An oil painting caught and held him. A heavy surf thundered and burst over an outjutting rock; lowering storm-clouds covered the sky; and, outside the line of surf, a pilot-schooner, close-hauled, heeled over till every detail of her deck was visible, was surging along against a stormy sunset sky. There was beauty, and it drew him irresistibly. He forgot his awkward walk and came closer to the painting, very close. The beauty faded out of the canvas. His face expressed his bepuzzlement. He stared at what seemed a careless daub of paint, then stepped away. Immediately all the beauty flashed back into the canvas. “A trick picture,” was his thought, as he dismissed it, though in the midst of the multitudinous impressions he was receiving he found time to feel a prod of indignation that so much beauty should be sacrificed to make a trick. He did not know painting. He had been brought up on chromos and lithographs that were always definite and sharp, near or far. He had seen oil paintings, it was true, in the show windows of shops, but the glass of the windows had prevented his eager eyes from approaching too near.
But every so often, there's news o the actual relevance of those dusty old seaside spacklefests. The BBC reports on the work of Robin McInnes :
Over the years, Dr McInnes had amassed quite a collection of paintings, prints and etchings depicting the coastlines of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, where he ran the island's coastline management strategy.
Combining his interests in paintings of the local environment, geology and coastal erosion, he looked at hundreds of artworks and came up with a method to assess their value as indicators of coastal change - especially erosion.
So that's how art will save us all, dramatize coastal change, and substantiate our understanding of our true affiliation to the living history that we apprehensively call our past.
Meanwhile, maybe you'll celebrate 2009 with the work of our generation's Deborah Gibson: Deborah Gibson and her Electric Youth, an attempt by the greatest youth of all time (except for Miley Cyrus or Alexander the Great) to "provide a nurturing, creative, disciplined, and fun atmosphere for young people who are serious about embarking in a career in entertainment."Sponsored by Chipotle Mexican Grill (Locations near me include Providence, Boston, and Newington New Hampshire).
Happy New Year!