Friday, May 19, 2017

Between writings and drawings, a new challenge for the W(o)ndering Writer

Last week, I joined a friend of mine to one conference about how we perceive images and the fact that images, whether they are paintings or photograph, they cannot be "read," but just watched.
I am not an expert is this matter, but I know a something about creativity, and I was disappointed by the way certain people look at a painting with such cold feelings. We all agree that after all painting is nothing else but the combination of colors on canvas, but there is a lot more that happens in our brain when we look at those combinations.
The conference itself was totally boring, something I wouldn't suggest to my worst enemy, and for that reason, I grabbed the first chance to get out of that place before its end.
Nevertheless, it was able to raise a lot of questions in my mind.
For this reason, I took out randomly a couple of paintings and looked at them. Well, indeed I could read the story behind them. It was like taking a book and read a novella. The difference between a written text and painting is that one uses the words, to describe what happened to the characters and the environment where the story is happening. With the painting, the artist takes the approach from the opposite point of view, she takes the images, and through them, she tells a story.
Let's try it, are you ready?

The story: "The railway"

"It was 1877, and I was just a boy at that time. For weeks, everybody didn't speak of anything else but the final construction of the railway. That was the sort of road where a revolutionary transportation system would have reached our town; the steam train.
Before that day, I hadn't seen any of them, all the information we got was from the father of one of my schoolmates. He worked as an engineer on the realization of such an ambitious project.
Jean-Pierre was the name of my schoolmate, and he became immediately one of the most popular kids at our school. His father became almost a hero and he would have brought to our town a steam train, that would have allowed the transportation of people and goods from and to very far places.
I was excited, as you can imagine; at home, I couldn't stop talking about it, and I was eagerly waiting for the day the first train would have arrived.
Finally, we had a date, and the teacher at the school brought us to the station to admire the arrival and the departure of such a marvel of the modern technique.
We were all dressed up like we were going to the church on a Sunday morning and between all the chuckles and excited heartbeats, we started orderly to walk from our classroom to the station. As we were getting close, out voices got dimmer and dimmer, until none of us could say a word anymore.
The wait was extenuating, and a lot of people came to assist this historic event. There were photographers, painters; almost the whole town, we were all there, not wanting to miss it for any reason in this world.
Finally, we could hear a far whistle, my legs started to tremble, and in a cloud made of steam and dust, the train arrived. I could smell that distinct odor of coal and metal, getting closer, together with the grinding noise of the wheels on the tracks.
As it arrived closer and stopped, I could appreciate its dimensions; it was enormous, something beyond my wildest imagination. The conductor peeked from the train and greeted us waving his hat, and we all started to wave whatever we had at our reach, foulard, hats, books or simply our hands.
The noise of the steam was overwhelming our voices, and I thought that this must have been the glorious sound of the progress.
Our teacher explained that the train was generally traveling at the crazy speed of 50 km/h, but they could reach even 70 km/h. Could you even imagine it? It was such an inconceivable speed that many people consider it too dangerous, and preferred to see the steam train being disposed of forever.
Personally, that day I made an important decision, I would have become a train conductor. I wanted to see the world by traveling with a train, bringing the progress wherever possible, and even beyond."

Now, let's have a look at the painting (Gare St Lazare, Monet 1877):

What do you say, can we read not only words, but also images?
All comments are the most welcome, and until the next time, have a wonderful weekend!

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