Saturday, June 3, 2017

Madame Renoir, Josh Donaldson and Multi-tasking Leisure.

I took this at the Musee D'Orsay last year this time. I like to photograph people looking at art who look like the art.

Can you multi-task leisure activities. I think you can.

Yesterday, I watched the Toronto Blue Jays play the Yankees on television, in my downstairs family room. At the same time,  I perused the first chapter of a coffee table book on the Impressionists.

I've read a number of books about the Impressionists over the years, but I have never read this giant tome, given to me as a gift many years ago.

The book, filled with beautiful plates, bien sur, was first published in 2006. It has a glaring typo in the first paragraph, arists for artists. Oh, my.

It has a picture of Renoir's wife on the first page, the first plate. In the family room, as it happens, I have the same picture up on the wall behind the T.V.

The picture on the wall is mostly blue, the real deal is awash with colour. Hmm. I hadn't realized my print was so faded.

Anyway, as Josh Donaldson, who is something of a work of art himself, hit two home runs, I read about the roots of Impressionism, Manet and Ingres, all stuff I once knew but have forgotten.

One of my favorite all-time reads is the bio of Auguste Renoir by his son, Jean. It's a classic. I recall him saying that the Impressionist movement came about because of chemistry, the availability of more colourful paints.

The book I read last night left that point out. Impressionism is about personal expression, art for art's sake, individuality, social democracy, etc.etc.

The paintings are pretty to look at, too.

I've liked baseball since always, well, since the Expos, and pretty pictures, too.

Just like Auguste Renoir, the new technologies have changed my way of doing thing. I put the game on pause and walk in and out of the room, then scroll to see if the Jays have scored, then go back to see how they scored.

It's not a purists way of watching the grand ole game and a real fan might make fun of me, but then Monet and Manet et al had to fight for their way of seeing as well.

OK. So someone else had done a similar picture with a Classical theme and that was deemed OK? Most women on walls in museums are naked, it has been said. Yesterday's porno is today's art.

Besides, by doing that I can concentrate on two or three very different things at once. (Is that a contradiction in terms?)

I can go upstairs for a refresher cup of coffee or to give the dogs a snack without missing anything.

Yesterday, as I passed back and forth from my place on the family room couch, between strike-outs and striking landscapes, I noticed the flower boxes I have put in the window, with more joy than usual.

Similarly to athletics, you have to 'flex your visual muscles' to get them going, it seems.  The world outside my window, which I usually find so boring, 'the deadburbs' as I often refer to them, seemed so beautiful last evening!

I live in a spot on Earth that the Impressionists might have liked to paint - and one with an appropriate name, Vaudreuil Soulanges.

I'm not sure about the quality of light in our area. The one time I noticed it, it was during a very rare tornado threat. The light was purple.

Anyway, this year we're not getting enough light. It's been a dismal, wet spring. I guess that's why I felt a need, after all these years, to open that coffee table book and take a peek.

The Impressionists would have painted baseball, no doubt, had they the game. They painted horse racing, ballet, tennis.

 Baseball was the ultimate democratic sport: 100 years ago, baseball parks had seats available at all prices.

These days, well, not so much.

Kevin Pillar taken by me last July or August..The Jays lost to Baltimore that evening. 80.00 tickets.

Buck Martinez, the announcer for the Jays, mentioned that the Blue Jays were the only American League team to have reached 1,000,000 in attendance this year, and that despite a terrible start to the season. Lots of money in Toronto.

Apparently, Monet and Degas have Normandy roots, so last night, I contemplated something brand new.

I wondered if I share DNA with any of these masters - and if that's a good thing :)

 I probably do.  I am half French Canadian.

While Osuna was closing it out, I added one other activity to my evening's reperatoire. Prompted by a mention in the first chapter of the  art book, I downloaded the first chapter of Emile Zola's Oeuvre on

It is beautifully read by a woman calling herself "Pomme."

I had listened to the same story before, but I didn't remember this first chapter, where the Cezanne character takes in a lost girl for a night.

Kind of porno-y, the passages where Zola is describing the sleeping girl. Naturalistic porn :) Of course, a lot of Fine Art is actually porno from the past.

Nothing wrong with the view from my window. I'd just rather be in Provence.