A blank page is more intimidating than one with words.
This evening I have read that van Gogh was intimidated by a blank canvas.
Moan: Why do so many write ‘van Gogh’ as ‘Van Gogh’? It’s incorrect, people. The guy’s first name wasn’t ‘Van’, it was Vincent. His full name was Vincent Willem van Gogh. Go on, look it up. And note my correct use of capitalisation when you do.
I’m not van Gogh, not in any sense, but I am similarly intimidated by a blank canvass – in this instance a blank page.
My assignment (Mr Phelps) is:
In no more than 300 words, write a descriptive analysis of this painting. Pay particular attention to features such as the composition of the pictorial space, to the organisation of form and detail, and to the use of lighting and tone, and say how you think these contribute to the effect of the work.
‘This painting’ is Man Reading by Georg Friedrich Kersting:
I know what I’m supposed to look at, appreciate the distinct areas I should pay attention to.
But it’s the blank page, sitting there, intimidating the life out of me.
I could bow down to the bullying intimidation; could do this assignment in significantly less than 300 words but with very little attention to the areas I’m supposed to dutifully visit.
Words such as ‘cold’, ‘boring’ and ‘lacking heart’ spring to mind.
But I won’t give in, will not let myself be intimidated by the bullying blank sheet of paper.
I’m off to bed though.
Not as an act of procrastination, oh no.
You see, my head’s so full of artistic analysis I need to sleep on it to let my subconscious process it all down in to manageable chunks.
Brian Sewell, you’d better look out!
But first bed.
And perhaps a chapter from ‘Guerra‘ to help my mind switch off from this high-level concentration.