Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Camellias and Shell

Seeing the paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art left me with a new painting resolve. All the artists I admire painted things, places and people that were integral parts of their lives. Monet's water lilies, Cezanne's mountainscapes, Van Gogh's irises, even Bonnard's kitchen table were simple statements about things these artists saw every day. They didn't have photos, computers, or in many cases even tubed paints. Often they painted from memory. Yet their masterpieces now grace museums and take my breath away.
After we got back from New York I took a walk to get the cramps out of my legs. The camellias in front of Joe and Pat's house were blooming like crazy. Since Joe and Pat spend their winters in a warmer clime' I wondered who'd appreciate their flowers, and I snipped a handful to set up in my studio. I thought about all the paintings I'd seen and how I might adopt a simpler painting philosophy, like Pierre Bonnard, the featured artist at the Met who painted most everything from sketches or memory.
Here's the painting that resulted. I didn't use any photos, sketches, or other aides. I just painted what I saw, much from memory since the camellia blooms fell off after just one day.

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