Thursday, June 15, 2006

Observing myself, Imagining myself, part 1

I feel like this could be a portrait of me. It appeals to both my negative and positive self images. The woman is turned away from the world. Her restraint shows in the dark clothing, the carefully tamed hair. Absorbed in her reading, the stiff chair still doesn't allow for her book to be a relaxing, indulgence. That chair is meant for the reading of sermons, stern ones on the edification of character. The background is warm, homey. The desire for beauty shows in the paintings on the wall and the sculpture on the wash stand, but this is a claustrophobic, cluttered room. Shutting the cabinet door and straightening the runner wouldn't make enough improvement to be worth the effort. Despite all this, I love the calm here. This woman may be in a corner of a dark room, but she is intent on her book and the dreams it can breed. Those dreams are so important. For me, dreaming is an act of faith and courage. Dreams are the breeding ground of beauty, the place where we first glimpse the reality that can be. They are the first place where I can turn my face to the world.

Woman Reading, Henri Matisse, 1894


Blogger Shelina said...

I just love the way you describe paintings. You have such a way with words.

June 15, 2006 10:29 PM  
Blogger novelreader said...

A very thought provoking and startlingly true analogy of the painting, I can relate to what you are saying there. Seeing both the posetive and negative self images within the frame. I believe that the woman in the chair forgets its discomforts or the clutteredness of the room for her book as you say breeds dreams, she not even see herself in the room at all, but atop whatever mountain her book has taken her too. Identity seems an ambiguous state never exactly solidified within ourselves, allowing us the freedom of escape from reality into a book or another release that one may indulge. This painting shows the beauty in escape and the contentment in familiarity.

June 16, 2006 7:46 AM  

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