Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How many months in a year?

Are you sure you want to stick with your answer of '12'?
And what is a dry-seasoned year referred to? Maybe El Nino? Are you sure?

We understand beliefs vary widely from person to person, but we count on the consistency of solid facts. This reminds me of why painting commissions can be so difficult. Betty wants a French cafe painting scene with bright red awnings. We work out the details and a month later when I show her the completed piece, she says, "oh, not that color red". Everyone sees color differently, and, everyone sees the world uniquely.

How about the Chinese farmer trying to explain the unusual hot, dry weather one year? El Nino? "The traditional Chinese lunar calendar follows a system in which a month must be made up every fourth year- sometimes there is an extra ninth month, or an extra second month, and so on. This year is the fifth one. Whenever there are two fifth months in one year, you can count on a hot dry spring followed by an extremely wet summer. This is the way it has been in the past, and thus the peasants [farmers] are not surprised by the current heat and dryness. Everywhere in the countryside they complain quietly about the problems of having two fifth months in one year." -River Town, Peter Hessler

Question your assumptions. Is it really like this or like that? There are many truths.
The opportunity for expansion of ideas and awareness, whether of the world or towards art, comes from this constant questioning and observing.

Here's how I see red.
Do you see what I mean by red?

p.s. Colors may vary according to individual monitor settings. ;-)


  1. That is a lovely painting, and yes... perspectives can be very different, and that is what makes the world go around (and keeps things interesting!)

    I received your beautiful book in the mail and am just starting to read it.... it will be a wonderful addition to my studio and I thank you so much for your generous gift!

  2. Alfred, I once had a lady email me about a painting that she saw on my website. She "absolutely loved it" but wanted to know if I could change the "red" in the painting to a more neutral color! She wanted to hang it over a mantel in her den, loved the painting, but felt the red was too much. Along with the request was an image of the room! Lovely woodwork, rather neutral colors....except for a very large overstuffed "red" chair! LOL

    I declined the request.

    Thank you so much for your beautiful book! Your generosity will be passed on thru the sharing of it with other artists.


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