“…the softly focused gaze of Pissarro…”

Our friend Dave Hopkins sent a note of encouragement and his comments on Camille Pissarro struck a chord.  Dave lives along the watershed of the Deerfield River in Western Mass.  His footprint is light: solar panels on the barn, on sunny days, generate more power than they consume – they are feeding back into the grid – and the humanure is composted into fertilizer, amended back into the soil to nourish the vegetables, and in turn the animals and humans.  It’s an integrated set-up.  His work with the land has inspired us as much as the ideas he has passed our way.  By his permission, we post his comments here.  On a note of serendipity, this work by Pissarro, from 1886, is titled “Apple Picking.”  That works for us.
“Good to hear from you!  I read some articles in your blog and found it very interesting indeed. Love what you and your family are doing to raise your own food.
I’m musing on an article now on Camille Pissarro, the Impressionist painter and anarchist who had a immense passion for agriculture and rural life. Saw a wonderful exhibit of his work at the Clark in Williamstown, MA, and I strongly recommend it if you come to Western Mass. this fall. It runs to Oct. 2. I realize that what you’re doing is, on the surface, different, but Pissarro believed that modern industrial civilization would collapse and we would return to a living, local, agriculturally based economy, without hierarchy and without a central state. I’ll be talking about how the softly focused gaze of Pissarro was a kind of revolutionary act, rejecting the eye-intense, hyperfocused, hypercontrolled  mindset of modern Western civilization. These farm workers have a quiet dignity and are one with the earth.
All the best in your endeavors!

One Comment on ““…the softly focused gaze of Pissarro…””

  1. barbara says:

    beautiful. i had not before thought of pissaro’s gaze as a revolutionary one. i love knowing the backstory. and love the last sentence in particular….love the dignity of how you live your lives, from every angle, through any lens. you are rich in your friendships, far and wide and deep, wherever they roam. and i like the idea of you making a visit to western mass. xoxox

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