Friday, April 15, 2011

Monet Musings

April 15, 2011
A to Z Blogging Challenge
Day 13- M



I’ll be the first person to admit I don’t have a good eye for art. My niece and I went to the Corcoran Gallery in the District of Columbia this past summer, and most of the art on display left me cold. I had no true understanding or appreciation of the more modern pieces. But show me a Monet and I can stare at it for an hour.

Long ago and far away, in my high school days, I had an art teacher that expected her students to create a painting in oils on canvas. Yep. It was a scary concept for a room full of sixteen year old kids in a small town. I had to choose one of six paintings and copy it. I was drawn to the Monet.

Seriously. Now is that a get out of town moment, or not? Copy a Monet, for heaven’s sake! What was that teacher thinking?

To my mother’s credit, she forked over the cash for a small paint kit and off to class I went. She may still have the painting I did all those years ago. She keeps things that make me cringe. It’s her job as a mother. Yet every once in a while I think it might be fun to get a canvas and paint something. I doubt that the intervening years have magically given me artistic talent, but a splash of my own colors on the wall might be great fun.

I can’t say as I remember any masterpieces being generated out of that class. What I do remember is my art teacher’s patient and glowing encouragements of everyone in the room. It took a little while, but I finally got it. Impressionist painting is about freedom of interpretation. It’s about how you perceive the nuances of color and form. Right and wrong had no place, and everyone who gave it an honest try got an 'A'.

In some regards, an author’s voice is like the brush of an impressionist artist. There is no right or wrong to the stories we write. While the painter uses oils to create cohesive colors and patterns to create a picture, we pull emotions and thoughts out of the air around us to bring our creations to life. The words are filtered by our experiences and perceptions and become unique to us, a painting of words. And like those artists of old, we frequently suffer the slings and arrows of the jealousy of those who cannot copy what we do, and in that jealousy seek to take away our freedom. I’m aware, and wary, of them.

And while those intervening years haven’t given me painterly talents, what they have given me is knowledge of self, the ability to love, and an understanding that the more different people are, the more alike we become. We’re all little dots of color on a universal canvas and together we create a complete picture, one even more beautiful than a Monet.

KC Kendricks
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2 comments:

Melissa Bradley said...

I love Monet, too. I go right to his work at the Art Institute here in Chicago. I had to do a similar project for a high school art class and it was so hard. I think I did a Picasso though because I was intimidated by the Monet.

My dad had the artistic talent in the family. I can barely draw stick figures, but I inherited his creativity in my writing. I can draw pictures with words.

KC Kendricks said...

Yes, you do draw pictures with words! Very good pictures, too.