Monday, September 3, 2012

On the road again: Chicon, day 7

The con wound to a close today, and tomorrow I fly home. 

After a refreshing night's sleep, I worked some, poked around a little, and then a group of us met up with Baen Senior Editor Jim Minz for a tasty brunch at Orange.  I react badly to syrup and so don't eat it, which means that I almost never have pancakes or French toast.  The pancakes at Orange, though, are so juicy and delicious that they don't need syrup at all.  I thus enjoyed pancakes for the first time in quite a little while.  Yum.

After that, we said goodbye and cabbed over to the Art Institute of Chicago for several hours of contemplation of wonderful art.  As always, I particularly enjoyed the Impressionists.  Over the years, quite a few folks have accused me of being a cheap sentimentalist because of my love of much of the work of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, but once again today many of his paintings spoke to me.  I cannot help but find Madame Leon Clapisson lovely, Woman at the Piano so very lush and wonderful, and Lunch at the Restaurant Fornaise (The Rowers' Lunch) so endlessly watchable despite the softness of its depiction, to name but three.  If to love Renoir is indeed to be cheaply sentimental, then I must stand guilty as charged.

I also love most, though not all, of Van Gogh's work and, like so many others, I find him a fascinating character.  Today, I spent quite a few minutes studying one of my favorites, the second of the three simple studies he made of the room where he stayed while in the Yellow House in Arles, his wonderful painting, The Bedroom.  As I stared at it, as I looked carefully at the brush strokes and the colors, an insight came to me with the utter certainty of truth:  the only place he felt safe in that room, really safe, was when he was in the bed.  I cannot, of course, prove this insight to be accurate, but it is what the painting said to me today. 

After a delightful walk back to the hotel and some work, we ate a delicious Cuban dinner at Siboney, which was quite a cab ride away but well worth the trek. 

More work remains today, but after you've spent time staring at wonderful art, it is hard to complain about having to do some work to pay for the privilege. 


John Lambshead said...

It is always facinating how great art says different things to different people. I have seen Shakespeare played to give hugely different insights according to the director's take.

Mark said...

I agree wholeheartedly.


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