In any event, I decided to stuff that unwritten rule and have lobbed a few things up at my 'work' station.
To go with my deliberately provocative photo of TheLovelyWife and I in suits and ties and my figurine of comicbook guy, I have wall calendar featuring the art of Edward Hopper (not my first choice, but when one decides to buy a wall calendar in May, the choices are limited to this kind of thing or 12 months of Bichon Frise or freaking Anne Geddes - shudder).
ANYWAY, July’s picture is this somewhat pensive piece:
I’ve been staring at it for a while, and it may be a reflection of how disinterested I am in the subject matter of my work at the moment, but I’ve been trying desperately to determine whether it is morning, or evening light that is streaming in through the window. I thought I'd be all clever and use my skills of observation to work it out.
At first I thought it was morning light, but then I thought, no, the bedclothes are undisturbed. And to me, that orangey mellow light is reminiscent of about 5pm on an autumn afternoon – sort of just hanging there and making everything a little luminescent. You know, that is the best time of year for sunsets…
But then I thought that can’t be right. If it was autumn, she’d be cold just wearing that slight dress and with the window open.
And then I thought, so maybe it is morning after all. But it seemed too yellowy for the morning light, which is typically a whole lot clearer and a bit more pinky, if you know what I mean. The light in the picture lacks the specific crispness of morning light.
Unless of course the painting is of one of those some horribly skanky, humid summer mornings – you know what it’s like in February when the humidity barely subsides over night and the morning is a just a cruel hangover of the dense and oppressive evening you’ve just endured.
It was at this point that I suspected I might be thinking about it too much (and no doubt by now you think I've written about it too much, if indeed you've read this far), and I turned back to my work.
That lasted about 5 seconds before I turned back to the calendar and reconsidered the subject’s face.
It can’t be morning I thought, the subject looks as though she is wearing make-up. So maybe she’s just come in from a long day at the rat-races, slipped into something more comfortable and is taking in the cityscape whilst pondering the wastefulness of recent tax-cuts, or wondering how long before George Bush nukes Iran, or something like that.
But then, I thought that it probably isn’t make-up, that the boldness of her features is probably just a reflection of Hopper’s sometimes stark painterly technique.
And then I really thought I was thinking about it too much.
So I forgot about it for a while.
And then something happened to make it clear that I really do think about things too much. And also that I don’t pay attention to detail as much as I probably should.
I happened to look just slightly below the picture on the calendar, below the fold, and there it was, in small print:
1952 Oil on canvas
In this picture you might be able to see just how ridiculous it was that I missed it:
So much for those clever 'skills' of observation.
This kind of thing really gets me down.