My small 5×7 impressionist copy, “ala Anders Zorn, Woman Dressing” captured the highest number of views for the week for a 2nd week! And with a relatively hefty leader over those ranking right below it (vs my own images).
As mentioned in last week’s post about “Zorn’s Woman Dressing”, my other recent post, Delivering New Art to the Old Bakery and Emporium (across from the State Capital) Austin, Texas – ala Anders Zorn, Woman Dressing, has a bit of detail about this small painting. Plus my description for it on Fine Art America adds a bit more about my creative process painting this small piece —
Realizing an emotional impact within myself may be the most important result of seeing (and applying) how and why Zorn was and is considered such a master painter today!https://fineartamerica.com/featured/ala-anders-zorn-woman-dressing-felipe-adan-lerma.html
Last week’s most viewed of my images at Fine Art America post – https://felipeadanlerma.com/2021/08/27/august-25-2021-another-new-most-viewed-image-for-the-week-fineartamerica-ala-anders-zorn-woman-dressing-again-a-watercolor-on-absorbent-ground-on-canvas-panel-contemporaryimpressionism/ – also speaks a bit more on that and about Anders Zorn the artist.
What I want to add this time ’round is some thoughts that keep rising trying to formulate themselves for me, ie, in a way my thick head might grasp something I vaguely feel I’m grasping lately —
Contemporary Impressionism, meaning, on its face, is a reworking via today’s thinking/feeling/art materials of what Monet, Renoir and Morisot et al inaugurated over a hundred and fifty years ago.
They worked in oils, fluidly, often using tubes of paints, a new-fangled thing evidently 😊 They experimented, innovated, “played” with light – via pigment.
We do that today – throwing in acrylics, enabling mixed media projects, sometimes adding absorbent and molding paste grounds to the gesso’d canvases.
But innovation, ala Picasso’s abstracts, don’t make a work impressionism, contemporary or otherwise, lol!
I’m gonna list a couple of articles I found via this Google search (which includes images) for “contemporary impressionism” –
First, Wikipedia says,
Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressionism
I don’t think most of think, or at least I don’t, those are usual angles anymore. We’re full indoctrinated into a mobile visual world often at our fingertips 😊
But “inclusion of movement” I hadn’t thought of. Maybe also now taking it for granted. But I’m not sure. I see (and like) lots of what I consider contemporary impressionism that either has little movement suggested, or none at all. Still beautiful work, usually very much involved with “light”. So maybe Contemporary Impressionism expands the original sense the 1st impressionists seemed uniformly concerned with.
Then, History.com’s article, adds —
The Impressionist took their name from an insult hurled by the press at one of Monet’s paintings, Impression, Sunrise. Critics heaped scorn on the work presented in the show as “unfinished” and compared it unfavorably to wallpaper.https://www.history.com/topics/art-history/impressionism
Everyday life was Renoir’s preferred subject matter, and his portrayal of it is drenched in optimism.
Morisot’s embrace of a lighter palette, in alignment with other Impressionists, is considered a large influence on Manet’s later work.
Three things stood out in the article’s outline of the beginnings of Impressionism –
- “Unfinished” in the traditional sense was not only okay, but admired. But why?
- Most early impressionism has a sense of deep optimism; why even today is sometimes an effort to sustain or inject into one’s work, much less “drench” into one’s work 😊 Maybe because to be optimistic is to envision a type of future, with envisioning the key, meaning the future is at best a bit fuzzy, since obviously no one I know knows for sure what tomorrow will bring. Injecting optimism into one’s life and creative work is, I think – an act of hope, of faith, of a belief in an ultimate good.
- And a lighter palette, even when considering the depth of Renoir’s shadows in his work, always prevails, reinforcing the sense of optimism.
So it seems to me, Contemporary Impressionism probably should or does embody at least these elements – an unfinished softer look, an overriding optimism, a lighter palette (at the least dominating a darker one) and – movement.
Does my work fit that description? After all I hashtag the term #ContemporaryImpressionism in my blog post’s title and in my WordPress tag words, lol! Well, in some of my work, yes, but not all, that’s for sure.
Is my rendition of “ala Anders Zorn, Woman Dressing” contemporary impressionism?
I think so. I didn’t create it plein air; but like the use of pigments beyond oil or oil pastels, that may be part of what is Contemporary Impressionism.
But for me, for me to feel one of my own works is what I’d feel comfortable calling Contemporary Impressionism, though I like the “unfinished” soft look, though I want a sense of movement (even if hesitant or nascent), it needs to be of some degree a lighter palette (meaning leaning to more importance of what light there is depicted than of the dark), and more than anything else – convey a true and felt sense of optimism ♥️
For example, my own work from a few years ago, “Malletts Bay Sunrise Colchester Vermont,” —
— though impressionistic, I don’t consider this work Contemporary Impressionism, rather very much more what History.com above described as Post Impressionism. And though I love this piece, it’s starkness and sense of the unknown, both as heavy as a hoped for optimism with the sunrise, this is contemporary something else, lol ☺️
What I’m working myself toward for over a year now is, I think, a movement back toward work I did in the 2000s in oil (though this time ’round I’m open to using any medium I’m compelled to work with) but with the sense that the figures are not just more prominent, but more important in the overall work, like in the work below, from the 2000s, but even more so…
I’ve continued to dabble on with a new watercolor figure study on paper that’s “sorta” contemporary impressionism, and begun a larger canvas work, the gesso overlaid with mostly light molding paste and a little absorbent ground, both via Golden. Hopefully have some posts on this soon 😊 I’m working, been working I realize, toward something whose outlines are becoming a bit clearer to me now ☺️
Take care everyone! Stay inquisitive and exploratory, and most of all – optimistic! ♥️
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My Amazon search for “contemporary impressionism” –
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Thanks again, everyone! 😊