Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Devil's in The Details

Last week, the temperatures were peaking at 100. Then it got nice and cozy, very spring-like. And today, winter is back. Gray skies, chilly - and even rain. Feels like California got into some crazy time machine that got broken.

But yesterday, before this sudden winter, my sister and I managed to go and visit the fair
Filoli Center, with its flowers and greenery and sculpted gardens and all.

The roses were in blossom, generously spreading their perfume, the lavender pitched in the aromatic festival with its usual stunning purpleness, joined by other flowers in varying shades of purple and orange (whoever designs the gardens there has an exquisite sense of color!), and many more blossoms whose names I shall never know.

It really was lovely; a nice break from the shopping sprees we got into (in my defense: I'm still sick and thus cannot really drive around; the paradox is that standing for hours in stores does not make me feel any better... on the contrary).

We strolled through the beauty, enjoying the sights, smells and the fact that we do not need to water all these plants.

Eventually we went into the house (which is quite impressive if you are one of those fancy-house lovers, with chandeliers and carpets and heavy furniture and window treatments and a drawing room and a refectory and the China from which they used ot drink tea and a living room and another living room and - well, y'know).

My sister went to visit the rest room, and while waiting for her, I examined the artwork on the nearby wall. Two big paintings of sailing ships hung very high above the extra-high doors, and in between them a third piece that looked impressively three-dimensional. A close look revealed that it really was 3D, with plastic sails glued onto the canvas... I gazed at the paintings and the 3D critter with sheer boredom, filled with thoughts of how much I dislike this kind of art, when the docent approached me.

She smiled at me - and immdiately frowned at my sister's big black purse which was in the carpet.

"Oh, I thought it was a cat!", she realized her mistake.

"Nope, it isn't",
I assured her.

"So", she turned to me, wearing back her smile,
"I see you are admiring the details in these pictures?".

For a moment there, I contemplated giving her a lecture about details having nothing to do with quality of art, about going beyond the obvious and reaching higher for expressiveness, about the elements of design being sacrified so often in favor of mediocre art - - -

But instead, I just smiled and said with my sweetest voice: "Oh yes".

Because sometimes, it's just easier.

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