Wednesday, 25 July 2007

I love Susan Vreeland ....

.... well to be precise, I love her books. A few years ago when everybody was raving about 'The Girl With the Pearl Earring' I came across 'The Girl in Hyacinth Blue' and, though they are not similar in content, they do have the common link of an artist and his art (i.e. Dutch painter Vermeer). I think Susan Vreeland's book is far superior to Tracy Chevalier's and is written with more understanding of not only the artist and his art but of the people touched and moved by it.

Other books I have since read are 'The Passion of Artemisia' (also a wonderful and powerful film) about Artemisia Gentileschi, the most famous female artist in the history of Italy, and 'Life Studies' a collection of short stories not primarily about the artists but the people on the periphery - their lovers, servants, children and neighbours.

I am currently reading 'The Forest Lover' about Canadian artist Emily Carr and again I am carried along by Susan Vreeland's narrative - I feel the characters come alive and I can share in Emily's passion for painting and her love of the primitive. Each chapter is like an adventure, a step into the unknown, and I relish each new experience. Susan Vreeland is playing with my emotions and I am loving every minute of it.