A Wonderful Gift...

Category: The Artist In Me

from my friend Michael. He took me to the Museum Charlotte Zander in Bönnigheim this sunny afternoon. A wonderful collection “naive Kunst”, of paintings (and sculpture) by “uneducated” people who paint. These are not pictures composed and executed by Painters Who Studied Art. These are not models who were paid to sit still in tortuous positions under artificial lights in spare, sky lit studios. These artists are the unknown and the unnoticed.

The People Who Paint, like the People Who Write offer us a view of ourselves, with our lopsided smiles, our uneven eyes, and without our hands. Hands are difficult to draw, and The People Who Paint appear to be too busy painting to worry about how to draw a hand - so they hide them in flowers or underneath the fold of a skirt.

Ingenious are their solutions to the problem of hands.

These artists paint with a naive honesty that renders unimportant a perfect execution of perspective, offering us instead - their perspective. Alone in front of an empty canvas they muster the courage to do it wrong, pushing aside worries about hands and eyes. Imagination and memory are sufficient reasons to squeeze the tube.

The pictures are wonderful. Do I have the courage for this?

Afterwards, on the way home, high on a ridge, we are sitting on the pivot point of an ancient scale. To my left the full moon rises light and golden across the valley - to my right the fuschia sun sighs, sinking heavy behind horizon line.

It was an afternoon filled with poetry, carefully orchestrated to show me that art is less a matter of gritty courage - and more a matter of opening one’s heart, seeing with honest eyes and then, doing.

Michael, thank you.

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