Buddy Guy: Conclusion

Journey Into Mohawk Country

An autographed copy no less.

Let’s see…

How much did I like this. I liked it a lot. But why? Because of the happy Mohawk girls with the baskets on their heads? Because of the funny companions or the blanks-filled-in explanations for the diary entries? Because a guy takes a shit over a log? Because it was easy to read?

Maybe because of the colours.

Landscape painting gets a bad rap these days, if you think about it. There’s a lot of information in a landscape, a lot of that sudden whack-you-in-the-face-for-no-reason sublimity that marks the most insidiously appealing art. Art that appeals on the basis of childlike “favourites”, like favourite colours or favourite little found rocks or pieces of glass on the beach. Me, I’ve got a pebble and a stick in my pocket right now, and I don’t care if that makes me sound like a twelve-year-old boy with a slingshot: I like that pebble. I like the look of it and the feel of it. It says something to me. What it says I don’t know, but whatever it is, it’s something I’d rather not give up.

And okay, it isn’t just landscape art that does this, that evokes this kind of pre-prefrontal affinity. But surely we can say that this is what landscape painting, above all other kinds of painting, aims at most directly. Can’t we? I can’t remember if it was Monet who said something like: “an artist shouldn’t even think about colour until he’s mastered everything else — because colour is what it’s all about, man.” Well,as a matter of fact, as we discovered on the train…

I dunno. Maybe he’s onto something there. Because colour is a powerful engager of the attention, that’s for sure. Colour is to the eye what the undefinable odour of spring that wafts in through the window every April is to the nose…i.e., strongly implicated in the misfirings of memory that create phantom, but ultimately beautiful, meanings out of (perhaps) a couple random subliminal activators and a handful of blueish photons.

Great stuff!

And then there’s the whole idea, which is really wonderful cartooning. Sure, why not take this guy’s journal and make a comic out of it? Once again, it’s the stick and the pebble…one might choose anything, but one likes this thing here. Me, I’m occasionally an outdoorsy kind of guy, and so there’s nothing I appreciate more than a story that involves a little bad-trail action, followed up with a blissful-slumber-in-some-rude-but-warm-place epilogue. All in all, then…

This one’s for me.

But you never know, I might have some further comment to make, once I finish with my own blissful slumber. In three…two…one…

See you tomorrow.


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