|©Robin Edmundson, 'Impression - Fall Day', watercolor, 12 x 16 inches. |
In 1873, Claude Monet painted a sunrise scene that he titled, 'Impression-Sunrise'. The critics hated it. It was the painting that gave the Impressionist movement its name.
His painting has always been a favorite of mine. I love its subtleties. He didn't try to say it all. He simplified. He made mood more important than accuracy.
I pull up photos of the painting every so often to study his choices. What he left out. What he put in. The colors he didn't use. The colors he did use. Where his focal point is. Where the lines are. How he communicated space and atmosphere.
And then I close my eyes and let my mind's eye take me to a scene I've observed recently around here. I focus on the feeling, the space, the atmosphere. I exaggerate the colors. I play with texture. I use a brush in a new way. I practice the all-powerful Value.
The piece above is the latest one I've been working on. I painted the initial washes, then let it sit for a few days, then decided how to emphasize the focal points and how to bridge them. I added texture, then more, then more.
And I stopped before it was an overworked mess. I'm still practicing that.
I could crop it into a square - and it would be beautiful - but it hasn't decided if it wants to be cropped or not and I'm kind of loving the greens on the far right.
I love that I managed to communicate [and then preserve] the impression of the day. The bright colors, the clear air, the leaves falling. This is the kind of creative practice that I love.