|Ochre Pit Modern, oil on canvas, Steven Rhude, 24"x 38", Emma Butler Gallery|
"The cultivated man of today is gradually turning away from natural things, and his life is becoming more and more abstract. Natural (external) things become more and more automatic, and we observe that out vital attention fastens more and more on internal things… …Modern man –although a unity of body, mind and soul – exhibits a changed consciousness: every expression of his life has today a different aspect, that is, an aspect more positively abstract. 
She asked him "what's it like to be modern?"
He could reply, but he didn't. He wanted to think.
She said, "I mean there are lots of things in cities and our homes that make us modern...
things that can change and are replaced, maybe changed for the better...
even out here in the landscape where there are trees and fields...
but I'm not sure that necessarily makes us modern."
He thought he didn't know anymore what it was like to be modern. Many so called modernists just follow fashion.
He had this idea that modernism encompassed the world of space and time, and what was done with it. He believed Ghandi was a modernist. But maybe he was wrong.
He knew she liked the landscape around her, but he really didn't care for nature; he disliked the Netherlands because there were too many cows and fields. He especially disliked nature in painting. He was truly a flatlander. He liked his white paint flat - flake white flat.
For him the white was never flat enough. Space was never flat enough. Objects were intimidating - they needed to be flattened. Better yet, they had to go.
The ethos of place was precision to him; the only thing modern to him now was pure arrangement.
She said: "you gonna think all day or give me an answer?"
He said: "Trees! How ghastly!".
She left him and went down to the wharf. She needed to get out on the water.
 Piet Mondrian - * source, famous Dutch people life quotes: ‘De Nieuwe beelding in de Schilderkunst’, Piet Mondriaan, in ‘De Stijl’ No. 1, October 1917; as quoted in ”Letters of the great artists”, Richard Friedenthal, Thames and Hudson, London 1963, pp. 234-236.
Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS