Monday, August 17, 2009

Thoughts: A Monet Day

Yesterday, I had what I referred to as "a Monet day". That thought was spawned by passing a pasture of wildflowers that reminded me of Monet's paintings of his gardens in Giverny, France. throughout the day, I found myself thinking of those wonderful impressionist paintings.

I had the chance to see an exhibit of Monet's work while working in Las Vegas (of all places) a few years ago. Like most of us, I had see prints of many of his garden pictures, but no print prepares you for the life and vibrancy of seeing the originals. It's something that just can't be captured on a flat print.

They are not detailed, not in the least. And when compared to photographs of the same gardens, he's not even always accurate in his rendering. But what he did, with his splotches of color and light, is capture the essence of the gardens, the essence, and let us fill in the rest with the guiding of his art.

In a real sense, I think poets do the same with language. We're generally not an accurate lot, even when we paint a picture with our description. But when the muse is kind to us, and we work at it, we manage to capture some essence that spurs the reader to feel something that is suggested in the poet's words.

As the day passed yesterday, I found myself coming back to that idea, of impressionism in language as well as art, and realized that there are impressionists and realists in conversation as well. Some people speak less, but paint am impressionistic picture with their sparse words, while others are "realists" and talk in details, filling in each one just as a painter might painstakingly render each detail in his painting. Neither is "right" or "wrong", but are simply different schools of conversation, like different schools of art.

My day yesterday was an impressionistic one. And I think I am probably more impressionistic in my conversation and even my thoughts as well. It means I write poetry instead of novels, talk in impressions more than facts, and try to capture essense more than perfection in my photographs. I suspect, as I think on it, it has other implications as well.

The picture this morning is of the field that spurred these thoughts yesterday. I took to software to create a brush stroke effect to show you, not what was, but what I saw as I looked over it. Because often, for better or worse, what we see is not what is.


PS - you can click on the picture for a larger version.


Shadow said...

yo've taught me something about art today. and that i too am a impressionist, rather than a realist...

Derrick said...

Hi Tom,

Your photograph is great as a work of art. The programme has rendered it beautifully, as you have rendered your thoughts with your words. I would have to count myself on the realist side but with moments of impressionism!

ann said...

very impress-ive. coincidentally I had dinner this evening with a friend who had just returned from paris, and our conversation turned to our trips to giverny - I'm not as fond of that art form as once I was, but giverny was a dream (and down the road from it is a museum of american art - if you could ever make that trip I really don't think you would be disappointed

Leonora said...

Interesting insight that I've never thought about before..."different schools of conversation." Totally true!
I often squint my eyes to purposely see the world impressionistically.