Saturday, July 16, 2011
I thought a little this morning about why we make pictures. At best, they are objects of beauty, which is enough. If we make photographs or representational art, we make pictures OF things. To be objects of beauty, but also to capture a moment, a place, a face, to make an object out of a vision.
I thought about this because when I go out to paint, I try to choose my subject based on how it looks rather than what it is. I may not be a super good painter, but I am a serious painter. I value all the good art advice I've received, and try to follow it. I don't see myself as a sentimental painter, even if I sometimes do make pictures of beloved companion animals.
My painting location this morning included a view of my old veterinarian's office. El Centro Small Animal Clinic, the office of Dr. Pio Rimando. Dr. Rimando was there when I moved to town. The household I joined already had a cat who was a patient of Dr. Rimando's, so I brought my cat to him as well. Dr. Rimando and his wife ran a small, happy, busy office. The prices were reasonable; dogs and cats got shots and stitches. There wasn't even a x-ray machine. There was something so extraordinarily beautiful in the quiet gentle matter-of-fact way Dr. Rimando handled the animals. Mrs. Rimando planted beautiful flowers outside the office. You'd always see them out walking dogs who were boarding and watering the flowers. Dr. Rimando got older, and sometimes the office was closed for weeks because he was ill. He started keeping much shorter hours. Eventually, reluctantly, he put the property up for sale. Now there's a notice of zoning change up in the window. Somebody wants to tear down the building and put up a two-story office or live-work building. Another one. It will be nice to remember when it looked like this.
I did put in some time before I painted it to see it as a picture - the diagonal and convergent lines and the blasts of red.
Across the street was a reminder to stop and smell the roses.