Art in Oberon was yesterday and the colour thing keeps on unravelling with new insights happening like lightbulb moments.  We are currently copying a painting by Matisse and I am sure he would be thrilled.  We had to trace the simple painting of a woman with black hair and a red coat of some description onto a sheet of paper and then paint it.  Each colour had to be mixed to match his colours and it was more difficult than we at first thought to do this with the simple hues of the primary colours and black and white or grey.  The first thing I did was put the carbon paper in upside down!!!  Imagine my surprise when I found the reverse of the tracing on the page I was tracing from instead of my clean white sheet.  Me, who cut my teeth on carbon paper (so to speak) had put it in upside down!!!  Well, perhaps that was fortuitous because when I finished that tracing I realised - because no one of us had had the foresight to bring sticky tape to the class - that  the photocopy I was tracing over had moved quite a bit sideways and Madame Matissse (or Madame Matisse's stand-in - again so to speak) would have looked as though she was falling off her chair.  However, the then fairly rough and ready tracing was done and I launched into the colours by making my next mistake by adding an eensy weensy touch of green (which rules intensity) instead of black or grey which would give me value.  They say you learn from your mistakes and like Billy Joel, I usually learn from making them twice.  Can't think of the particular song where he says that but it has always stuck in my mind along with copious quantities of other trivia which, unfortunately, never seems to help with trivial pursuit.  Obviously they don't ask the right questions.  I have answers in this brain to questions that have never even been thought of yet.

This artcourse keeps  my mind full for the time being.  The use of colour has possibilities that are limitless like the colour wheels that we do.  They are amazing and produce such wonderful hues just from the three primaries - maybe a few different primary colours of course - and black and white.  The colour wheels are beautiful and I would like to hang them up where I could just gaze at them and lose myself in their magic.

It is good to have my mind full of colour as it then lessens the impact of other things like watching a doco on Gore Vidal on Sunday night.  It was brilliant.  He was brilliant but he said something in his old age that has haunted me since hearing it. He had run for the Senate in America at the same time as John Kennedy ran for President and it showed a lot of the campaigning and of course we know the outcome but he sat in his chair as an old man he said "We were naive enough to think we could make a difference".  How sad is that?  I felt suddenly bereft. If they couldn't make a difference who could?  What is the point of our lives if their lives, these brilliant people, are basically worth nothing in the big picture, the big scheme of things?  We have been told often enough, that you just do what you can in your own little sphere.  I do believe that if you make a difference in even one person's life then that is a little bit of difference that must help the world.  If we all do that, difference must be achieved.  How many of us remember people who made a positive difference in our lives, someone who made a difference, perhaps a teacher?   Someone we can never forget.  But for people like Gore Vidal to not make a big difference, how can that be?

Right at the end he was asked what sort of legacy he would like to leave the world and after a slight pause he enunciated slowly, clearly and quietly "I don't care".

It is cold this morning, that is why I am sitting here doing this instead of doing something important like washing up.  The watery sun is trying to appear but it hasn't got enough oomph to beat the clouds.  They started off just scattered around and it looked like it could be a reasonable day but they have now gathered forces and are winning the battle.  It is cold enough to have had to drag my one pair of corduroy trousers out and put them on.  This is difficult because the two top buttons are missing.  They popped off.  They are those stupid stud things that when they are gone, leave a hole right where you would put a button if you were inclined to put buttons on.  Not that I am that way inclined.  Because I am egg-shaped the buttons keep coming off anyway so I put a belt on and it works just as well.  My daughter would be scandalised that I would be so slack but as she is definitely not egg-shaped, she would not fully understand the problem.

I remember being scandalised when I inherited a beautiful black taffeta petticoat (we wore beautiful petticoats in those days) from my mother who I thought at the time was perfect.  I later grew up and discovered no one was perfect and why should we be?  However, on the matter of this particular garment, she had -  following the varying hemlines and fashions of the day - taken it up.  That, in itself was alright but she had used white cotton.  I could hardly believe it.  How things change. Now I am wearing buttonless cords with a belt.  It does have a zip!!! 

Will try and get my Matisse painting finished and a bit of other homework also and then, feeling  virtuous, might launch into some brilliant piece of work.  Then again, I could just rest on the virtuous feeling and read a book.  This is my day and it stretches before me untouched and beautiful no matter what the weather.  Tuesday is my day to do as I please.  It is like Sundays used to be for the farm labourers years ago when it was the only day they had off.  My grandmother in law in Bourke used to tell me about the old man who lived next door to them and who they had known for many years.  On Sunday he would get up extra early so that he could have a really long day off.   I used to think that was funny because in those days we got up early all the time and Sunday was a day to sleep in (when children were old enough to sleep in) and then have a long, slow brunch, read the papers and generally lounge around.  Now I have changed my mind and am enjoying the long day off.  Sundays are still beautiful days when we try to read and still generally have brunch.  Anyway, this is my day and lo and behold, the sun is coming out just at the right time.  It has won the battle.