The month of October is a special time for me:
my debut novel, my baby,
will be released IN PRINT on Halloween!
Cassie Barclay’s favorite genre of art was impressionism, her favorite painter, Berthe Morisot, and she strove to imitate the famed artist with her own works. Cassie achieved her goal.
Cassie’s favorite scenes were of the outdoors, and she tended to favor paintings with mothers and children, although she did not paint them herself; it was bittersweet to her. But she did enjoy looking at and studying what other artists painted.
note: information on the art form of impressionism, I lifted straight from Wikipedia.
“Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists. Their independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s, in spite of harsh opposition from the conventional art community in France. The name of the style derives from the title of a Claude Monet work, Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise), which provoked the critic Louis Leroy to coin the term in a satirical review published in the Parisian newspaper Le Charivari.
Impressionist painting characteristics include 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. The development of Impressionism in the visual arts was soon followed by analogous styles in other media that became known as impressionist music and impressionist literature.” [taken from Wikipedia]
Cassie liked the embracing beauty of the style, the realism minus the harshness that was how she perceived her mother’s work, who painted photo realistic slick images, cosmopolitan city images.
“Radicals in their time, early Impressionists violated the rules of academic painting. They constructed their pictures from freely brushed colors that took precedence over lines and contours, following the example of painters such as Eugène Delacroix and J. M. W. Turner. They also painted realistic scenes of modern life, and often painted outdoors. Previously, still lifes and portraits as well as landscapes were usually painted in a studio. The Impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by painting en plein air. They portrayed overall visual effects instead of details, and used short “broken” brush strokes of mixed and pure unmixed color—not blended smoothly or shaded, as was customary—to achieve an effect of intense color vibration.
Impressionism emerged in France at the same time that a number of other painters, including the Italian artists known as the Macchiaioli, and Winslow Homer in the United States, were also exploring plein-air painting. The Impressionists, however, developed new techniques specific to the style. Encompassing what its adherents argued was a different way of seeing, it is an art of immediacy and movement, of candid poses and compositions, of the play of light expressed in a bright and varied use of color.
The public, at first hostile, gradually came to believe that the Impressionists had captured a fresh and original vision, even if the art critics and art establishment disapproved of the new style.
By recreating the sensation in the eye that views the subject, rather than delineating the details of the subject, and by creating a welter of techniques and forms, Impressionism is a precursor of various painting styles, including Neo-Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism.
In the middle of the 19th century—a time of change, as Emperor Napoleon III rebuilt Paris and waged war—the Académie des Beaux-Arts dominated French art. The Académie was the preserver of traditional French painting standards of content and style. Historical subjects, religious themes, and portraits were valued; landscape and still life were not. The Académie preferred carefully finished images that looked realistic when examined closely. Paintings in this style were made up of precise brush strokes carefully blended to hide the artist’s hand in the work. Color was restrained and often toned down further by the application of a golden varnish.
The Académie had an annual, juried art show, the Salon de Paris, and artists whose work was displayed in the show won prizes, garnered commissions, and enhanced their prestige. The standards of the juries represented the values of the Académie, represented by the works of such artists as Jean-Léon Gérôme and Alexandre Cabanel.
In the early 1860s, four young painters—Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Frédéric Bazille—met while studying under the academic artist Charles Gleyre. They discovered that they shared an interest in painting landscape and contemporary life rather than historical or mythological scenes. Following a practice that had become increasingly popular by mid-century, they often ventured into the countryside together to paint in the open air, but not for the purpose of making sketches to be developed into carefully finished works in the studio, as was the usual custom. By painting in sunlight directly from nature, and making bold use of the vivid synthetic pigments that had become available since the beginning of the century, they began to develop a lighter and brighter manner of painting that extended further the Realism of Gustave Courbet and the Barbizon school. A favorite meeting place for the artists was the Café Guerbois on Avenue de Clichy in Paris, where the discussions were often led by Édouard Manet, whom the younger artists greatly admired. They were soon joined by Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, and Armand Guillaumin.” [Wikipedia]
It didn’t occur to Cassie to try and emulate her mother’s work. It never crossed her mind that it might have drawn them closer. Cassie just painted, she visualized, and transferred from her mind’s eye to the canvas before her.
While Cassie appreciated the work of Mary Cassatt, as an artist, she could not enjoy the famed painting by the artist, The Child’s Bath. It was a bittersweet sentiment to her, the closeness of mother and child, and was reminiscent to her of a bath incident from her own childhood in which Marni tried to give time to Cassie, to bathe her child, who was three at the time. It seemed, though, that the touch of her child’s skin was repulsive to her, and she left Cassie to sit in water that turned cold until Vandy came to finish the task. Cassie threw the artist out with the painted bathwater, as it were.
In a juxtaposition of preference, however, Cassie did enjoy viewing paintings of mothers and children. She refused, could not bring herself to paint such idyllic settings however.
Cassie’s all-time favorite painting, which evoked both her mother instinct, and the longing for her mother, was Berthe Morisot’s The Cradle. Cassie owned a framed print, and could sit for hours gazing upon the image, basking in the sentiment of it.
#impressionism; #berthemorisot, #monet, #renoir, #marycassatt, #bathtime, #rejection