These ‘matisse-esque’ forms waved at me from the overgrown garden about 1/3 of the way home on my drive from town.
I have always had it in my mind to stop and ask the owners would they mind me wandering through their garden to explore the exotic appendages I glimpse protruding from the wire fence along their driveway.
Today I hadn’t allowed myself enough time for a thorough exploration….still….I couldn’t ignore the saw-tooth, fern-like forms emerging from the confines of the fence, so amidst a line of crawling traffic I pulled off the side of the road to take a closer look.
The saw-tooth, fern-like forms were in fact the appendages of a succulent plant….heavily armed with spikes against a predatory species like me. Fascinated by the shadows they created I played with them for awhile and spent the next hour extracting the spikes from my fingers.
The forms immediately reminded me of the shapes made by Henri Matisse, hence the addition of ‘esque’ in the title. As a lover of language and words and one who often uses ‘esque’ or ‘ish’ as a suffix to suggest that something ‘resembles’ or ‘is in the style of something else’ I was interested to know the origins of these terms.
Here are some other suffixes and their origins to add to my vocabulary.
- -esque is French meaning “like, in the manner of,”
- -iscus meaning ‘like’ in Medieval Latin
- -isch of German origin
- -ish as in English
To end a timely quote from Henri Matisse that pretty well echoes my dream for the Collaborate365 project also:
“What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue”.