l'Artista Blog

My rendition of Monet’s Vase of Flowers, c. 1881-82

I have a new appreciation for painters of the Impressionistic style. To better understand Impressionism, I chose to try to reproduce one of my favorite paintings by Monet. It’s a vase of flowers and we saw it in an exhibit at the Yale Museum of Art when we visited there back in the mid-90’s. Even though I used a smaller canvas (mine is a 12 in. square), and acrylic pigments (not oils), I researched the colors he used and prepared my palette with: Viridian, Permanent Green, Scarlett,
Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Yellow, Titanium White, French Ultramarine, Cobalt Blue.

Brush strokes were the biggest challenge for me. I tried to imagine what it would be like to be painting en plein air, capturing the light and shadows. The Impressionists’ painting style conveys an effortless technique. But I found it exhausting to try to achieve that look! The complexity of shapes and colors required an intensity I rarely experience when I am painting with watercolor.

Reflecting on this experience, I realize that I responded to the way Monet brought the garden “inside” and captured the shimmering light and rhythm of composition so characteristic of his poetic and expressive landscapes.

Author: Bonnie Porter

Bonnie Porter is an artist who lived in Europe and now resides in Atlanta. A part-time art teacher who paints and creates with a love of color, line and composition, drawing on inspiration from everywhere.

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