When I began this blog I wrote about how shy I was as a child. There is still a lot of that inside me. I think it is why I enjoy solitude so much, and that more often than not my paintings, and photography reflect that. People who know me now are often surprised when I claim to be shy. I work really hard at being friendly. When you are a shy child, and particularly one who is the brunt of all the grade school jokes, you learn compassion. Dan knows that if we go to a party I will find the loner in the corner and stay there for the night. I cannot stand to see anyone lonely, or to sense that someone else is struggling, I need to help them. When I was in high school I was forced to take a speech class. I dreaded it. Speaking in front of a single person can be difficult enough, put me in front of a crowd and I’m terrified. At the end of the semester we were required to stand on the stage in the school auditorium and make a speech. The subject matter could be anything we wanted, the only restriction was the amount of time. For weeks leading up to it my stomach was in knots. I didn’t know how I was going to get through it. I came up with a plan. The first thing to do was to pick a subject for my speech that I was familiar with. I chose Wicca. It was an interesting choice, considering that I was at an all girl Catholic high school run by Benedictine nuns. I had an interest in witchcraft, nothing to speak of, I think for the most part it had to do with my childhood fascination with Bewitched, and my all-time favorite movie, “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Fortunately, the speech teacher was a lay teacher, a man, and he didn’t seem all that upset with my choice. I knew we would be required to look up as we spoke and not check our notes too often. That part was easy, I knew my subject well. I talked off the top of my head for the entire speech. The hardest part was facing the crowd, well a crowd of about twenty-four. On the few previous occasion when I spoke in class, my classmates had to critique me. Every single time they pointed out that as I stood there choking out words the podium was shaking. The night before the speech I was really nervous, and of course like most kids, trying to figure out what disease I could possibly come up with on a moments notice so that I wouldn’t have to go to school the next day. Nothing worked and the moment was at hand. Then a brainstorm. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was thirteen. Blind as a bat. All I had to do was to take off my glasses, from the auditorium stage I couldn’t see my audience. I big blob of color. I was still nervous, and I did shake a little. The speech went well. My teacher said it was good, just a little unorganized. Not bad since I didn’t really write one.
That brings me to today’s painting. I have mentioned before that I love Impressionism. Strangely enough since I have the perfection issue. The thought occurred to me that all I need to do is to take my glasses off. Trust me, the world at large is one giant Impressionistic scene when my glasses are off, and as long as I’m going down this road I am doing my own waterlilies. A photo taken in Giverny in 2009. I have to admit I’m struggling as I look at it. I do believe I may be revisiting this one. Do you think it’s possible that there would have been no Impressionism if eye care were better in Monet’s day?