453 Kind of Blue
6x8 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord
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I referenced a beautiful photo by @aquietstyle for this work. My daughter gave me a subscription to The Paris Review @parisreview for Christmas, my favorite literary magazine. In the most recent Fall 2016 issue that she also got me, I started to read an interview with poet, Ishmael Reed. Here's an excerpt.
Says Reed: "I was also very much influenced by George Orwell's 'Politics and the English Language.' where he advocated that you refrain from flamboyant language." Asks the interviewer: "What appealed to you about that kind of clean, clear writing?"
Says Reed: "It's like Miles, man. Somebody said that Miles didn't have the chops of Coltrane, who was a scholar, but Miles and Louis Armstrong went for the tone. You hear some of these guys playing like they're getting paid by the note. Miles was very disciplined, very smart. Spare. Kind of Blue is a minimalist masterpiece. That was my style, too, right up to today."
Refraining from flamboyance is akin to my father's musical conducting philosophy. No melodrama. No flailing of the arms. Just controlled, deliberate movements that allow the music to take center stage.
The depth of minimalism and non-flamboyance is how I aspire to paint and how I aim to teach painting. Strokes that are spare and not overworked. Strokes that are preceded by focused observation. A canvas that is that is poetically controlled rather than desperately groveled at.