Saturday, November 06, 2010

What An Impression He Made

"I would like to paint as the bird sings."
Claude Monet 

First, I started reading the novel Claude and Camille by Stephanie Cowell.  Immersed in the love story between the Impressionist artist, Claude Monet and Camille Doncieux, I realized I wanted to see the paintings described in the book. For example, I wanted to see the Woman in Green, and imagine Claude falling in love with his model as he painted.

It's been a while since I studied anything Monet, so during my visit to the library this afternoon, I found Eyewitness Art: Monet, by Jude Welton. Just 64 pages (so it's not overwhelming), it's filled with lots of photos and descriptions of the artist's work. And, it turns out to be a perfect accompaniment to my novel reading.

Woman in Green

Monet's Palette

I find it interesting that his palette almost looks like one of his painting, but then it has all his favourite colours. From the mid-1860's onward, he worked with a limited range of bright, pure pigments, often mixed with white.  At the centre of the palette is cobalt blue (my all-time favourite colour), a pigment he favoured throughout his career.

The Artist's Garden at Giverny, 1900

Waterlilies, 1916-19

The Waterlily Pond, 1899

Although Monet and his Impressionist contemporaries received so much criticism for their new ideas and work, I for one am glad he persevered. He endured poverty and hardships during the early years, but in the end the art world came around and Monet became one of the most celebrated artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.

This artist made an impression on me.  If I was compelled to select an all-time preferred artist, Monet would be right up at top.  His waterlily works are some of my favourites.  I hope one day to visit those famous gardens in Giverney.

On that note, I am off to continue my absorbing novel.

A beautiful day to you...

1 comment:

  1. Monet is one of my favorite painters. I first saw some of his original works at the Smithsonian in Washington DC and I was amazed at how large the paintings were and at how much more alive they look than in books. I hope you get to Giverny one day. I'd like to visit there, too.


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