Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Exploration of the Next Room

The above drawing is from Lambertville, NJ.  11x14 charcoal and pastel.

This 16x20 oil is the final version of this particular image of houses on Route 2 in North Adams, MA.

Macfarlane writes: "We don't come fresh to even the most inaccessible of landscapes.  'History,' as the American writer Susan Solnit has observed, 'which is itself an act of imagination, is carried in the mind to the remotest places to determine what one's acts mean even there.'  So traversing even the most uncharted landscape, we are also traversing the terrain of the known.  We carry expectations within us and to an extent we make what we meet conform to those expectations...  A raft of largely undetectable assumptions and preconceptions affects the way we perceive and behave in a place.  Our cultural baggage--our memory-- is weightless, but impossible to leave behind."

But all is not lost.  On the very next page Macfarlane writes:  "Yet we are still capable of being surprised by strangeness, of being shocked by the new.  In the right frame of mind, to walk from one room in a house to another cab be exploration of the highest order."

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