Aboard began 2011 as a kind of souvenir for our Parisian friends of their visit to the Northwest; John and I had been the recipients of many kindnesses from them on our visits to France, where Catherine made room for my art supplies in her “cave,” and Philippe, a lover of piano music, arranged for us to attend concerts at the Theatre des Champs Elysses. Included in our luggage on the train was a violin for Catherine to serenade my brother after we arrived at Kalispell and camped with him at Ravens’ Way. But, alas, the beautiful music this couple made together ended before the painting was completed. Eight years later the abandoned canvas was found stacked among other unfinished paintings. Then, for whatever reason, made its way back to the easel: white china mugs turned up to pose on the white table cloth; fresh apricots filled the basket resting on it. Eventually the fruit ripened and it was time for lunch . . . .
Can subsequent sadness extinguish moments of pleasure?
Can a realist painting abstract itself from the “journalism of subjects?”
“A poem,” said the poet, “is the cry of its occasion/Part of the res itself and not about it . . .”