Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Monet and the presence of light

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.


Jo Castillo said...

Rose, these leaves came out very nice in color. Nice work.

Rose Welty said...

Thanks Jo. You've made me feel a little better about them. :-)

Katherine said...

Rose - I think when you're beginning to explore your own self-imposed boundaries for art-making you start to find that what you produce just doesn't match up to what's in your head. Stick with it and be prepared to experiment and get some funny results - and you'll get there.

Did I ever tell you how it took me 10 years to learn to scribble? ;)

Rose Welty said...

Katherine, I don't believe it would take you ten years to learn anything! :-) But thanks, I will try and be patient and not lose my nerve.