Impressionism and ‘Painting The Modern Garden’

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This passage from the book ‘Monet to Matisse – Painting the Modern Garden’ captures why I was drawn to the subject of natural light in landscape, particularly the idea of capturing ‘fleetingness’. I have selected some impressionist paintings from the book that link and inspire my project.

Looking at all the pieces I picked together, one feature in all of them is the way vibrancy of colour that is used to create mood and portray the intensity of sunlight.

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This painting by Kandinksy was so different from the other paintings in the book. After reading the passage discussing the painting (below) I thought the abstraction and symbolism used was an interesting way to describe a memory of people or places.

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The Forest at Fontainebleau by Matisse

I saw this piece whilst visiting the National Gallery in London and thought it was relevant to this project. Below is my initial response that I wrote down standing in front of the painting.

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Vibrant colours create magical atmosphere

Thick brushstrokes have very painterly quality

Texture light movement energy emotion

A painters perception of the landscape – using that word that I can’t remember when feelings are put onto inanimate objects in literature – like that.

Unfinished and flawed

Childlike

Looking at the piece now 

I think it was the bold shapes and fauvist colour palette that caught my eye. This playful approach to painting landscapes is something I want to include in my own work.

 

Starting with a Visual Mindmap

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What do all these images have in common? 

Experimenting with the painters perception and how they can interpret and recreate the world around them on canvas (-that idea of recreating memories reminds me of Hodgkins portrait work with pure colour and shape… look at him maybe?).

Lots of ‘golden hour’ shots – when the sun is just setting or rising. Creates rich colours and an impression of something fading or just emerging. Drama.

Nature and light creating pattern and texture.