Monday, November 14, 2011

En Plein Air

Wheatstacks, Snow Effect, Morning (1891) by Claude Monet, Getty Museum

Yeah, I know that we've been hitting the art topics with high frequency this last weekend. There are many wonderful people to discuss today, but I couldn't ignore Claude Monet, born on this date in 1840.

My feelings about Monet are complex, but all highly positive. Perhaps, the most important way in which he has influenced the development of my own personal aesthetic base is in the "plein air" technique. The concept behind "en plein air" is to work quickly on a piece, assessing the subject's salient features, composing the aesthetic structure, and expressing the authentic experience. By practicing this method, both in pictorial and verbal styles, I feel that my skill as both an artist and a critic of art has been enhanced.

As regards Impressionism, I have a deep love for this style. Fortunately, the local museums have wonderful examples on display, even a few Monet's. It is always a thrill to visit these "old friends" that I've been admiring for over three decades. Maybe I'll finally pay that visit to the Getty that I've been planning for a few weeks now. ;-)

The Artist's Garden at Vetheuil (1881) by Claude Monet, Norton Simon Museum

In any case, let's take a moment to reflect on how amazing human beings are that we could produce an artist like Claude Monet.

Even Monet's early work, pre-First Impressionist Exhibition, conveys his distinct aesthetic vision.

The Beach at Honfleur (1864-66) by Claude Monet, LACMA

Here are some an interesting vids of Monet paintings:

The Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light

Les Nympheas

Haystacks, Late Summer


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