“Good painting is like good cooking; it can be tasted, but not explained.”
–Maurice de Vlaminck-
Maurice de Vlaminck continues to be one of those iconic fauvist artists I discovered by happenstance. Being a self-taught artist myself, I felt an immediate connection to his personality, his interests, and most of all his work. He was born in Paris in April 1876 from a Dutch violinist father (who taught him to play the violin) and a French (from Lorraine) pianist teacher. He started painting in his late teens, studying with the painter Henri Rigalon (and as much as I would have liked to find out a bit more about this painter …. His work … his life …. I could not find anything else than the link he has with de Vlaminck.) Known to be an ardent exponent of fauvism, in 1905, he exhibited with the two other ones –Matisse and Derain—at the Salon des Indépendants and at the controversial group show at the Salon d’Automne.
Noted for his brash temperament, he was also known as having a large variety of interests, including music, acting, racing cyclist, and writer. A self-taught artist (who shunned academic training), he had been struck by the powerful brush strokes and intense and non-naturalistic colors of the paintings of Van Gogh he had seen at an exhibition in 1901. It was after Derain introduced him to Matisse that de Vlaminck started experimenting with pure and intense colors, applied thickly, straight from the tube. After seeing a retrospective exhibition of Cezanne in 1907, he began to emulate the artist’s work and started painting landscapes with more subdued colors.
After world war I, he moved to the countryside and painted landscapes in a dramatic yet composed style. He never stopped playing music (at times painting during the day, giving violin lessons at night), nor did he ever stopped writing. (According to an article on Wikipedia, he was a gifted storyteller and wrote many autobiographies, which were somewhat marred either by vagueness or lack of absolute truthfulness.) I have been unable to verify this as it would have involved more detailed and intense research.
Maurice de Vlaminck died in Rueil-la-Gadelière on 11 October 1958.
Changing the subject completely, there is something I would like to draw attention to. At the beginning of the week, I was sent a newsletter from the blog Margaret at Sixty and Me, and one of the articles was about “Building and Aging Alone Plan-Solving the Solo Epidemic (here is the link to the “Sixty and Me” website, should you be interested in reading the whole thing https://sixtyandme.com/). Anyway, it got me thinking as I reached that age milestone a few weeks ago. If getting older is one hell of an annoyance, what I genuinely dread most is ending up being the left-over partner (as I like to call it). Moving on alone. Avoiding the creeping loneliness, many older adults feel along the way of the journey of life, and the risk of isolation.
Ageism is a real thing. Unlike “in the good old days,” we do not have a lot of intergenerational contacts. Elderly people live in nursing homes or “assisted living” facilities and visiting days have become the “once a year I have to visit so and so because …..” And this is a sad thing. Young children should enjoy the elderly and vice versa. Young people should learn from the wisdom us, older ones 😉, have accumulated over the years, and the elderly must learn what they can from the young, accepting times do change. Being a grumpy old man/woman is not living. It is merely waiting for God.
Loneliness and isolation bring forth other problems. Elderly abuse is rampant these days. You often hear about it on the evening news or see it happening right before your eyes. Lonely, isolated elderly people are vulnerable, and many are willing to take advantage of this. Isolation is also a by-product of finances. When money is tight, people go out less, hence see fewer people, therefore become isolated….. it truly is a vicious circle. In the USA, retired people have to work to make it. Nobody can live on the income provided by Social Security. Back in the “good old days,” kids would take in the parents, who in turn would help raise the grandchildren and help around the house. While that may be a solution for some, it also could mean trouble for others. Living together is not always an easy thing. Others are stuck in lousy relationships, being used and abused, unable to leave. Domestic violence is a problem that needs to be addressed by everybody, and it has to happen NOW.
Needless to say, that you should not put yourself in harm’s way. Call the police or social services. Always. Simply do not walk away, pretending not to see. If possible, talk to the person, ask them what you can do to help, and, depending on the situation, call the police or a social worker. In the United States, The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233. I’m not sure if there is such a line in Europe and in Mexico. If there is, I’d appreciate anyone to message me and let me know. I will gladly include it in the post. Listening could help a person and maybe save a life!
Once again, I seem to have gone way overboard. But this is a far too important topic to just whistle over it. Thank you for listening. Until next week, peoples of the page. Be kind, and be safe. Namaste.
More information regarding domestic violence:
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As always, I am thankful for your patronage.
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Como siempre, estoy agradecido por su patrocinio.