: Fillmore 
Distance: 2 miles and small yoga

Andre Derain, Portrait of Matisse, 1905, ca 36 x 21in, o/c

Of the three portraits Derain painted of Matisse 'that' summer when the two artists opened the floodgates of Fauvism the least known (or regarded) one above comes closest to capturing the nearly diabolical turmoil Matisse was enduring.  Almost immediately after - significantly - coming alone through the difficult mountain pass into Collioure and being bombarded for the first time with that light saturated stretch of the Barbary Coast where France is the closest to Africa, Matisse started to paint in intense emotional color according to his feelings.  And as his exterior world expanded, exploded really, his interior world nearly collapsed.  As his paint brush took on the unstoppable power of dynamite sticks in his hands, the painter, so prudent and orderly people called him "The Doctor," imploded into vertigo, insomnia, desperation and panic.

Why?  Hilary Spurling, supreme biographer of Matisse,  comes closest to explaining the chaos of true creation: It is not easy to understand today how paintings of light, colour, mediated through scenes of simple seaside domesticity...could have seemed at the time, both to their perpetrator and to his public, an assault that threatened to undermine civilization as they knew it.  ..Matisse was not simply discarding perspective, abolishing shadows, repudiating the academic distinction between line and colour.  He was attempting to overturn a way of seeing evolved and accepted by the Western world for centuries, going back to painters like Michelangelo and Leonardo and before them to the Greek and Roman masters of antiquity. (italics Ciwt's)

How unrelentingly terrifying!  And rightly so:  within months of the summer of 1905, as a consequence of the Salon d'Automne where his Woman with a Hat was the scourge of the show, he was burned in effigy in Chicago.  This as just a single example of the vicious, censorious outrage of the public.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Other Hats....Day 4/132

Walk: Van Ness, T. Joe's
Distance: 3.8 miles and home yoga

Succession H. Matisse/BilledKunst Copydan 2012. Henri Matisse, Portrait of Madame Matisse. The Green Line, 1905.
Henri Matisse, Portrait of Madame Matisse, the Green Line, 1903, o/c

Several depictions of Matisse's wife, Amelie, are some his most famous paintings - masterpieces of 20th century portraiture as well as highly controversial for their utterly unorthodox uses of color and simple geometric structures.

Henri Matisse, Woman with a Hat, 1905, 31 x 24 in, oil on canvas

To say one of those portraits, Woman with a Hat,  was an outrage at its first appearance in the 1905 Paris Salon d'Automne would be as wild an understatement as the painting was simply wild.  At least in the eyes of the Parisians who criticized it as a 'wild beast' (or fauve) and came to the salon specifically to laugh, point, even spit and claw at it.

Matisse on the other hand was pleased with the painting, feeling he had truly begun to set color and form free and express himself more accurately.  He also was modestly proud that he had captured Amelie's courage, will and exacting faith in her husband, the painter.  The Matisses were truly active, hard-working collaborators in his career and art - even though Amelie seemed very demure in public.
To Ciwt this revelation of Amelie's spirit and Henri's eagerness to put in in front of the public makes a portrait just eight years later all the more sad.  Here it is: Portrait of Mme. Matisse  - Henri Matisse
                                                                                              Henri Matisse, Portrait of Mme. Matisse, 1913
It says it all - at least as Henri had come to see Amelie, her vibrant physical presence and spirit had diminished along with his feelings and the partnership/relationship.  It is said Amelie wept when she saw the portrait.  The couple stayed together for another quarter of a century, but, within twelve months, he never painted her again.

(Perhaps more on all this another day...Here again are the two portraits of an artistic marriage).

 Image result for madame matisse 1913       Image result for madame matisse 1913