|Heading into the city for the Monet: Early Years Exhibit...|
|On the way into the Legion of Honor...|
This exhibit focused on early work, when he was just beginning to make the move from tight realism to abstraction. Almost every painting had small sections or parts that were loose and brushy. There were places where he was starting to try to let go of subject. But, unlike his later work, there were also still areas that were calculated and tightly rendered. He seems to have been drawn by water and by snow. As a plein air painter, living in Northern France, he was surrounded by water and weather. Each painting that had snow or water, seemed to contain the ingredients of abstraction.
The dates on the paintings were helpful. Within about a ten year period, he started really experimenting with paint, and was firmly heading down the path towards his later work. The timeline on the wall, and the quantity of work, reinforced my notion of creativity. You have to put in the time. You have to work on your art every day (or at least try to). As you work continuously, you produce a lot of clunkers, but you also have small, almost negligable breakthroughs, making signpost pieces along the way. Without constantly working, or creating a body of work, it's difficult to advance towards what you're ultimately trying to express.
I was also struck yesterday, by the amount of rejection that Claude Monet faced with his work. People continuously denying him the right to exhibit. He continued to persevere, despite living in poverty for the early years of his life. When I walked into a purple room, and saw his humble fish still life, I started to get weepy. This painting always cuts to the heart of what it is to be a maker for me. Everything around us is beautiful and radiant, even in death. Everything is a wonder. Monet understood this, and could not resist taking time to notice the unnoticeable.
I feel inspired to keep on making, and to keep on observing and noticing.
|Studying light and working towards abstraction...|
|Light on fabric...|
|Very tight, very early work...|
|A wildflower cottage that Monet loved...|
|Always has been my favorite...|
|A body of work leads to the consolidation and distillation of ideas...|
|The water in the corner is completely abstract...|
|He entirely stops mixing paint with the trees and the water...|
|Gorgeous Roman glass near the cafe...|
|Tasty lunch and a fabulous pear tarte...|
|Greek ceramics casually placed near the restroom...|
|The drive home...|