05 Aug Value
To linger in the observation of things, other than the self,
implies a profound conviction of their worth.
— Charles-Damian Boulogne
Painters never cease talking about value—how light or dark a color is, on the scale from white to black—but for everyone else the word’s principal meaning is worth.
Its roots tell you a lot.
Value entered English from French in the 13th century. The French borrowed the word from the Latin valere, meaning to “be strong” (it’s related to valiant). Ancient Romans used to say “Valere!” when parting company.
Value to the French in the 13th century meant “worth, price, standing, and reputation.”
Painting has taught me not only to “watch my values,” but to “linger in the observation of things,” as Boulogne puts it.
It’s also taught me that things—even the simplest of them—have inestimable worth.
It’s our grasping minds that devalue them.
Novelist Richard Brautigan once said, “It’s strange how the simple things in life go on while we become difficult.”