Degas… surpisingly

I was talking about ‘countdowns’ the other day, wasn’t I? I was looking for something that would keep me on the task, that would push me on, make me be persistent, responsible and boringly regular…

Here is an example of ‘countdown’ I experienced in real life. Degas Exhibition at National Gallery of Victoria is running out. I wanted to see it since its opening, but could not find the time. Last week I made a date with my mum to go.

  • Exhibition is running close to finish
  • I will not have a day of for a long while again
  • Plans can change
  • I wanted to see Degas’ works

But… as we all know ‘life happens to us when we are busy making other plans’. My daughter got sick. She was coughing all through the night last night. I did not get any sleep. Today, in the morning, I was beyond exhausted and cranky. However, I decided not to change my plans. Off we go, my mum and I.

Now, sitting in bed and clicking away this blog post on my laptop I am actually really proud of myself for persisting and persevering. I am happy that I went to the exhibition. It was surprisingly good. It was interesting aesthetically. Plus, Degas’ quotes gave me so much food for thought… I never expected.

As of today, Degas will be put next to Toulouse-Lautrec in my head and in my mind. And it’s not for the works he produced. It’s for the words he said, for the thoughts he shared, for the stories he told and for the angles he lighted.

I’ve read Toulouse-Lautrec bio when I was still in my teens. I was surprised, touched, disturbed by his sharp honesty and sadness, by his accidentally profound wisdom and insight into human nature and life itself… I found all of it and more in today in Degas’ journey.

degas 2“My eyes are fairly well but all the same I shall remain in the ranks of infirm until I pass into the ranks of blind. It is really bitter, is it not?”

Degas, Paris 1873

degas 3“You must have an elevated idea not of what you do, but what you can one day do. Without this it is not worth the trouble looking”


degas“It is necessary to execute a motif ten times, a hundred times. Nothing in art must look accidental”.


‘Two birds with one stone’ as they say. I guess, I got more than two

  • Saw Degas exhibition
  • Surprised myself with my perseverance
  • Found yet another deep spring of ideas and thoughts to think
  • Spend a day with my mum
  • Spend a day out in my beloved Melbourne
  • etc, etc, etc,


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