House “Djibi” is named after the cat-novel by Felix Salten. Some cats, a dog, and other animals are living and dying and killing each other in the house of an elderly school teacher and his wife. The teacher is grappling with a mild identity crisis, being undecided whether he is too soft of heart, and wishing himself to be stern and unrelenting, before deciding that he is, indeed, a soft sort of man.
Before being assigned its final title, the painting had a working title referring to August Derleth’s house-centered novel “The Lurker at the Threshold”.
The painting tries to look rather encrusted as opposed to smooth. The clouds are trying to look like clouds painted by Walter Leistikow. Flake White Hue and Transparent White were heavily used. Some areas do look like details from Cuthbert Hamilton Ellis’ paintings: rough and unfinished impasto effects prevail in an otherwhise naturalistic but unacademic style.
This is the photographic reproduction authorized by the painter. There exists another photograph of this painting, discernible by ghastly colours and flat lighting, made by a careless professional with a good camera. True appreciation for a given subject in many cases is much better than indifferent technique and superior technology.
See also these verses from “Sophia Trenton: A Moral Poem” (Phi Beta Cappa Poem at Stanford University, June 19, 1920) by Leonard Bacon, as quoted in Donald Knuth’s “The TeXBook”:
Technique! The very word is like the shriek
Of outraged Art. It is the idiot name
Given to effort by those who are too weak,
Too weary, or too dull to play the game.
© 2017 Torsten Slama and International Publications Organisation World Wide