Monday, 21 September 2009

The word is mightier than the sword....

Started the week with a wonderful letter I connected to via A.W.A.D. I've been reading this weekday column for years. when you can't communicate in your mother tongue for weeks on end, you become hungry for its wit and intelligence - well, if it's English, you do. German is a good, practical language, but it's best quality is ingenuity and its insistence on endings is frankly tedious. Writing poetry in German is fraught with everhung endings so most rhymes are on the penultimate syllable. And if you aren't good at inventing and interpreting, you have a problem getting beyond elementary German! Let's not even mention the subjunctive, which the Germans call "konjunktiv" and often use as a disclaimer mechanism.

The problem exposed by the letter is the content of children's literature. The comment itself (I've linked to the blog) is a beautifully written argument against censorship. The comments are for the most part endorsements, but certainly not all of them. It's a good read and a reminder that freedom of speech is a human right. History can tell you that the denial of this right is usually accompanied by the enforcement of some tenet or other that the perpetrators want to enforce, if necessary through brutality and often with denial of other human rights. As the writer emphasizes, you don't have to buy, borrow or read any book unless you want to, but to deny its access to others is not your privilege or duty!

Today I have to decide whether to exhibit any paintings at a group exhibition and if so which???? I sat at my PC till 3 a.m.sorting through many thousands of images, but have not made a decision. Do I go for flowers, abstracts, surrealism, landscape, a bit of everything? The space is limited. Should I just exhibit one vast canvas? Do I want to sell something? Not really. I paint for my own pleasure and have bitterly regretted parting with paintings in the past! The group show is part of a project I joined. I have no idea what standard the others have reached. At the sessions I did not see anything worth showing and I did not achieve anything. But I have plenty of paintings to fall back on, and that is the problem!

The first image "dogwood sketch" is one of the flower paintings I just mentioned. The first landscape is too small to exhibit - one of my earliest attempts at oil painting - and the second one is too large to transport!

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