When I was in my teens, there was a Claude Monet exhibition at our museum.
I was so wowed by the colour mixing, the way the light still seemed to shine out from his paintings. The whole romantic feel of it all. I'm sure we saw all his famous stuff, I just cannot remember. But what I do remember, is that *he painted what he saw*.. so in his later years, with failing eyesight, his paintings look a bit smudgy. That whole idea governed and inspired me when I was teaching classrooms full of kids to *do art*. Whether drawing or painting, first draw what you see. Not what you think you see. Tricky.
A little while after first seeing Monet live, my dahling Mum knitted me a funky jumper out of different colours of sunshiney pastel shades all created in random tiny horizontal stripes and we affectionately named it *my monet jumper*
Six weeks ago, in Paris, hubby and I got to see it all again.
I have such an attachment to the impressionist painters. Perhaps it's because I also have a love affair with the sunshine.. and you can *see* the sunlight here... all those yellows and reds and oranges. They make my soul sing.
Perhaps it's the impossible that Monet wished, becoming possible:
I want the unobtainable. Other artists paint a bridge, a house, a boat, and that's the end. They are finished. I want to paint the air which surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat, the beauty of the air in which these objects are located, and that is nothing short of impossible.
Monsieur Monet, I'm breathing your air...