Impressionism and ‘Painting The Modern Garden’


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.


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.


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


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


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.