Wednesday, October 15

From Corot to Monet

Today’s Image

I guess you could say I’m into visiting art museums recently. If you’re a regular viewer of Orbisplanis, then you know I returned from Southern California not long ago after visiting a slew of art galleries and museums from Los Olivos to LA.

I don’t think I mentioned that I am also fortunate to have some of the finest art museums in the country in ‘my own backyard.’ Not literally, of course, but in Houston. I had been planning all summer on visiting the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH).

The reason for my planning to visit was to view the exhibit ‘In the Forest of Fontainebleau – Painters and Photographers from Corot to Monet.” Back in July when the exhibit opened on the 13th, it seemed I had all the time in the world to get down there, but somehow the time slipped away and suddenly it’s mid-October. The exhibit closes on October 19th, so week before last, I and a couple of family members finally made it. By the way, I decided to post one of my paintings, The Rowboat, that is reminiscent of the Impressionists as Today's Image in honor of Claude Monet and the other Impressionists in the exhibit.

The exhibit was put together by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and MFAH. The flyer that they hand you at the door says, “Masterworks by Corot, Monet, and photography’s first pioneers chart the dual evolution of landscape painting and photography in the famed 19th-century artists’ colony that thrived for nearly 50 years at the Forest of Fontainebleau near Paris. The convergence of extraordinary talent during that heady period laid the groundwork for impressionism, influenced the development of landscape photography, and raised early advocacy for nature conservancy.” That about says it all. The promotional literature used the word ‘spellbinding;’ although that’s not a word I use, I will say that when you see the works in person you are very glad you had the privilege.

The painting I liked the most, and the one that was featured in promotions was Bazille and Camille (Study for "Déjeuner sur l´herbe") by Claude Monet. In addition to Monet and Jean Baptiste-Camille Corot, there are paintings by Gustave Courbet, Theodore Rousseau, Charles Emile Jacque, Jules Coignet, Narcisse Diaz de la Pena, and Monet’s Impressionist friends, Frederic Bazille and Alfred Sisley. The photographs of Gustave Le Gray are featured, and it’s hard to believe they were taken so long ago.
I don’t know if the exhibit is travelling to other cities, but if it comes anywhere near you, make the effort.

In the Studio

After my bout with uncertainty last week, I got going again (as always) on another acrylic. This one is taken from a reference photo I took overlooking the Pacific Ocean from the afore mentioned California trip. For the sky I’m using Liquitex Cerulean Blue Hue and Winsor & Newton Titanium White with just a touch of Van Gogh Greyish Blue at the horizon. The water is Grumbacher Ultramarine, Liquitex Cerulean Blue Hue, Winsor & Newton Titanium White, Amsterdam Sky Blue Light, and Liquitex Heavy Body Yellow Oxide for contrast nearer the shore. I like it so far and think it will turn out fine.


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