Do I love Degas because he painted beautiful tutus, gorgeous jockey silks, and frilly silly hats in millinery shops? No, none of the preceding. I love Degas for very different reasons. I love his painted women in all their complexity and humanity, and I love his compositions.
His paintings have designs as daring and fresh as any before or since. He doesn't balance; he crops and cuts people, horses and things as though they were in a snapshot, but one taken by a master photographer.
Symmetry is not his style. He might shove everything to one side and leave the rest of his canvas empty or have the center of his painting depict nothing more than a bare wood floor.
Just Passing Through (above) is my homage to Degas. Slightly off-center, with her adult cropped to one lone hand, my little girl is just passing through the world like us all.
Just Passing Through 18x14 oil on panel.