Tuesday, June 2, 2009

PBS's David Dunlop on Monet's Water Lilies

I have been recently watching a show on PBS's Create TV which features a plein air landscape painter by the name of David Dunlop. The most recent episode took place at the setting of Monet's gardens in France. Dunlop spoke to a few ideas which as a painter you hear quite often but really may not fully embrace until you see a great example. He referred to Monet's Water Lilies when he said that "the vocabulary of brush strokes makes a painting more interesting." Quite often it seems to me that the only approach to achieving a level of success in a painting has been through the tireless rendering of a subject and it is in Monet that we find a confidence to paint with an implied gestural looseness. He went on to talk about soft, blurred edges and how as a viewer, the mind wants to complete the image. In this way, the painting takes on a more interactive quality instead of a dictated form of hyper realism. Essentially, the softer edges create greater volume and harder edges conversely, less volume. And finally, in speaking about Impressionism, I think it is only fitting that I end with a paraphrased quote from Corot to Monet "Trust Your First Impression." In other words, that in the initially moments of a painting does the artist truely capture the energy, feeling, and gesture of a subject and it is these first impressions which we as artists should strive to maintain trhoughout the painting process.

Billy Seccombe

1 comment:

  1. Use the biggest brush imaginable, and you will find that the "soft edges" come easily. ~eric.


Post a comment below: