We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I am a fan of John Constable's work. I will admit this is something I picked up from my father, and something I continued on with while studying in London in 1983. I did several papers on his work that semester, and spent a great deal of time in the National Gallery. I will, quite selfishly, say I was very happy to have my father join me and my class as we did presentations on various pieces. That day I did a little piece on Constable's "The Hay Wain" and having him there made me very nervous.
So, I was very pleased when Mrs. Bulldog told me about the Frick Gallery's "Cocktails with a Curator" which featured Constable's "The White Horse" today (May 1, 2020). It's part of their series during the idiotic isolation. But I HIGHLY recommend this. It may be one of a few good things that come out of this waste of time. Please, if you like art, and even if you believe Frick was a jerk (as I do), it's worth watching.
My relationship with Constable took an interesting turn in 2018. Mrs. Bulldog and I were lucky enough to travel to London for Wimbledon. We went for a week, and she planned a 'literary walk' not unlike Maggies' Urban Hikes. It started with a walk through Hampstead Heath (a favorite Constable locale), to Kenwood House to view the artwork, then to The Spaniards Inn for a drink, and through Hampstead to see the homes of various great literary figures. Orwell, Keats, Waugh, Ian Fleming, Bram Stoker, among many others. One stop, for Stoker, was an old church at the end of Church Row in Hampstead. He wrote a good portion of Dracula while sitting in the church courtyard. H.G. Wells had also lived on Church Row.
At this point, you're asking "What's this got to do with Constable?" Well, that's the interesting part. In the church courtyard is a list of everyone buried there. I was most excited to learn John Harrison, the 'discoverer' of longitude was buried out front. (At this point, Mrs. Bulldog is saying "What a nerd I married") But also included on this list was John Constable! Sheer luck had led us to some rather interesting historic locations, and I was totally wrapped up in the moment. I was further pampered by getting to spend several hours in the National Gallery yet again, revisiting many of my old friends.
If you like art, please check out this series on YouTube. I promise it's worth your time, and make sure you have a cocktail in hand.
My late mother, who loved Constable, lived in England twice during her lifetime. She begged me, an art major doing pretentious post modern crap, to paint her "a Constable or two." Cash would follow. I painted a few large studies from Constable for her that she loved. But what this did for me was life changing. I set forth as a traditional painter. Constable taught me everything that was not being taught then. Composition, chiaroscuro, color harmony, and freaking how to paint skies. Whoa. It has been a very gratifying life for this humble, regional lady painter.