Giverny: My Homage to the Man

water lilies oil painting

A few weeks ago, Joy and I were up in Pittsburgh visiting our oldest daughter Camden, her husband Joseph and our baby grandson Elisha (who is amazingly cute). Well, one of the days we were there, we went to the Carnegie Museum of Art(which was truly amazing). After snaking our way through corridors of modern art and the medieval art, we (finally) got to my personal favorite: the impressionists. And oh my gosh -- Actually being able to get up close and personal with a Van Gogh was almost a holy moment! And then...and then I saw it: water lilies. Claude Monet. My favorite of all my favorites. I was transfixed on this massive panel of water lilies. I could see the brush strokes and understand the mixing of paint. It was beyond incredible. And Camden said, "you know, when you get back to your studio, you should create a water lilies painting as an homage to your man here." 

So I did. When I got back to my studio in Asheville, I began building water lilies on my canvas. 

This piece is entitled "Giverny", named after the home of Claude Monet, who lived at Giverny, France for forty-three years, from 1883 to 1926. I think one of the big reasons I love Monet was that he was seemingly fascinated by the play of light and reflections on the water. He worked on many paintings executed on a floating studio (in Argenteuil or on the Dutch canals). He was obviously taken with the inverted reflections you find in these "liquid mirrors". In 1893, he purchased a piece of land situated at the end of a narrow arm of the River Epte (side note: this is the same river where the St.Claire's originally settled down after a life of being Vikings, but that's another story). And this piece of land became his home. The water lilies and painted and re-painted and re-painted nearly ad infinitum were all done here (in his back yard). I really want his back yard!

So this piece is my way of "taking my hat off to the master". It is my take (with my own technique and materials) on a well familiar theme. Thank you Claude.

oil painting close up
oil painting close up 2

Revisiting a friend

Water and Light

"Morning on the Sound" (24" x 12"). When I create wall art, I sometimes start by experimenting with a brand new idea for the piece. Other times, I revisit an older idea I've already completed but look for ways to create a new oil painting that is both like and unlike the original (hey, Monet did that all the time). "Morning on the Sound" was such an effort. I did a painting similar to this composition awhile back and really enjoyed it -- but the scene depicted was of a coastline on a misty morning. This time, I wanted to go back to the same basic idea but...I've sent a strong east wind and blew the fog away.

"Morning on the Sound" (24" x 12")

"Morning on the Sound" (24" x 12")