The Words Get in the Way

Carrie’s text- How are you my dear?  What’s new?

Where do I even begin?  Oh, the good news!  On Friday, my topic of research for Class X got approved.  My teacher uttered those magical words, Go ahead


So all weekend, I have been living with the unnamed young woman with the water pitcher.


I’m getting to know her better.  I know the pigment/material used to paint that shade of blue on her skirt is costly.  Her head is shrouded by a hooftdoveken– protecting her head in cold weather, as well as her hairstyle when out it public.

She’s consumed me.


The objects arranged in the painting reflect that hers is a household of means.


Jewelry box with pearls, “Oriental” rug covering the table, gilded water pitcher and basin.  The last two items traditionally also express, purity.


Yup.  She’s consumed me.


Bad news:  “Consider the work of art as the basis for a thorough exploration and analysis of the historical body and dress, as well as issues concerning their mediation in art and cover such topics as materiality, the artist and his/her oeuvre, the subject and his/her clothing, posture and gesture, and other issues as raised by the work itself, including the social, political and economic forces affecting body/dress.”

Where do I even begin.

Good news:  It’s my favorite class.


Bad news:  “5-page presentation and a paper on a single element in your final focus artwork.”  Due date- October 21.


The color blue?  The patterned rug?  Linen around her shoulders?  Eyes cast low?  The window?  The elements call out, but the words get in the way.  I can’t seem to construct beyond a sentence.


Will this lead to something for future work or just for personal improvement?  Darren asked me.  His question made me laugh and laugh.

In the evening I admit defeat, walk Bruno to the park.  We stay listening to music and life pulsating around us.


Tomorrow morning, I’ll go back to the drawing board.  I’ll peer at her again, comb through more readings.  Just maybe, a second sentence can be strung.

  •  Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, ca1662, Johannes Vermeer, Gallery 632, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Avenue


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