RE: MD Painting Quality - John Singer Sargent

From: jainy maewood (
Date: Wed Oct 27 2004 - 14:23:50 BST

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD Painting Quality - John Singer Sargent"

    Hi Marsha:

    I may have missed the thread that this is related to, but 'd like to

    "I went three times to Boston to see the Sargent Exhibition.  I felt
    something about Sargent's paintings that touched my heart. Deeply!  I saw
    his paintings as prayer.  There is no record that Sargent was involved in
    any a relationship with woman or man, and maybe because of that, it's been
    speculated that he was gay.  I don't believe it.  I believe, from seeing his
    paintings, that he was having a major love relationship with painting.  Love
    with the Divine.  I'm not a Sargent, but it's a direction.  I can't think of
    a better direction, for me. "

    I completely understand what you are saying here. I did not go to the
    exhibit, but have felt this at other exhibitions with other painters. I
    don't know if you went to the Cezanne retrospective at the Philadelphia
    Museum of Art, several years ago? I flew back from California just to see
    it. I spent 5 hours there, and had the same impression. I was deeply,
    deeply moved by his work. Love with the Divine - or divine love for
    painting? Either way you put it, I think it's the same. I have sometimes
    described my relationship to painting as "liquid love". So I understand
    your direction.

    "Well, instead of through religion, I would like to pursue the Divine
    through painting."

    I think other painters have done this. (recent history, Jackson Pollock,
    Mark Rothko, Mondrian...many of the abstract expressionist painters).

    "I find the 'big three' religions inadequate."

    Are you willing to say what you find inadequate about them?

    "Yet it's scary moving outside the culture's religions.  It's hard, too, to
    move outside you family's beliefs.  (Maybe for you it's easy, but for me
    it's hard.)  But it may be the only way to broaden horizons and to become
    more tolerant of each other."

    I'm not sure if you are addressing anyone specifically here, as I said I
    missed the thread, and the archives won't open for me right now! So I won't
    respond to this except to say it is possible to move outside your family's
    beliefs, and necessary if that is your true impulse.

    "I should be allowed to write what I just wrote.  Why do I feel so
    vulnerable?  Who should care?"

    Marsha, I think we all feel vulnerable when we begin to explore new
    territory, and state it publically. I find when I have a direction that has
    been intuited, it might take a while for me to be able to articulate what it
    means to me, and my reasons for doing it. I don't know if you find this in
    painting, but I find especially when I am exploring something new, I don't
    show it to other people for a while. I don't want someone to say something
    that might squelch a true impulse that is fragile in its infancy.
    People who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo with regard
    to you, will care. It's not malicious, but I think sometimes we need
    protection from the people who "love" us so much!!!

    "Big ego vs. little ego"

    Maybe, this too, but I think what you are saying about vulnerability is more
    than a little egoistic response. It's very true, it happens.

    "I love Diebenkorn's work.  I couldn't say which I like better, his abstract
    or more realistic period.  I've seen his paintings only in a book, but I
    thought them wonderful."

    Yes, he's my favorite contemporary painter. Hands down. I like both too,
    but I find the abstract work, especially the late period to be more


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