Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"You would need a palette of diamonds and jewels"

Though Monet wished for days when painting was effortless, in fact as revealed in his letters to his wife while away, he was often dissatisfied with his work and very frustrated. From Bordighera, on the Mediterranean, he writes: "I cannot seize the tone of this country: at moments I am terrified by the colours I have to use. I fear they will be's an astounding light. Also I waste a lot of colours, as there are trials to be made. It's a whole new study for me, this landscape, and I am only starting to get my bearings, to know where I'm going, what I can do. It's terribly difficult; you would need a palette of diamonds and jewels."
After a few months there he writes: "I don't know if what I'm doing is any good, I don't know anything any more; I have worked so much, made such efforts that I am stupefied. If I had the means, I would like to erase it all and start again as one has to live a landscape for a certain time to paint it; you need to work on it painstakingly, and with great difficulty to arrive at rendering it with confidence; but can one ever be satisfied in the face of nature and above all, here? Surrounded by this dazzling light, one finds one's palette very impoverished; art demands tones of gold and diamonds. Well, I've done what I could. Maybe when I'm home it will remind me of what I've seen." [Monet's Landscapes By Vivian Russell].
Painting outdoors is so much about the light that one soon realizes the limitations of pigment to capture it. It was the sun lit grass that was the inspiration for "Bartram Park, Pensacola". I repainted the grass at least four times before I said, Well, I've done what I could. This painting is available at my website- . (SOLD)

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