One of my mottos is

Stay curious and open to life. No matter what happens keep learning and growing. Find what you love to do and find a way to share it with others.

And so I’ve just been touched by reading about Pierre-Auguste Renoir. He loved to paint, especially pictures showing the joy of living — pictures that lifted people’s spirits when they looked at them. And he kept painting those pictures even when in his later years he suffered excruciating pain — toothaches, earaches and rheumatoid arthritis — and was partially paralyzed. He simply had people carry him to his studio, and he painted from his wheelchair.

His arthritis left his hands so crippled and claw-like that he couldn’t pick up a brush by himself — someone had to put it in his hand. But once he started painting he was happy and would hum or sing. He painted his last picture the evening he died, and his last words on the art of painting were, “I think I’m beginning to learn something about it.”

If that doesn’t exemplify love and lifelong learning, I don’t know what does!

What about you? What do you love learning and doing?

Thanks to Mike, Rummuser, Dixie, Evan, tammy, Cathy and bikehikebabe for commenting on last week’s post.
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21 Responses to Renoir

  1. Rummuser says:

    New recipes and cooking.

  2. Jean says:

    My guess is a lot of people agree with you. And a lot of non-chefs would probably say, “New restaurants, new taste sensations.”

  3. bikehikebabe says:

    Gee, I see the Captcha is gone. It tried to make me believe that I couldn’t do 1st grade math. 2+2= 4 or 6-1= 5. It said my Captcha was wrong every time I did the math again. Jean said it was there to keep hackers from disturbing the blogs. (They can’t do 1st grade math. :D)

    I had no idea Renoir had it so tough. Your picture is good but Wikipedia had him with dark hair. I felt so sorry for him that I was speechless so I couldn’t write anything about my life.

  4. Jean says:

    The picture doesn’t look like Renoir because when I looked for pictures of him I accidentally used the fellow who played him in a movie. I didn’t change it because my picture captured the essence of what I was trying to express. That’s the great thing about expressive art, we don’t have to worry about “good” or “bad”. The only question is does it work for the person doing it. Other people may or may not agree — either way is fine. And that’s the great thing about blogs. We can share what’s really important to us, we don’t have to worry about writing for what we think the audience wants.

    If you would l like to see more pictures and read about how he coped with his rheumatoid arthritis, read the section about him starting on page 8. And here’s a great video clip of him.

  5. Jean says:

    PS Renoir was only 78 when he died.

  6. Evan says:

    I don’t know about learning. Lots of things I like to do though.

  7. Cathy in NZ says:

    I have had wonky hands all my life, along with a pair of wonky wrists to go with it…there are lots of fine motor skills I can’t do successfully. You should see when a can and my electric opener are not on the same wavelength – I end up hacking open the top with a manual one and telling the contents to “just make your way out, pretty please”

    This came about after I was given el.opener before that I bought rip top cans (also often a problem…)

    I also have wonky ankles which at times totally refuse to keep the rest of my body upright…I now wear “walking shoes” – good for kicking things with! Recently, I realised that them feet of mine really are never happy…

    But I have LEARNT to work with it all, and most of the time I don’t see a problem :-)

    Unfortunately a lot of my “real-time” acquaintances, believe that all these problems must mean “I’ve got the flu, a fever or some other ailment, linked to my chronic health issues” – or they think “she is going fall, I can see it”

    But they are not, “born with ’em buddy” :-)

  8. Jean says:

    My guess is anyone who writes regular blogs is always learning something. What sorts of things do you like to do?

    It sounds as if you’re doing just fine. Your acquaintances still have some work to do. :)

  9. Evan says:

    Where I come alive is getting to the core of something. (For those into Flying Nine Star astrology – which you see most commonly as the magic square in feng shui – I’m a 5 (the centre).

  10. Evan says:

    This can be an issue a system of thought or a person’s issues.

  11. Jean says:

    Thanks. I just looked up Flying Nine Star astrology and it looks complicated!

  12. Jean says:

    PS I just saw a quote you might like,

    Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn’t matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough.
    —Richard Feynman

  13. Evan says:

    Yes, it is complicated and elaborate. I just found a few bits that I found interesting.

    I do think Feynman was right about things being interesting if you go into them.

  14. tammyj says:

    this post brought tears.
    he is one of my favorite impressionists. matisse another.
    i like the simplicity of renoir. the color of matisse.
    i am too fickle in my interests. like bob told me once . . .
    “you’re like a fly in a room full of ice cream cones.”
    what a description! didn’t know whether to laugh or be insulted. LOL. well. obviously. chose to laugh.
    and it’s true. i am interested in most everything.

  15. bikehikebabe says:

    I just looked at the complete works of Renoir — 1,736 of them and the video of him painting. Words can’t express my feeling.

  16. bikehikebabe says:

    Actually he did 16,665 works. Called “works” because they weren’t all paintings. Some were drawings.

  17. Jean says:

    Yes, I like Matisse’s colors, and he has an inspirational story too. Next Thursday’s post will be about him.

    He also “did” some sculptures in his later years. He provided the vision and the detailed instructions while his assistants did the hands on stuff. It pays to be flexible!

  18. Jean says:

    PS I just recently discovered Matisse through a children’s book, and I was even more taken by his story than by his art. I’m definitely not very knowledgeable about art — sophistication is not my style!

  19. Evan says:

    I love Matisse. And some of the paper cut-outs are fantastic. His swimming pool is one of the most remarkable pieces of work I’ve ever seen!

  20. tammyj says:

    i once became … what? i guess you’d have to say ‘infatuated’ with the impressionists and that period. i’m self taught though so i’m sure my education is sketchy to say the least! oh … bad pun!
    oddly enough they all have rather sad to tragic stories. it’s amazing the string that connects them. though they were at the forefront of a major change in how the world viewed art ~ and change is never easy on the change-makers!
    can’t wait for your next post.
    love your blog monk! it’s like a smorgasbord.

  21. Jean says:

    I agree about the paper cutouts. I’m not sure what the swimming pool looks like, so I’ll look it up.

    I agree. People don’t like it when someone makes waves. The impressionists are great proof that not everyone follows Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. They were willing to sacrifice a lot to follow their visions.

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