Rarasaur’s prompt for the promptless is about Monet.
The only classes which I missed (in the sense of regretting that I no longer had them) after we had chosen our options for O-level examinations were Art. There was no possibility I’d turn out to be an artist, but our art teacher had a relaxed attitude to her classes and we were allowed to chat while we painted. I think she must have been a good teacher too as I can remember her advice.
“Don’t draw if it is a painting; just paint straight away!”
She started us off in the very first lesson experimenting with mixing colours. We couldn’t start again – we just had to add more and more colour in the same part of the palette. I can remember how I approached this working through pale pinks to darker colours.
Much later we experimented with pointillism. We could make dots of colour to build up a picture in the way the Impressionists did. I don’t remember what my finished picture looked like!
Another experimental technique involved painting with a knife instead of a brush. We mixed our powdered paint with very little water, so that it was thick. Then we used a knife to apply it to the paper. I’ve never been tempted to try it again, but I still remember doing it.
We also did lino-cuts and used plaster of Paris to make “stained glass windows”, using coloured glass from broken bottles. Another project with plaster of Paris involved making a model incorporating coloured glass.
My personal favourite among the impressionists is probably Turner, although strictly he pre-dates the impressionists. I can remember visiting the National Gallery with my mother. She couldn’t understand why I spent so much time looking at his paintings! They had a sense of mist and sunshine captured on canvas, which intrigued me. I have found a very well-known painting to give an impression of what I am trying to explain.
The Fighting Temeraire by JMW Turner (Photo credit Wikipedia)