Sunday, April 14, 2019

Three Beautiful Things 04/13/19: Maggie Update, Making Up a Dinner, Andrew Wyeth and Dorothy Bohm Documentaries

1. The morning started out slow for Maggie. She wasn't interested in food. I put her in the second tv room chair that she likes so I could watch her while I watched the exciting third round of Masters. As the day progressed, Maggie perked up a bit. She ate. I fed her out of my hand to begin and then she ate more out of her bowl. She ate again a dinner time, right out of her bowl.  She drank quite a bit of water and she went outside a few times, sometimes able to get herself back in the house after going up the back porch, sometimes needing my help. Late in the afternoon and early in the evening, I observed that Maggie couldn't relieve herself when she tried.  I'll call the vet first thing Monday morning when the clinic opens for the week, get her in, and see what's next.

2.  Early in the afternoon, I took my tablet into the kitchen, set it up so I could watch and listen to the golf tournament while doing some food preparation.  In one of the salad dressing decanters, I made up a marinade, with no recipe and no measuring cups or spoons. I combined vegetable oil, sesame oil, champagne vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, minced ginger, garlic powder, and chili paste. I combined this mixture with chicken thighs and put them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for a couple or three hours. I poured the marinade over several boneless chicken thighs and baked them in the oven. Meanwhile, I fixed some jasmine rice and stir fried some broccoli florets and sliced mushrooms for a while and then steamed them. When the chicken was done baking, I sliced up a couple of the thighs into cubes, put the cubes over rice in a bowl, poured some of the marinade from the baking dish over the chicken and rice, and topped it with the mushrooms and broccoli.

It was a pretty good meal, fun to make without a recipe.

3. I'm just this way. I haven't been able to bring myself to leave Maggie alone much. Outside of Friday morning when I went to Sam's and Yoke's, I've been staying in the house close to her, monitoring her sleep, what she does when awake, and helping her get around, as needed.

This evening, Maggie rested in the tv room in the room's second chair.

I watched two documentaries.

I discovered that I could rent an episode of PBS' American Masters examining of the art and life of Andrew Wyeth. It was entitled simply, Wyeth. 

If there's one artist whose work I wish I could emulate when I take pictures, it's Andrew Wyeth. It's his paintings. When I was still living with Molly and Hiram in Groveton, VA, one day I ventured to the National Gallery. I love going to art museums and I love not knowing what exhibits are showing when I go. That way, I can be surprised by what I discover once I arrive.

Well, on this day, an exhibit of Andrew Wyeth paintings was underway, called "Looking Out, Looking In".

If you've seen much of Andrew Wyeth's work, you know that he loved the play between windows, light, shadows, and wind. He loved painting views of landscapes seen through windows and, as one of many ways he portrayed the transient nature of life, he enjoyed painting the wind lifting curtains framing an open window. I used to try to take similar kinds of pictures when I lived at 940 Madison in Eugene. That house received natural interior light very well; that light cast many interesting shadows; we had light curtains that were fun to take pictures of; and, even though we didn't have rural landscapes outside our windows like Wyeth did, it was fun to take pictures looking out.

When I stumbled into the "Looking Out, Looking In" exhibit it reminded me of the time in late December of 1996 or early January of '97 when I was driving home to Eugene and, on a lark, stopped in Portland and paid a visit to the Portland Art Museum. To my surprise and delight, the museum was showing The Helga Paintings. Over the years, Wyeth had secretly painted pictures of this woman, Helga, who modeled for him in a copious postures and poses and in various degrees of dress and undress. These paintings were beautiful, haunting, alluring, contemplative, sensitive, erotic, and any number of other things. They were all I could think about as I drove the last leg of my trip from Portland to Eugene.

As I watched this documentary this evening, I almost fast forwarded through the parts that dealt with Andrew Wyeth's personal life. I didn't, but I wanted these parts to be over with and was the most absorbed when Wyeth and other people were interviewed about Wyeth's painting, his technique, his vision, and what it was in human life and the world of nature that compelled him to create so many drawings and paintings.  I remember having a similar response to the movie, Finding Vivian Maier. That Vivian Maier's life was eccentric didn't interest me that much. Her photograph? I loved those and loved when that movie focused on her pictures.

I watched another artist's documentary before I turned in. It's called Seeing Daylight: The Photography of Dorothy Bohm. The passages in this movie that dealt with Dorothy Bohm's approach to photography and her love of taking pictures and that showed her work were stunning. In Bohm's case, I was more interested in her biography because her experience as a displaced Jew, having been driven out of Germany in the 1940s, helped me, through the movie's interviews, understand how Dorothy Bohm saw displacement and loneliness all around her, how she was able, even after living for decades in England, to take pictures of English life with the perspective of an outsider.

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