I was still sitting in the tub, reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald at 6:00 p.m. It was to be the inspiration for Wednesday’s battle and I was sadly behind in my reading, given my absorption in the book, Self by Yann Martel. I think it’s a sad thing that I managed my way through school without having read this relatively short novel, a classic even. I think that the fact that I had attended a high school in the United States might have been a factor and remember delighting in All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren.
Needless to say, I DID successfully get to the tragic conclusion of the book and then zipped about my place, gathering up art supplies and getting loaded into the van. Twenty minutes late, I had formulated my ideas in the van before my arrival…finding ‘the house’ spinning vinyl and vibrating with thoughts of Gatsby. It was high energy and I was feeding off of the frenzy.
I portray Gatsby, completely vulnerable, as he gazes across the water to the West Egg. With thoughts of Daisy…I imagine the pain of his lost years and also the tremendous sense, from the book, of the loop that told him, “I am not enough”.
In the end, I illustrated the following passage….
“…One autumn night, five years before, they had been walking down the street when the leaves were falling, and they came to a place where there were no trees and the sidewalk was white with moonlight. They stopped here and turned toward each other. Now it was a cool night with that mysterious excitement in it which comes at the two changes of the year. The quiet lights in the houses were humming out into the darkness and there was a stir and bustle among the stars. Out of the corner of his eye Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalks really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the trees – he could climb to it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder.”
Thank you to Andrea for purchasing the piece at auction.
Thanks to Bassano Del Grappa who narrates the auction with panache. I like how he makes connections with the art works right to the last piece (and there are many). Even if he is ‘reading things into’ the works, it makes the event fun and funny!