An Impressive Morning

Essay by thekingandqueen January 2009

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“Thou shall be in tune with nature, touch it, feel it, and understand it,” said a very interesting chap to a younger man. I heard this while in Café du Soleil in charming Montmartre. The student seemed puzzled so he went on, “You may feel that you would like to go in the winter to places you think are good for a detailed snow landscape.” I could feel the waves coming toward me as I caught their movement with my small, curling brushstrokes when painting the Lighthouse at Honfleur. Also, one can paint actions that occur daily such as sunrise, dusk, and the moon coming out. I created my painting Impressionism, Sunrise by just observing and understanding everyday occurrences, and not taking them for granted.

Suddenly the student had a wide smile on his face and appeared to comprehend what the master was talking about. I started to take a bite of my croissant, but I then became interested in how the master would react.

“Yes, now I can tell that you truly sense the meaning of art. However, there are many more actions that you can do to become a master of this art. The narrow Parisian streets are busy with people squirming through them, but each boulevard has its own personality and character. For example, just look outside. See that corner right there?” inquired the master. The student gave a slight nod as if he were intimidated by him. “The people turning that corner”, the artist continued, “can be caught with a simple swipe of a brush.

“Now one of my favorite topics in art: light. It can do all sorts of intriguing enhancements. Light makes color seem different to the eye of the person who shall be looking at your masterpiece. I have experimented with light for years, and to be honest, it is really not something I can teach you; instead, it is to be experienced.” The student grimaced and gave a slight frown, and by the looks of it, without even being aware that he had done so. “What? Dost thou truly think that thou art going to learn to paint in a day? Not so fast! It takes a lifetime, and by then, thou will understand what I mean,” declared the experienced painter.

The student began to open his mouth, but the artist continued with his teachings. “This progressive genre of art you and I create is nicknamed Impressionism and truly is dreamlike. Tomorrow I will explain more. Go on home and begin your first painting. I am sure it will be a success; I have much faith and confidence in thou.

I will never forget these deep and sentimental words Monet said to his student. They changed me forever; therein I began to think so differently of art and his innovative techniques.