I have just returned from a visit to Paris.
The first day was spent at Premier Vision, a textiles trade fair. This was interesting for professional updating as a textiles lecturer, but did not offer much stimulation for my MA practice.
The next day I visited Musee Marmottan which contains a comprehensive collection of Monet paintings.
I was struck by the expressive qualities of brush marks and paint application resulting in looseness of composition giving a feeling of movement in calm subject matter. I was also interested in the loss of orientation caused by reflections of clouds in the water and cropping of the composition. The flattening of the surface contrasting with the ambiguous hovering lily pads produced optical illusions leaving me questioning the juxtaposition of depth in realistic composition and total abstraction.
“The motif’s essential is the mirror of water whose aspect is constantly being modified by the changing sky reflected in it, and which imbues it with life and movement.”
The collection also includes this painting “Impression Sunrise”
I have seen this painting in reproduction many times but seeing it in the flesh I was very pleasantly surprised. In reproduction the colour levels are far from faithful and are greatly enhanced. In reality the painting is in the most beautifully restrained pallet of soft coral pinks, lilacs and misty greys giving it the quality of a Turner watercolour of Venice. Definitely the highlight of my visit. I hope to take what I observed and absorbed from the study of Monets techniques as inspiration for my own practice.