07 September 2012

Top Five Friday: Impressed with Impressionism

When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. 
I told her I worked at the college - that my job was to teach people how to draw. 
She stared at me, incredulous, and said, "You mean they forget?"
~ Howard Ikemoto


s I mentioned some posts back, I recently took up art therapy to expand my creative horizons.  It was an interesting exercise ~ painting not being one of my artistic strengths.  But I found that I enjoyed the feel of the brush in my hand, and the swirl of colours on the canvas.  And it opened up rooms in my soul that I had forgotten were there.

We focused mostly on abstract art and impressionism.  I always saw impressionism as looking at a painting through near-sighted eyes.  But I never appreciated how Monet, Hassam, and others focused on the play of light in their paintings.  Nor how much detail there really is when you take a close look.

These are my favorite five Impressionist paintings.

Oat and Poppy Field – Claude Monet
This painting reminded me of the meadow behind my house ~ only it has cows in it and not poppies!  But the play of light on the trees, turning them into dark green giants is familiar to me. As is the perspective and the lay of the land.  Perhaps that is why I love this painting so much ~ it feels like home.

Celia Thaxton’s Garden – Childe Hassam
The bright colours of the flowers in the foreground pull you in to this painting.  And it too has an air of familiarity ~ but it’s the familiarity of a well-beloved book.  Doesn’t it remind you of Anne of Green Gables?

 Quiet – James Tissot
For this one, I just love the saturated colours ~ especially of the woman’s dress.  No, seriously, I want a dress like that.  And a couch like that!

The Swing – Auguste Renoir
I actually favor Renoir’s later paintings (Girls at a Piano, for instance), but this one is a good example of how impressionism focuses on light and its effects on objects seen.  I can fell the shade and the sunlight filtering through the trees.

Late Sunset – George Inness
Again, saturated colours, the play of light ~ in this case, fading light, and a long perspective.  I wish I could step into the painting and exlpore what lies just beyond those trees.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

Who are your favorite Impressionist painters?

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