I am currently reading Betty Churcher’s book “Notebooks” a compilation of essays on her favourite atrworks, hanging in respective galleries throughout the world. Given that her eye sight was failing, Betty Churcher decided to sketch the key points of her favourite paintings so that they would make an indelible impression on her mind’s eye.
This book reminds me of experiences that I shared with my Year 8 art teacher Sue McBride, whom I credit for opening my eyes to a new way of looking at art and the world at large.
The act of relaxing into a painting and allowing it to take you on a journey, is one of the most seductive pleasures that I can image. By simultaneously looking at the work and reading Betty’s interpretation of it, the whole painting opens up in meaning and visual delight. Not all of Betty’s favourite paintings are mine, however her commentary enriches each one, making it more personal and an overall enjoyable experience.