Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Un Peu Loufoque - A woman inflamed!


You see before you a woman inflamed by her muse ! On entering the kitchen yesterday I discovered Madame Grognonne in the process of skinning and gutting a rabbit and the sight so caught my imagination that I immediately dragged her up the stairs to the studio where I sat her, bloodied apron and all to pose for me. She was not awfully enthused with the idea pointing out that she had better things to do other than sit holding a dead lapin whilst Chief patissier’s repas required preparing, but I was insistent and promised that if she sat still and did as I directed then I would give her a half day holiday at Pentecost. This seemed to do the trick. Although what she would do with a half holiday I have no idea

This whole art business is far more difficult than one might think. I have had considerable trouble with Madame Grognonne’s mouth and eyes, despite several attempts she always seems to look frighteningly deranged rather than serene and contemplative. But have decided that this should not deter me unnecessarily. Therefore, I am following quickly in the footsteps of Picasso and Jean Crotti in deciding that being unable to paint facial features with any degree of realism should be no draw back and therefore like them leaving out any physical features which I find too arduous.

Although I do quite admire their work, it is after all extremely clever of them to choose to ignore the attributes they couldn’t master, my preferred style would be that of Renoir or Degas. however it is important in all things to recognize ones limitations and I am beginning to think that perhaps since realism appears to elude me in my paintings I must tend towards the abstract and Dadaism which is apparently the new thing and certainly seems a good justification for not attempting to capture Madame Grognonne’s face on canvas again.

I feel a serious theme is needed in my work and have toyed with the that of markets and the purveyors of goods therein, but even with the governess cart to transport my equipment, painting a market scene might prove a trifle impracticable, I think it highly unlikely that I would be able to persuade all the traders and shoppers to stand still for the few hours necessary to captured their Images in oils. The peasants here have no understanding of art at all. I have therefore turned my gaze Chez Nous and, having almost completed my first large canvas entitled “servant woman gutting lapin” , am considering making it one of a series depicting Madame Grognonne in a variety of domestic poses, including” servantwoman hanging out the laundry” ,” servant woman washing dishes” and “servant woman clearing the table” so as to prevent my artistic endeavors interfering too greatly with the generally smooth running of our establishment.

I am certain Chief patissier will fully understand that he will have, on occasion, to await his lunch or eat elsewhere, after all many have suffered far worse than a delayed call to table in the name of art. However someone must do the chores and I am more than happy to sit and paint Madame Grognonne whilst she does so.

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The painting above is a portrait by Jean Crotti. I think it is of a man but it is rather hard to be too sure on that matter . It may of course be of a rather flat chested young woman wearing a bath sheet. Who can say? The delight, of course, with this style is the freedom it accords the artist. If one says ones canvas portrays a particular thing then who is anyone else to argue! As you can see he bravely had a stab at the eyes but gave up with the mouth which was probably very wise considering his rather unflattering attempts at the nose.

14 comments:

Wizzard said...

I think the picture must be a man - by the muscular structure and shape of his arm.

ChrisH said...

Ah, one can imagine the tempestuous blend of form and colour, the furious brushstrokes and the even more furious subject! Truly inspired.

The Country Craft Angel said...

It is so much better to be able to use ones imagination to picture the facial expressions!! Especially the way you tell it!

warm wishes
x

Suffolkmum said...

Inspired and inspirational!!
By the way, am intrigued by your ghost when you were growing up!

Inthemud said...

Excellent, how clever of you to get Mne G to pose and still carry out her household chores, inspired indeed!

bodran... said...

Didnt she attract flies???

Fennie said...

Maybe you could encourage Mde G to fall in the pond - come on, woman, you must have a pond - and then paint the water lilies. Someone I knew once (well I have visited his house) made a lot of money (or was it Monet) out of this, waterlilies and big canvases being all the rage. There were no Mde G's in the house at the time so I presume they were all under the water and thus posing no problems as to their facial features. Meanwhile I do believe lunch was being prepared by the Faculté des Beaux Arts - at least the table was laid, in a fetching yellow and blue 'service' though come to think of it I never actually saw any food. Maybe the rabbit was at the bottom of the lake too. PS that way they don't attract flies either.

muddyboots said...

was the rabbit tasty?

lampworkbeader said...

Maybe you should just keep to painting still life, something like bottles perhaps? Do you have any lying around?

sally's chateau said...

I am so excited at the prospect of you coming down here to perfect your art, I have rather a lot of long corridors that need, um, er, painting/s !

LittleBrownDog said...

I'm enjoying hearing about your artistic forays and I'm sure Mmme Grognonne must be delighted with the idea of being an artist's muse. Do try your hand at Dadaism, though - I can just see an image of Mme G created out of bus tickets and household appliances taking the art world by storm...

Frances said...

Bon soir,
It is so wonderful that you have connected with your muse.
May I tell you, however, strictly entre nous, that I was once a muse.
To a poet, not a painter. It was a glorious experience, but a heavy responsibility for me. And, while it did not exactly end in tears, it did end.
It would be very wise to attend to your muse and to her wellbeing. At least until you might see another muse on the horizon.
xo

JacquiMcR said...

I think that the picture is a man. The chest and arm are very masculine.

I'm ashamed to say that I have never tasted rabbit. A little too much like family pet as opposed to tasty dinner.

Take care - Jacqui x

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Oh dear shudder at the thought of Mme G gutting a rabbit - would imagine she would do it with such gusto . . .