River of Light by Douglas Skeggs is one of my resources for Monet this month. There are several books on Monet, and I doubt that this is one of the highly ranked ones, but it is helping me to understand Monet better.
The picture referenced in the following quote is Terrace at Sainte-Adresse:
"The subject matter of this picture has begun to slip into second place. Monet is no longer interested in what he looks at, only in what he sees: in this sense it makes little difference to him whether he paints his aunt's portrait or her parasol. What is quite evident is that light has now become a physical presence in the painting. " (p.36, River of Light, Skeggs)
Of course, everyone talks about Monet and light. But when I read the above quote, the penny dropped in my mind. Ah, yes, that's it. I guess that I've always seen movement in Monet's work, but never asked myself movement of what - movement of light. Light as a presence, extending itself all over surfaces in a scene - itself being the action of the painting.
The image at top is where I've come to with the poplars. Honestly, this just isn't what I had in mind when I started this piece. I had a large tree, maybe even a forest in mind. In this post, I describe how I came to wanting to draw poplar trees with light in and amongst them. These few leaves just aren't that. So, I'm off to a new piece, with a short reflection:
What I learned here:
- I like using a grisaille technique, it really helps me.
- Colored pencils are magnificent on drafting film and I almost never want to use them on paper again. (To me, they feel like painting should feel!)
- You can back away from drawing trees because you are afraid of their structure, but then you'll find that leaves have structure too.
- Copic markers for my tool of choice for value studies.