There is a picture on the wall. It is titled Grasmere.
It is a print of a painting by W. Heaton Cooper.
There are other prints in the room, but this is the best,
much better, finer detail and delineation than the rest.
I have often wondered what it is about this print, my
favourite amongst our petty few, that makes me try
to analyse this quality, this reason for my admiration.
The answer came to me today. It is the visualisation,
not the execution. The way the artist sees the scene,
the rills and ridges, the colours, yellows and greens,
and the blue hue of the sky echoing in the silent lake.
I realised that it is not the making of art but the seeing
of it that sets the best artists apart from normal beings.
Look at the drawings by Da Vinci of water or hair,
how the lines flow as though blown or trickled there
on the page. There are other who paint as they feel,
like Van Gogh, or the true ugly beauty of Schiele.
The thing that I know from just looking at this
print is that I never was, nor ever will be, an artist.
Image from the Heaton Cooper Studio.