Sunday, September 21, 2008

Two cappuccinos and a cup of tea

Last week I went to the Mitchell Library to see an exhibition of photographs showing Australian artists in their studios. The photos were amazing, but I especially loved the DVD they had running on a loop. I sat on a bench and watched one artist after the other talk about his/her inspiration, workspace, routine, personal hopes and dreams. Later, while I was ordering our cappuccinos in the little library cafe, my mother sneaked into the shop and bought me the book, and I have been poring over it all weekend. I'm even tempted to get out a magnifying glass to see the tiniest detail of each artist's studio.

Sometimes it seems that I enjoy the process of artmaking more than the artwork itself. Colours the Clown (you know her by now I think, you know, we go way back) is an artist, and I love hanging out at her house, annoying her by gushing over sketches she was preparing to trash, or sniffing madly at the oil paints and murmuring "ah...aromatherapy!" Sometimes I really wish that letters and words and sentences had a smell. Oh well...at least books have a special smell, I suppose that's something.

You can see some of the photographs here, and this is a sample of the book, if you're curious to see what I'm talking about.

Marina Strocchi (one of the artists featured in the exhibition) is quoted as saying that she's not sure that you can ever make a mistake when you're making art.

"What's a mistake? she asks. "It's a mistake if you dip your paint brush in your cup of tea instead of your water tin."

I thought that you, dear reader, might like that quote as much as I do.

8 comments:

alice c said...

Sometimes you can dip your brush in tea, claim it is art and make lots of money by exploring 'exciting new horizons'.

Eleanor, I so, so wish you had an email address. Of all my anonymous commenters you are the person that I would love to be able to reply to.

kim at allconsuming said...

I am so not in your league. It's like you are Vogue and I am That's Life!
It's tragic.

Eleanor said...

Alice - Would that be the up and coming artea movement? Eleanor OUT of the comment box? Oh...all right...

Kim - If I could write like you this comment would be witty, funny and so honest it would burn a hole in the screen. But, sniff, I cannot write like you (I've tried, WHAT a disaster) so this comment will have to be melodic and dreamy. Let's say...hmmmm...

Eleanor's words hide things, while Kim's words reveal them. A game of hide and seek being played in a house filled with enough material to last a lifetime. It's fabulous.

kim at allconsuming said...

You are a true joy. Wondrously so.
xxxxK

bluemountainsmary said...

I saw that book today.

You have inspired me to go back and get it.

RW said...

How wonderful that you were able to enjoy this with your mom!

bluemountainsmary said...

Eleanor - thank you so much for your beautiful birthday poem ! I am not sure I have ever had one written for me before.

It was lovely!!

Suse said...

Sigh ...

I do love your posts :)