Back in May, the Art Circle group explored their thoughts and feelings about the works of art of iconic Vincent van Gogh. How about French Impressionist master Claude Monet? Of our mini-gallery below, are you drawn to a specific painting? Or perhaps more than one? How about type of location? Particular season? Or period of his career? How does Monet’s use of color and light affect your eye? And his brushstrokes? His depiction of space? And overall composition? Plus how do his landscapes touch your feelings and emotions?
WHY DO WE LOVE MONET?
IS IT BECAUSE….
Monet’s landscapes filled with vivid color and lovely light are calming. The way he painted skies reminds me of contemporary nature—and helps minimize present chaos and illness.
His intense eyes in Self Portrait with a Beret seem to emphasize that this is an artist and he is seeing the world in more vivid detail than others.
Monet’s Self Portrait is fabulous. Just enough detail and wonderful use of color and light—always the light!
He takes us on a journey into a summer day, vibrant with brilliant color and luminous light,
A portrait of an enjoyable summer day with the family watching ships in the water from a lovely garden. How I would love to be there.
or the tranquility of a winter landscape, the beauty of freshly fallen snow touched by blue shadows. Do you see the magpie?
There is such serenity in that scene of newly fallen snow and I am almost transported to the cold and silent beauty of that morning as he painted it.
The Magpie intrigued me with Monet’s wonderful treatment of winter light and the way the gate with horizontal bars interrupts the mass of the stone wall and draws you eye to the magpie.
One of my long time favorites is The Magpie, the entire composition is perfect. I want to be there.
To his early home at Argenteuil along the Seine River, shimmering with reflections of multi-colored water.
Monet has helped me actually see how light affects everything I see in nature, and at different times of day, from different angles.
Next, inviting us to stand in a spacious meadow outside the town, full of delicate wildflowers and red poppies.
So wonderfully soothing….and the slight touch of red in the lower right hand corner, a perfect touch. It is knowing when to stop and determining what is needed if anything and how much of it.
This was a wonderful break. Peace filled and calming.
Then guiding us to the pinnacle of a nearby hill, to meet his wife Camille, posed against an azure sky of wind-swept clouds.
Woman with a Parasol shows the wind and sky surrounding the figures who are almost joined to Nature. I find looking at this art pulls me away from frantic thoughts produced by crisis.
Next, to Normandy, when the sea is at high tide—the swirling movement of waves crashing onto the shore.
I think Waves Breaking is my favorite. It’s the only one of the group that I don’t think I would have recognized as a Monet from across a room. When I looked closer, I could see all his expressive brushstrokes in the waves. It could easily be a detail of a larger canvas.
And taking us on a promenade upon the grassy cliffs, with a perfect view of the endless horizon.
I love Monet because he makes nature come alive. He speaks to our heart.
How about the Riviera in springtime, where a blossoming tree rises gracefully on the edge of the deep Mediterranean Sea.
Again the incredible light and what a tree—those colors were great.
Or accompanying Monet to London, one of his favorite cities, when at sunset the Houses of Parliament, like a medieval apparition, tower above the Thames River.
This is so pleasant. I can just gaze at these paintings and see details I miss when walking through a gallery.
I am drawn to Monet for the way he seems to be inviting me in personally to each work. And I love the way he can do so to his outdoors and nature works, to indoors everyday objects, to even a city like London.
Venice, too, another magical destination, where we ride with Monet on a gondola past a Renaissance palace, a man-made dream adorned in jewel-like colors.
Finally, to Giverny, where the water lilies became the center of Monet’s creative world during the last twenty-five years of his life. A paradise of floral islands floating leisurely across the smooth surface of the pond, that seems to have no beginning or end.
Comparing his treatment of sky and water in different paintings made me realize how varied they are like his infinite variations in the waterlilies.
Of course I am a fan of waterlilies, not all of them, but many are an inspiration—done when his eyesight was failing.
You know how I feel about Monet…I feel that my visit to Giverny reinforced my positive feelings about his art.
His art continues to renew and revitalize me. I also especially enjoy the waterlilies and the paintings of the houses of Parliament and Venice for the soothing beauty of water reflections. I am amazed that Monet could paint all these works over so many years and the art never seems to get stale or lose potency.
I like the last water lily painting with its vertical hanging vines on both sides offsetting the horizontal lilies at the bottom with their pink picked up in places on the pond as your eye moves farther back and out of the painting.