What Monet Taught Me

Originally posted on January 10, 2016.

Yesterday, I visited the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) so I could feed my inner Impressionism fanatic and see the "Intimate Impressionism" exhibition. The space was super crowded, super thrilling and super surreal. There were several instances where I found myself feeling the urge to touch the paintings (I didn't). I'm that crazy about Impressionism.

I spent time studying each painting like Renoir's "Picking Flowers" (1875) and Cezanne's "Still Life with Milk Jug and Fruit" (1900), admiring the vivid, quick brushstrokes and the multiple sets of colors that blended into one another. I even went so far as to mentally jot down ideas for how I can possibly go about my future drawings.

As one discovers time and time again, inspiration is truly everywhere. You never know when you're going to come across it, and when you do you have to make the most of it. When I came across this particular source of inspiration, I pretty much sucked the life out of it... as in my eyes and feet were no longer able to function properly after my hour and a half in the space. There was one Monet (my favorite Impressionist artist) piece featured in the exhibit. The ideas I grabbed from this particular painting have to do with the movement of the hand that brought it to life. Usually, I maintain a careful balance between being precise and "winging it" (aka directing the charcoal without thinking or planning ahead) while I'm drawing. I believe that if I only focused on one of those two sides, my drawings would be boring and without any element of surprise. When I look at the brushstrokes done in Monet's piece, however, I wonder what would happen if I leaned only a little bit more toward the "winging it" end of the spectrum.

I plan on experimenting with this thought as I draw my next piece. Stay tuned!

Signing off,