Welcome to Art Appreciation With Bossy, a new feature here on I Am Bossy, where new feature probably means yeah this may be the last time you see it. In whatever case, come along as Bossy shares everything she knows about art, which should put you back on Facebook in approximately thirty-three seconds.
Shall we begin?
This painting is called Whistler’s Mother which everybody knows, especially if that everybody is Bossy’s Unhusband who had to answer an email from Bossy asking What is this painting again? because Bossy can’t remember things about her own mother, let alone Whistler’s.
The first thing Bossy would like to point out about this painting is that Whistler’s Mother is very old. And here Bossy isn’t talking about the painting itself from 1871, she’s referring to Whistler’s mother. Eighty-two, Bossy is guessing — although what does Bossy know, because Anne Bancroft was only thirty-five when she played Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate.
Next Bossy wants you to notice the artist’s use of black in the painting. That’s because Whistler’s mother was wearing a black floor-length dress, which is convenient because it mirrors the black floor-length drapes from Crate & Barrel which weigh down the left side of the painting.
And speaking of painting, Bossy would like to point out the cross-hatching technique particularly evident in the Benjamin Moore’s Pistachio paint color on the walls — and this cross-hatching the artist achieved by cross-hatching.
Particularly interesting about Whistler’s Mother is the painting hanging on the wall behind Whistler’s mother, which Bossy likes more than Whistler’s Mother. Or Whistler’s mother for that matter. It looks to be a serene farm landscape. Or an industrial complex maybe.
And finally, the takeaway from this very famous piece of art: Don’t forget your foot stool when posing for your son the artist who you secretly wish was your son the doctor and that’s why you’re not smiling.
Who had fun?
Anna saysMay 27, 2011 at 11:22 am
Best art review ever. EVER.
Tootsie Farklepants saysMay 27, 2011 at 11:35 am
The best! Says the mother with the teenage boy who dreams of becoming a rock star and whose mother (not so) secretly wishes he’d dream of becoming an orthodontist.
Charlie saysMay 27, 2011 at 11:35 am
Anne Bancroft was so hot as Mrs. Robinson. What was Bossy talking about again? Oh, art. The painting, Whistler’s Mother, for those who are interested, was painted in London, while the mother (mom) lived with her son (Whistler). The painting currently resides in Paris, however, where it doesn’t speak the language. The painting does occasionally go on tour, but has to use a walker, with two torn tennis balls for feet. The painting was done in oils, which can get kinda messy. And it was featured on a 1934 US postage stamp honoring mothers, tho on the stamp the dreary curtains were replaced by a vase of flowers. Whistler didn’t paint the vase. Hope this helps in the ever enriching art education of Bossy’s readers.
Sarah saysMay 27, 2011 at 12:14 pm
You MUST review more art! You and I, we are very similar in our art critiques. You could start your own school of thought when it comes to art review, and then take on proteges…
Dobes saysMay 27, 2011 at 12:17 pm
Wow, moms. I secretly cried the day my son gave up his life as a professional ballet dancer to become a software engineer.
Z. Mulls saysMay 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm
If you stare at her dress long enough, it transforms into a giant black amorphous blob.
Olivia saysMay 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm
And Olivia thinks that this looks like exactly the sort of mother who would name her son “Whistler”.
Patricia @Cooking Cakes and Chemistry saysMay 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm
Just went yesterday to the Abstract Expressionist New York exhibit at the Art gallery of Ontario – I’d love a BOSSY art review of some of those paintings! For example Pollock vs Rothko: http://www.ago.net/abex-featured-works
Not sure of my own opinion yet…
Cactus Petunia saysMay 27, 2011 at 3:17 pm
Who knew Whistler’s mother was such a modernist? Next, could Bossy please do a tutorial on how to cross-hatch your walls in Benjamin Moore’s Pistachio? I sure does look good with those Crate & Barrel drapes.
Interested reader saysMay 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm
This post made me curious and I did a little research.
-James McNeill Whistler’s mother was 67 when she posed for this painting in 1871.
– The 1859 etching on the wall behind his mother was done by Whistler himself and is entitled “Black Lion Wharf.”
Thank you for inspiring the inquiry!
Deb(no)Blog saysMay 27, 2011 at 4:28 pm
As always, Bossy, I had fun. You can make most ANYTHING fun. James McNeill Whistler was a rockin’ painter. Too bad his dour mom is the painting that represents him.
