20 July 2005

Do you see what I mean?

A few years ago, I read all of Edith Wharton's novels and short stories, over the course of a few months. I love her. She wrote about a New York that existed for only a short time, and for only a few people; a fantasyland below 23rd Street. She describes many societal changes over the course of her oeuvre, but one small one has always struck me. The moment when stylish women, coming home from Paris with the latest fashions, stopped putting them away for a year before wearing them out, and started wearing them as soon as they bought them.

I always thought aging your wardrobe in a trunk for a year sounded like a good idea, though. For one thing, it makes it less likely that you will be wearing the same exact thing as everyone else. How many times have you walked down the street to see the dress you bought last week at H&M walking towards you?

But the other reason it sounds good to me is that things look better after you've had some time away from them.

I painted this last summer, over July and August, promising myself I'd finish it by Labor Day. I had it propped up against the tv cabinet, but eventually, after the cats knocked it over one too times, I put it away, unfinished. Something reminded me about it tonight, and I took it out to see what more I needed to do with it. But I think it's done. Somehow, it got finished in the months since I last saw it.

P.S.-- I'm an idiot. I completely forgot when I was thinking of Edith Wharton up there, that the words in this painting are taken from a letter she wrote to her lover. But I have to say, I like that I made a connection to her before remembering that.


Blogger Stuntmother said...

I like it. I especially like how the yellow sides hem in the room, compressing it and making its emptiness more oppressive. I also really like words in art. V. cool.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Pedestrian Rage said...

Ellen, I love your blog. Would you please paint a portrait of me?

10:04 AM  

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