August 27th, 2009

Smiley Faces

Suffrage, Waterhouse

I've never been quite so excited to receive a ballot before. Previously, I have always had to request a ballot; this time, it came all on its own. My home state, I am guessing, has switched ballot policies and is now sending them automatically to those of us who always request them. So I voted in the local school board election, dropping off my ballot en route into town to see the Waterhouse exhibit currently on at the Royal Academy.

This meant that, as I went through the Waterhouse exhibit, I kept looking at the women and thinking "They didn't have suffrage when Waterhouse painted them."

Other recurring themes: Lots of birds, especially pigeons. Every throne has its footstool - they are all too tall for those seated in them. Gorgeous turquoises. Tim Rice owns a lot of Waterhouse paintings.

It's a pleasant exhibit if - like most - a little crowded, paintings hung without a whole lot of thought as to conflict crowds of onlookers. It has most of his greatest hits, a number of preliminary works, and gives a good sense for historical development. Disturbingly, I realized I have most of the objects necessary to recreate one of his Circes in Playmobil; that I noticed this is somewhat worrying. In several of the rooms, his sketchbooks were juxtaposed with the final paintings; this is how I observed that, given the right small detail to indicate in an otherwise sublimely elegant casual sketch, even Waterhouse will draw smiley faces. (See icon.)

swisstone, last night at the usual BSFA dinner, didn't think it would take me more than an hour-and-a-half to see the show. I went in at 10:30. I emerged, hungry and a little tired at 1:30. This is why I usually go to exhibits by myself. La maison du chocolat, Minamoto Kitchoan, lunch at Wasabi, and home again to try to get in as much work as possible in what's left of the day.