I post a new painting every week on Saturday at the Small Paintings Blog. This is the new one for the week of February 28th! I am toying with doing another big sky piece after I finish the Cooper’s Falls painting I have on the easel at the moment.
It has been a very busy month. I have taken a close look at what I do and how I do it. I have started a new series of habits for painting and I am trying to shrink my environmental footprint. I created a very ambitious set of goals for 2009 and I have taken a running start. I even have some travel plans in the works for this summer. If they pan out… I will be sharing a great adventure!
In my wanderings around the web I have been looking at how we communicate with each other. Something I have noticed is the power of storytelling. I have read some fabulous and touching stories and been asked to share my own on blogs, including Robin Easton’s, and I have been getting this wonderful picture of people from around the world. I am getting to see how they think and getting to know what matters to them. It is so inspiring!
I want to share that inspiration a little more here and add a goal to the list. More stories – and hopefully I can encourage you to share yours here. Like – What was the first work of art that you remember having an effect on you? Were you young or older? Was it one painting or a museum?
My mother exposed me to art at a young age, but, I am not sure it really impacted me until I was a teenager. I always loved to draw and doodle, but, ART was not really a part of my consciousness. I took an art class in high school and I remember seeing paintings by the Impressionists on a slide projector. I remember one in particular, a pointillist painting by Seurat, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatt”. I was not sure what to make of it, but I never forgot it.
Two years later at the tail end of a trip to Egypt, my group stopped over in Paris for a couple of days. I was tagging along with one of the chaperons and ended up at Le Musée de L’Orangerie. Built to house Monet’s Nymphaéas, L’Ornagerie houses the collection of Paul Guillaume and has works by Picasso, Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, Rousseau and other greats in the modern art movement.
If you can imagine, I had never seen some of these artists before. My introduction to them was not through a book of plates, but by seeing the originals. I remember the stunning entrance. The building was classical in style and there were rooms and rooms filled with art. The colour of the art was incredible. Most of my memory is of colours – oranges and yellows, barely diluted, if at all.
Then, there was the room of water lilies…
There were several paintings in two spaces. The paintings were curved like the walls of the oval rooms that housed them. Monet’s Nymphaéas… The paintings were so large and encompassing that it felt like I was standing on grass at the edge of the water and that the room itself might be damp. The space was flooded with natural light as if I had been outside all along. Some of the paintings made me feel like I was under water and seeing the world filtered through blues, greens and lilacs – as if I were a koi fish.
After that day, I saw art. I needed art. And I realized how lucky I had been. How many get to stand next to the Nymphaéas?
So what is your story?