30 November 2009

eleven stories...

i'm enthusiastic. it's one of my better qualities.

and i'm not bragging. i mean, some of us were born with lustrous hair or covetable teeth or an ease with numbers or one perfect smattering of freckles on our bum. along with said smattering, i was also born with ardor.

{i don't know why i just spilled such private information. please erase from your minds that whole enthusiasm thing. very sorry. and wow. can you tell i've been sick and sleepless all weekend? very very sorry. truly.}

so i'm never really shocked by my visceral responses to artists or essays or even mittens, for that matter. i tend to gasp easily.

but for the first time in my life, i think, i saw the work of nicolas de staël. it floored me. i experienced an instantly physical reaction to the few paintings i saw, which is nothing new. not really. i told you i was enthusiastic. no...this went beyond i love it! whether it was his fat impasto or how i felt like i could see each and every stroke he made or just my affinity for landscapes. i don't know. but, man...he moved me.

which always makes me smile. because i think, at this point in my life, i've seen it. i've done it. i've been moved. i've got it mastered. and when i'm reminded out of the clear blue that i've not remotely seen it or done it or been moved or mastered at all?

well. that thrills me.

he also breaks my heart a bit. a lot, in fact. jumped to his death from an eleventh floor when he was just forty-one years old. that guts me more than i could ever explain, so i won't even try.

but i will post a few of his paintings. and i will show them to my girlies three at some point today or tomorrow or a few dozen times in their lifetimes. and grae will say something like i can paint like that! and lill will roll her eyes and esmé will not understand.

and then i'll tell them that he fell from a sadness too high in antibes, and grae will fall silent and lill's eyes will fill and esmé will not understand until she does. but then they'll look more closely at his work. and they'll carry him around in their hearts for as long as little girls can...maybe fifteen minutes. maybe less. hopefully longer. and grae will proclaim him to be her new van gogh. lill will, too. and esmé just won't understand. until she does.

someone who ended so tragically and so alone should have nice things said about them after they've left, don't you think? they must not have heard it enough when they were here.

sad when it's a strange artist found on another girl's blog who you couldn't have caught even if you'd been on the ground in antibes that day, looking up at the eleventh. sadder still if it's someone you could've grabbed before they even stepped out onto the balcony.

i'm going to try to be kind all week. that sounds dumb, doesn't it? oh...be kind.

first of all. i am completely taken with liberty london girl. she's seriously influential while entirely anonymous, which intrigues me to no end. but. and i believe this is my second of all. i found her via india knight's posterus, which is so overflowing with genius that i find i need a bigger monitor. it was a good weekend to be a sick girl plus an insomniac. thank you, ladies.


Brandi said...

Amazing paintings. I can understand why you were so impressed by them, though I can't find any words to describe it. Powerful, definitely.

I love getting lost in your beautiful writing.

mrs. darling said...

i read your words over and over this morning, through blurry tears and lumps in my throat. the world needs more beauty filled paintings, needs more kindness. and definately needs more watchmen on balconies, waiting to pull us back to safety.

thanks for sharing this morning.

Anonymous said...

you are kind week to week. no futherance needed.

those who feel delinquent not catching the eleventh floor artist sometimes find themselves looking up at the twelfth floor. i, now, understand no amount of love and badge can quell a truly tortured soul.

as always karey girl, you move me.

Liberty London Girl said...

I know exactly what you mean. The first time I saw his paintings I almost ccldn't breathe. And I'm sure you can imagine what it was like to see an entire exhibition of them ar the Pompidou in Paris... LLGxx

krista said...

i love when that happens to me...the finding of something that moves me. it's sad when it's so long between those moments.
or when the people who give us those moments are unable to sustain themselves through the storm.
my best friend's dad killed himself this year.
he left a whole lot of beauty and sadness painted all over.

please sir said...

Lovely paintings and what an amazing essense he left behind. You always have the best to say.

Callie Grayson said...

It makes me sad a lot too! My heart grips when I think such talent gone, and I get greedy and want to see more of their work, knowing that I can't.... Much like listening to the music of Jeff Buckley... makes me sad!

Thanks for sharing his beautiful work!!


Richie Designs said...

I like kind, I love kind actually. I think it's lovely that you are singing him to the heavens now.

do you know nick drake? music, if not.
he OD'd on antidepressants I was told. Which is sad and odd all in the same sentence. I think the same things about him that you wrote about Nicolas

he's considered the musician's musician. beautiful lovely guitar work. you can find him on youtube should you be curious.

Anonymous said...

those are gorgeous paintings.

and be kind. I like that.

Sherry said...

adore the paintings...to me they seem peaceful and calm.

lovely words too.

glad you are feeling better.

Melissa de la Fuente said...

Ah....Karey. You are so very special, you know? So very....and it kills me that you don't live right next door. So, we could be besties and drink tea on my porch and tell each other our troubles and triumphs. *sigh* What beautiful paintings and what a heart wrenching story.....I always feel gutted by folks who "jump", if only someone could have caught them soon enough.

Jane Flanagan said...

Oh I love Nicolas de Staël and I'm so glad you do too. I've always felt a bond with him and his work. I'm glad you experienced it too and shared it.

Di Overton said...

2 of my children have a perfect freckle on their bum in exactly the same place, same shape - how weird is that? One is male and the other female.

Relyn said...

Oh, me, too. Me, too. I am so Enthusiastic, I have to type it with a capital. I cry at Hallmark commercials, the Olympics, and birthday parties. Life is just so, so good! How can you be anything but excited about it. Right?

Mrs.French said...

tragic and so beautiful. i had to gasp too...folks like us are just passionate...emotional, but mostly passionate and i wouldn't have it anyother way. i am so happy i found you.

thank you for sharing dearest. xo t

Small De said...

Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!
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