Looking forward to your next flamboyant take on the ordinary….
Bush Babe (of Granite Glen) saysMay 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm
Bossy, you could make watching paint dry into a fun pastime. Wait… have you tried THAT commentary yet? Love that Interested Reader did your research for you – aren’t blogs great?
Little Miss Sunshine State saysMay 27, 2011 at 7:04 pm
More art appreciation, please!
Whistler’s mother wanted him to be a minister. His father wanted him to be an engineer. So Whistler went to West Point. Huh??
Suburban Kamikaze saysMay 27, 2011 at 7:35 pm
The funny thing is, Mrs Whistler was considered a MILF for her time.
alice saysMay 27, 2011 at 10:01 pm
i do believe mr. whistler titled this piece arrangement in grey and black…love the critique
Cupcake Murphy saysMay 27, 2011 at 10:16 pm
Oh my good lord goodness I am so happy you brought this up. So, um, excuse me but WHAT DO YOU THINK THE PAINTING IS ON THE FAR RIGHT JUST ABOVE OLD CRONE’S HEAD? BEEN WONDERING THIS FOR NINE HUNDRED YEARS.
rory saysMay 27, 2011 at 10:57 pm
Bossy, I just spewed.
That was bark out loud laughingly funny.
I’m gonna re-read it and see if I can’t startle Cutter and Tug AGAIN.
Piper "Ace" Benjamin saysMay 27, 2011 at 11:57 pm
It looks to me as if Whistler’s mother is thinking about going outside for a much-needed smoke.
And if I could paint, I would re-paint this picture myself, except I would put her in a cherry-red Jazzy.
Piper likes Bossy’s art appreciation.
BossysMom saysMay 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm
love this…keep it coming…installations should be fun!
Bossys mother with cross-hatching
Sally saysMay 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm
LOL – love this! My first visit, but if this is an example of your writing, I’ll be back.
If I had to sit that long for a painting, I’d look much worse than Whister’s Mother (yeah, and what a name for your child). 🙂
The Exceptional Woman saysMay 29, 2011 at 8:24 pm
This was our first time to your site and this post was hilarious! We loved the “unhusband” reference and the crate and barrel and Ben Moore references. Very clever, we’ll be back!
Craftwhack saysMay 29, 2011 at 11:49 pm
Have you considered a career as an art historian, because that is some delightful insight. And much more interesting than I got in art school. Um, I vote for a breakdown of the Arnolfini Wedding next, please.
Jessi Louise saysMay 31, 2011 at 5:15 am
Has anyone checked to see if this lady has a pulse?
GrandeMocha saysMay 31, 2011 at 9:59 am
I thought she was wearing a black Snuggie. 🙂
I LOVED my Art History classes. I liked learning about how when A guys conquered the B guys, they stole some art/architecture & they imposed some of their art/architecture on the people they conquered. Much more interesting then studing battles & wars.
foolery saysMay 31, 2011 at 12:49 pm
Mrs. Whistler was the prototype for Mrs. Robinson in the first screenplay for “The Graduate” (I’m lying).
Mrs. Whistler was known for not wearing knickers under her ponderous robes (I’m lying).
James Whistler looked suspiciously like the Whistler family minister (I’m lying).
Art history is SO much more vibrant when BOSSY gets us going. 🙂
runnergirl saysJune 3, 2011 at 8:25 am
Love Art History w/ Bossy!!! If you review another painting, perhaps I can help. When I was a kid, my parents had a cheap copy of “American Gothic” hanging in the garage (the old couple posing in front of their amish barn and the old guy’s holding a pitchfork). Whenever we acted up as kids, my parents reminded us that the couple in the painting were Cyrus and Abigail, and the farm was the Farm for Bad Kids, and if we didn’t knock it off immediately, there was our destination for the summer. I don’t know if it was the stern faces on the couple, or semi convincing acting skills and well suppressed laughter from my parents and the entire neighborhood, but it worked. My sister and I would settle down pretty quickly, because we had a pretty good thing going in the summertime, with my parents both at work and a cul de sac full of kids our age with minimal adult supervision. I wonder what they would have done with Whistler’s Mother if we owned that one…..
gameboy saysJune 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm
Brilliant review. Repeating picture every few lines of text is outstanding for those of us with no visual memory. Bossy is an excellent antidote for Ink’s critcs. They could learn from Bossy.