Beth Markel

Dinner is served.

Posted on May 30, 2014 by Beth Markel

Life seems to move in perpetual circles.  We’ve officially entered a new season of graduations, grad parties, June brides, and BBQ’s.  Yet life, in a funny way, reminds me that we’re all on a mortal clock.  A favorite artist of mine, Robert Genn, passed away peacefully this week, surrounded by his loves ones.  If you aren’t familiar with his work, he was a painter, but also a prolific writer about art.  He did a regular newsletter with insight, wit & wisdom.  One of my favorite quotes from Robert Genn:

“As we grow older, we realize just how limiting were our earlier conceptions. Art is something else. Art is fluid, transmutable, open ended, never complete, and never perfect. Art is an event.”

“Art is an event”…I LOVE that outlook & philosophy.  His use of color was always inspirational to me, (see The Atmosphere at Chatterbox Falls) and again, if you’re unfamiliar with his writings, check out this link to The Painter’s Keys.  You’ll be richer for it.

Ironically, I was asked a couple of weeks ago, “If you could have dinner with 3 artists, living or dead, who would you choose and why?”

That’s an intriguing question, because my first thought was some of my favorite artists…Monet, Michelangelo, and Degas…or possibly DeGrazio, Genn, and Tetsuro Sawada…but Ansel Adams had such a clear, strong voice in photos, he would have to be included.  And what would conversation between Mary Cassatt, Renoir, and Ansel Adams be like?  Nancy Crow, Rodin, and Cezanne?  I think Crow and Rodin would have much mutual ground in their use and regard for strong lines and shapes.  I think Ansel Adams and Monet would have tremendous disagreement in the use of color to express their subjects, even though they both used nature as inspiration ~ and much agreement in the fact that they both saw the world their own unique way, and both expressed it beautifully.  For the most part, what I have discovered in thinking about this for the last couple of weeks, is that I like artists who have a strong voice, whether I like their art or not.

Off-the-cuff, I answered Monet, Picasso and Rodin.  I love their work, and they are very different…but upon reflection, I have boiled it down to the three I think are MOST different from one another, because the dinner conversation would be interesting, possibly to the point of verbal sparring…Monet, Ansel Adams, and Nancy Crow.  A painter, a photographer, and artist, whose medium is fabric would be great dinner companions, as each approach their art in their own unique way: strong voices, beautiful figures, clear lines, color that sings, Black/White images, iconic.

Who would you invite to dinner, and why?

Happy art,





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