Posted by: okathleen | October 7, 2008

All a Woman really Wants…?

I feel as if I have been transported back in time. The ‘first day back at school’ sensation with new shoes, sharpened pencils and an eager air of enquiry. Mmm, how long will that last I wonder? I met with Eric to discuss very scanty details of my Independent Study. Ideas and notions float across the hidden shallows. There is a deep vein to be tapped, a nettle to grasp, but at the moment the themes are nebulous and that nettle is a puff of dandelion seeds wafting through the ether.

Taraxacum officinale
Taraxacum officinale
There is far too much white noise in the background. Time to focus and regroup.
Ideas so far:
What does it mean and why? Interpretation, perception. Why does it have to mean anything? Can a painting be neutral? Should our interface with the painting echo that of the author? The author produced his unique text via a set of unique ideas – should we feel the same? A painter paints for himself? Or for me? Does the author write for himself or for me? Does that painting bring anything to my table? Should it?
Who cares?

Who cares?

 Mr and Mrs Andrews, what did Gainsborough mean? Is this simply a one-dimensional snapshot, or a can of worms?

Who cares less?

Who cares less?

The first painting hangs in the National Gallery.
 The second could hang in my sitting room for $299 and that includes free shipping, and it is not a digital image, and it was painted by a professional artist. Does this make it mean less/differently? The second artist is a trillion synapses away from Gainsborough, yet the image is identical…
Time to start writing. Investigate getting published by any means, almost any! Time to select a painting, and a panel of jurors.
Write a proposal, sift through research. Put on the blinkers.
In the meantime I conclude with the following:

“And Finally: the three golden words. King Arthur’s knight Gawain was sent off on a quest to find out the answer to the riddle of what women wanted, but after schlepping up and down Ye Olde High Street, he had a head-scrambling number of contradictory replies, from “kindness” to “Jimmy Choos” (or the early mediaeval equivalent, probably “cat gut clogs”). Finally, he bumped into a loathly lady in a magic wood who whispered three words in his ear. (I think he had to marry her first – there may be a lesson there.) Anyway, the lady may have been loathly but her words hold true today. All a woman really wants? “Her own way.””


And tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow – look out for all a man really wants – and it’s not a Gainsborough painting…



  1. is it grasp the mettle or nettle

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