Art and madness

"The Paradise Tree", by Seraphine
from "The Modern Primitives", text by Madeleine Gavelle

It was a peculiar day. I went to my still life painting class at Maitland Art Center today and it began raining shortly before time to leave. In the confusion about getting everything out to the car in the sprinkles, I left my painting leaning up against a traffic sign in the parking lot. Luckily, Patti, my teacher, found it and picked it up for safe keeping! Maybe the fumes got to me LOL (or maybe senility or Freudian slips or insanity setting in.) Speaking of which, we saw a good movie tonight (Seraphine) at the Enzian Theater. I'm a big fan of the so-called "Modern Primitives" and it's not every day a movie comes around about one of the great (but largely unknown) painters in that genre. Seraphine was a devout spinster (is that term still used today?) who worked like a dog as a domestic during the early 1900s cleaning the Barnie Madoff manors of that day and painting during the night by candle light and whatever strength she had left. It's an amazing story about the inexplicable drive to create under the most austere and trying conditions and the not so pleasant path it can take. Her artwork is fantastic and is a testament to the invincible human spirit within. Sadly, though, even that can be crushed by individuals who aren't necessarily on as elevated a level of human decency.

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