Just finished a book which is now one of my favorites. It's about a painting. A painting I love and even have hanging in my dining room. Well, of course what I have is a print. A print in a plastic frame all of which I found for less than $10 at an antique store. And, no it wasn't a great find - it looks like is should've cost less than $10. But I love the picture. Now, I love it even more.
The painting and the book have the same title: Luncheon of the Boating Party. Pierre-Auguste Renoir did the painting. Susan Vreeland wrote the book. The book was written in 2007. The picture painted in 1881. I always meant to read the book, but I never read things when they come out because I don't want to get on the waiting list at the library. However, I'm going to a new book group tomorrow and this is the book they were reading. I can't wait to discuss it. Seriously, I am going to have to hold myself back and try to not be obnoxious (it is my first time there, you know.)
The book follows Renoir through the entire process of planning, setting, and completing his painting through eight Sunday's of luncheons on the terrace of Maison Fournaise. The models were his friends and benefactors and the book is about each of their stories. The Impressionist movement and it's turmoil plays a part in the book and since one of the women in the painting becomes Renoir's wife - there is romance.
But best for me is it expresses Renoir's philosophy of painting: "To my mind, a picture should be pleasant, cheerful, and pretty, yes pretty! There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them."
That's how I feel about writing. I have friends who write very dark things and I have some who write very light things. I want to write beauty and happiness-realistically.
Guess I know now why Mr. Renoir's picture appealed to me so many years ago. Maybe I'll go buy a nicer frame.