Chapter 84: In which our hero, somewhat despondent starts to cross a desert/Dans lequel, notre héros, quelque peu déprimé, commence une traversée du désert

These two portraits are a daughter and her mother

Before the printing press/reproduction, I suppose that to see a painting/image was a somewhat 'rare ' experience - you could only see originals (or maybe hand made copies)

Avant la presse à imprimer/repro je suppose que voir un tableau/image était une expérience assez rare – on voyait que les tableaux originaux (ou, à la limite une copie fait main)!

Aujourd'hui on est submergé sous un flot d'images – et surtout les images animés! - spectaculaires

Des tests on montré que dans une musée/galerie, les gens regarde les tableaux pendant un très court temps.

Now, we're submerged with a flood of images – especially 'moving' images – spectacular images
Surveys have shown that people in museums/galleries look at a painting for a pretty short time

On a vite fait le tour quand il s'agit de choses visuels – on a un grand pratique – et sur les 'images' tout le monde a vite son avis!

Dans la danse, musique, théâtre, etc. pourvu qu'on a une bonne maîtrise technique, le spectateur/auditeur va être emporter par l'émotion, etc. - et ne va pas tellement 'juger'.

It doesn't take us long to assess an image – our eye is expeirenced – and people quickly form an opinon

In dance, music theatre, etc., provided that there is reasonable technical mastery, the spectator/listenenr will be drawn in by the emotion – and not be so 'judgmental'

Language learning

The visual arts are a language, graphic language - a poem? a question? a reaction? a story?

First, I'll need to learn the 'vocabulary' and 'grammar'!

If I give the impression of being pleased with myself or arrogant at any point, it's because I'll have expressed myself badly – one the things experience should teach us is that arrogance and pride are idiotic. Your only competitor is yourself.

In my life (I'm so old!) I have tried to learn a number of things: guitar, to swim, to drive, to play table tennis :) , to read (not to count though!), and French.

Learning French/living in France has been a major part of my lived experience ;) , and I kept thinking of parallels with that and 'learning' to paint/draw (learning is maybe not the correct term for never-ending projects!)

Why did I want to learn French? I dunno exactly – various motivations – but I was determined to do it – and because I have (the 'success' is not my language level, but the fact of persevering and, above all, what it's brought to me – 30 years in this country, with different groups of these people, and all these experiences – some sort of journey – which you don't necessarily have to move/travel to make, of course).

So, when I say the main reason for learning French/learning to draw is for the PLEASURE (fun!), the pleasure is not the competence acquired, the technical skill, etc., but

the voyage of self discovery, the enriching experiences.

I started drawing (in my little hobbyist way, this sure ain't the Paris Beaux Arts) only last November – I wanted to paint landscapes and I find myself drawing charcoal nudes and loving it!
You've got to stay open, you never knw what you'll find in you and around you!

Once I got to the stage where my French was 'fluent' (forget the 'Learn x language in 40 hours' stuff, to learn something worthwhile, a year is a start, 4 - 10 years of work what it actually takes), I didn't bother to work on improving further (which I should do!), remember, folks:

The better you get, the harder it is

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