Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Artnotes:  The Time Machine
'Was it any surprise my first book out of the library after vacation was “The Time Machine” by H.G.Wells? Blair and I just spent a month in the US visiting our families. There is something about being back in the “old country” that confounds and frustrates. Maybe it is because we are in the process of easing transitions for the old folks: from independent living to something more manageable; from this world to the next. Regardless of how upbeat I tried to be – playing water baseball with my tween nephews – life was difficult.
I feel like I made the voyage in the Time Machine itself – I am tired and dusty. The French word “rentree” refers to this time in September when we go back to work and school. More appropriate for me would be the term “re-entry” -- onto the planet.
Our trip did have some extremely high points, including playing in the lake with the family. We spent a day in Washington, DC with Whistler’s Nocturnes at the Freer Gallery. The Freer/Sackler is one of my favorite spots: Blair and I share a favorite painting there – Childe Hassam’s “Chinatown -- Portland, Oregon”. We dash through the Sackler tunnel to the Freer to see it. The most beautiful dining room in the world is there: Whistler’s Peacock Room, featured perfectly intact and breathtaking.

It’s easy to forget about visiting beautiful places. With the advent of child/user friendly museums, the sophisticated impressions go wanting. In any case, it gives us more room to see things. On Sunday, we’re having dinner with a friend to plan our museum visits this fall.
We’ve lots of plans for this “rentree”: I am going to compile my Artnotes into an ebook (or two – I’ve been writing them since 1998); I am painting bigger – several large canvases in the US, and two 16 x 20 inch since our return; Blair presses on with his engineering service sales. A good friend just rented a historic building in Italy which needs a resident artist.
When I turn my mind back to the US, I feel agitated: I want to move forward in life. I am armed with the tools of a bygone era, when America was “on top” and there was no such word as “can’t”. The past is never returning, regardless of how many rich Americans want to restore it. I am trading in my heavy old tools for lighter, brighter, more practical devices: an open mind and a hand on the lever of the time machine for the future.

Eat this?    Laurie Fox PESSEMIER    Acrylic on canvas   20 x 16 inches

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