Full text: The blind man (2)

Pas De Commentaires! 
Louis M. Eilshemius. 
“ Soul.... Soul! Your artists haven’t got it; 
for them things are just chair, or table, or stables. 
Was it. Aristotle ivho said, ‘A picture is a silent 
poem V — 
“But you are not seeing my pictures now. . . 
What is a minute, an hour? Buskin, (have you 
ever heard of Rusk in ?) found it necessary to 
look at a picture for a steady week. 
“I have two thousand pictures—how long do 
you suppose it would take an ordinary artist to 
paint this one?” asked Louis Eilshemius pointing 
to ‘Maidenhood Confronted By Death’— —. 
This is the first time she has seen death; observe 
the effect—Horror—! that’s quite new—the 
stormy sky enforces the idea ; see how it bursts,— 
death, that’s it, a burst!” We computed that it 
would take perhaps three weeks to paint such 
a picture—. “Well it takes me just two hours! I 
always paint on cardboard, that’s new! You can’t 
get such quality on canvas.” Wandering round 
the bountifully endowed studio we found such 
variety of subject and treatment, as to give us 
some idea of the scope of this artist’s mind. As 
Rousseau of the French spirit painted in France, 
does Eilshemius of the American spirit paint in 
America, with the childlike self-faith of a Blake. 
His conceptions are traditional of the simple 
soul unhampered by a traditional mode of rep 
resentation. Eilshemius paints women dancing, 
moonlight and the devil, and it is significant after 
looking him straight in his unspoiled eye, that 
his princes of darkness are repeatedly the best 
tempered, most unsophisticated young devils 
imaginable, and that his nearest approach to evil 
is in the symbol of the horn. 
Eilshemius has not evolved, he has just grown 
to scatter seeds hap-hazard but at will to blossom 
in the amazing variations of his pictures, which, 
outside every academic or unacademic school, 
untouched by theory or “ism,” survive as the 
unique art form that has never been exploited by 
a dealer, never been in fashion! 
His is so virginally the way a picture must 
be painted by one unsullied by any preconcep 
tion of how pictures are painted, so direct a pre 
sentation of his cerebral vision, that between his 
idea and the setting forth of his idea, the ques 
tion of method never intrudes. 
The complicated mechanism that obtains in 
other artists a prolonged psychological engineer 
ing of a work of art, is waived; his pictures, if 
one may say so, are instantaneous photographs 
of his mind at any given moment of inspiration. 
‘‘I am very broad-minded,” said Eilshemius, 
”1 like everything that is nice, everything,” 
smiling benignly, “that is nice you understand. 
I can paint anything, anywhere, beautiful pic- 
tures on your hat or your dress, if you like! — 
And 1 only use five colours, any particular five 
colours? Certainly not. I’m not one of your 
hocus-pocus painters who have to have certain 
colours, certain palettes, certain —. I paint 
with my imagination, look at this! A'ictis—you 
know what victory is? Pressing the other fellow 
Three fine nudes in an evening sky, each with 
a different coloured ribbon; the one on top, is 
the one on top! “See that one there on the right 
lie's dying; you notice that on his face.” 
Hopefully inspired by the granite simplicity 
of the painter’s speech I asked him if he ever 
wrote—“Don’t you know who I am—” he 
gasped ? 
“Louis M. Eilshemius, M. A. Supreme Protean 
Marvel of the Ages. The Peer of all who create 
Painting, Literature and Music.” 
As 1 am used to do in reading I found by in 
tuition the finest passages while skimming the 
volumes handed to me: 
“How most are soi^ misled by pope and priest 
To think that God hath arms and feet and eyes—” 
“And my weird soul hath felt 
The whiffs that waved from forth my heart.”

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