I remember my art teacher at school asking me if I thought a particular painting had been done from life or from a number of separate studies. It was Renoir’s ‘Luncheon of the Boating Party’. Looking at it now, it is very clear that the answer is that it was a compilation of studies brought together in the studio. That was the point of him asking the question, I think.
But at the time my mind went blank. I was trying to second guess what he wanted me to say. Maybe he wanted me to get it wrong so that he could correct me. Or maybe he wanted me to get it right because, after all, the answer was obvious. But if so, why ask something so obvious? I felt completely cornered by trying to work out what he was thinking.
I told him I thought it had been painted from life, knowing that was the wrong answer. He looked slightly perplexed, shook his head and said it was clearly done from studies.
It would have been so much easier just to say what I thought, but, among all the possible options, I didn’t think for a minute that that could possibly be what he wanted …
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Published by Peter Runkel. Not an introvert nor an HSP … but neurotic, in fact. Reluctant business consultant. Lives life in PowerPoint.