Sunday, March 27, 2022

Canada is going to be in the World Cup

Four Trees
Claude Monet
Oil on canvas
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
New York City
(The paintings at the
Staatsgalerie were similar. I remember
crying telling Steven about them, and
how thick the paint was, and how Monet
went back as many as 60 times to
get the mood and lighting right!)

How do I know? Not from watching the soccer game today, and I didn't
know it was on between Jamaica and Canada.  But I was downtown
with Steven, trying to get across to the waterfront, and the scene was
insane.  We thought it was a walking version of the truckers that
held a protest in Ottawa that cost that city $36 million -- there
were so many Canadian flags.  But it was the soccer game, and we
were stuck in our car on one street in total standstill for 3/4 of an hour.

Valiant Steven still took me to the lake through endless tight traffic
-- not where we wanted to go. So I saw water, and it was very cold. 
 But it reminded me of when we were in Germany in 2006 during the
World Cup. So I think I will quote myself from an earlier piece. 

"Toronto is a soccer town and as the World Cup begins in
South Africa (This was in 2010) cars are appearing with flags of
their favourite 
countries out the window. In the grocery store people
pick up the dinner groceries wearing soccer T-shirts. Soccer means a lot
to me for sentimental reasons even 
though I've never seen a pro game.

When my oldest was born it was a World Cup year, and
the shouts and boos in our neighbourhood as the games
progressed were both disturbing and seemingly appropriate
(especially the cheers) to a young mother. Someone gave
my son his first soccer T-shirt for a team unrelated to
either of his parents' heritage.

In 2006 Steven and I were in Germany during the World
Cup, in Stuttgart where some of the games were played.
It was wildly exciting. We didn't have tickets to the games,
but the energy in the city was wonderful. There were
soccer balls worked into flower gardens, on the plane
the butter and the chocolates were in the shape of soccer
balls. People from all over the world gathered there in
fantastic costumes and face paint in their national
colours. We bought our sons the orange T-shirts of the
Dutch team when we moved on to Sweden. In
Stockholm one of the main streets was decorated
with ribbons high above the traffic with all the flags of
the countries in the World Cup.

I saw first hand how excited everyone can get about soccer,
and what an air of camaraderie surrounds the games.

Now where is this taking us in terms of art. When I
was in Stuttgart, I left the glory of the World Cup outside,
the shouts and cheers, people carrying around
foot and a half tall glasses of beer on the street, the
cafés whose patios looked like giant parking lots of fans
in front of huge TVs, even the silly humour on TV
in the hotel room, with Reality show people playing
soccer blindfolded, to see the most wonderful show
of Monet's poplars at the gorgeous Staatsgalerie.

At the time I noticed that on each of the paintings
displayed in the gallery Monet had applied very
thick paint, but during the process, perhaps at the
end had rubbed the paint on the horizon, frequently
with a completely different colour from the rest
of the piece with his hand or a cloth, and I could
feel the action of Monet painting. I will always
associate my profound feeling of being in the
artist's immediate presence, of his genius in that
horizontal blurred line across his canvasses with
soccer. Call it synesthesia. And I will always associate
Christopher's birth with the game.

We can expect a wild city, (If Canada wins) especially in
the coffee 
bars on St. Clair just south of us during the games,
and I'm looking forward to the hubbub. My sons
cheer for The Netherlands because their father's parents
were Dutch, I have no favourite, but would cheer for
Italy if I did. I just love the excitement."

Have a getting ready to win day.


Evelyn Oldroyd - painter said...

Yeah 🇨🇦 Canada 😄
I love the tree paintings. It must have been amazing to get up so close to see the brush work!

Barbara Muir said...

Thank you Evelyn,

I remember crying about it when I went back to the hotel to talk to
Steven about it that night. I was so moved. The museum in Stuttgart was one
of the most beautiful I'd been in. So amazing. And I could feel Monet
in the gallery as I was looking at his pieces. Now we have
a kitten who is a direct descendent (lol), and I get to let Monet the painter
know every day how much I love his work. Our Monet is a girl though.


Jennifer Rose said...

football is taken very very seriously here lol

Barbara Muir said...

Yes I know --,

We are fans of Ted Lasso. Hoping for another season. It is
taken seriously here by the fans of the game.


Portrait Artist

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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