“I want the unobtainable. Other artists paint a bridge, a house, a boat, and that’s the end. They are finished. I want to paint the air which surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat, the beauty of the air in which these objects are located, and that is nothing short of impossible.” – Claude Monet

This is the start of Susan Barry’s 7th chapter “When Two Eyes See as one” of Fixing my Gaze. I re-read her book before going to the Impressionist exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco last week. I thought about the idea of painting the air, the distance that I can’t even fathom. However, it was so crowded in the museum that Wednesday afternoon that I wasn’t keen on painting the air, I was keen on getting air. I had trouble concentrating on the paintings amidst the throngs of museum goers.

However, when I looked at the painting above, The Fife Player by Edouard Manet (1866), it seemed as though the player was coming off the canvas.

The fife player coming out of the canvas and airless viewing of the exhibit necessitated an iced coffee.


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