I’m not normally one for holiday spirit, but I very much enjoy the changing seasons. I love waking up early on a morning when it has been snowing all night. When the air is still, and big snowflakes are falling silently to the ground, there is a pronounced peaceful quality in the air, and I cant help but smile to myself and think about how wonderful this season is.
And on the few breaks between classes and homework, he ate his depressing lunch, It wasn’t really a lunch at all, it was more of a series of increasingly more painful exercises of abusive nutrition. Not that there was and real danger of nourishment, not of the body at least. It was the oppressive lack of any good taste whatsoever. To make matters worse, in an act of self deprecation, he ate it in order from most interesting to least, saving the worst, cold, dry, gluten-free stuffing with no gravy, for last. It was the icing, or lack thereof on the proverbial dry, crumbly, unsweetened, cake.
I recently had the privilege of studying some of Andrea Palladio’s seminal work in Vicenza. The father of the neoclassical style, Palladio mastered the art of symmetry and classical orders, simple proportions, and elegant design that was functional and very pleasing to the eye.
Sometimes one reaches a point when experiences are far too much to process and express, in those cases, it is often best to execute a “memory dump” either writing or drawing (or whatever one’s preferred method of self expression) whatever random things are cluttering the mind, essentially clearing space for the experiences to be thoroughly processed. To some it may seem like gibberish, but it is an important step in the process, and for those who are looking, it can hold some secrete beauty.
In the medevil hilltop city of Siena, there is a building complex, that at one point was the Ospidale Santa Maria della Scala. It has since served many functions, and now has been converted into a museum. Over the centuries the building complex has been added to more times than can be numbered, and not it is a conglomerate of seemingly ramshackle layers, each one adding to the story. I first experienced this building from this perspective and immediately was presented with the urge to explore it. It looked so interesting and irresistible.
Imagine my excitement when I came around to the other side and discovered that is was a museum, and still more when I began to explore the exhibits in the catacombs dug into the hill on which the building sprawls.
During my time here, I have been longing to paint what I see. My belief that I am compelled to paint is now only reinforced. It is the only way for me to express raw emotion and reaction to what I see. Without painting I would not be able to process my experiences, nor would I be able to communicate them. I truly understand why the masters simply had no other choice but to pick up a paintbrush. I hope that I never forget that, and that I will never be far from a canvas.