I supposed I tempted fate during Day 1 when I talked about all the rain and no snow here in New Hampshire, because wouldn’t you know it, we got a snow storm. Something about snow makes me want bright reds and purpley blues and a particular shade of green, somewhere between teal and kelly. So, today, I decided to paint poppies. But I wanted to do it from memory and not stay stuck to the actual subject. It was more about color and design. I felt almost as if Matisse were sitting on my shoulder, and I didn’t mind that, not one bit.
So, this one’s in homage to Henri. (I thought briefly about jokingly calling it “Don’t You Tell Henri,” but decided to go with a safer name instead.) I present “Still Life with Poppies,” 12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas. Matisse loved anemones, and I do, too, but I love poppies even more.
Which brings me to what you may not know about me. In addition to poppies, I love Matisse. The man had some serious vision and fortitude. Did you know that the reason he began his paper cutouts was because he was sick with cancer and could no longer hold a brush? Giving up art was not an option, so he changed the way he did art instead, and created some of the most beautiful works ever imagined.
If you get a chance, watch the documentary A Model for Matisse. It’s a charming documentary available from Netflix, and it explores the friendship between Matisse and Sister Jacques-Marie, a woman who modeled for him and then became a Dominican nun. They continued a close friendship throughout his life, and he designed the stained glass windows and other rooms in the Chapelle du Rosaire, a church Jacques-Marie was involved with. She had quite an influence on him.
Another thing you may not know: it’s one of my dreams to go to Chapelle du Rosaire one day. I would so love to see what Matisse did in person.