After all the whining about my difficulties with cataract surgery, one interesting outcome was a painting that now hangs in my husband’s office (because that’s the only place in the house with wall space). During the surgery on my right eye, I saw the most amazing vivid colors. A few days later my daughter brought a paint set (found in a thrift store) for Chloe and me with the exact colors I needed, so I painted what I had seen. Today I matted and framed it.
I wasn’t sure it truly merited framing until I went to an exhibit at the Blanton Museum and saw works from the collection of Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, including paintings by minimalist artist Richard Tuttle. There were a dozen framed pieces of notebook paper, each with a tiny blob of watercolor. I decided if his doodles warranted framing and collecting, my bit of colorful memory at least gets a mat, a frame and a place to hang.
Tuttle’s work reminds me of a visit I made to a museum in Washington, D.C., with my mother and daughter many years ago. The exhibit was Matisse’s cutouts, and my daughter was about three. The cutouts are very late Matisse and his eyesight was going, and the pieces are admittedly messy, but the line and color were still Matisse–and gorgeous, but my mother kept saying, loudly, “a kindergartener could do these!” Between that and the guards nervously eyeing the three-year-old, I was mortified, and very relieved when my mother said she’d take Cori outside to wait for me.
But Tuttle? I may just have agreed with my Mom on that one. But seeing that exhibit gave me some confidence in my own minimalism.