Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Held over Monet

Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 9''
2010, #183

Two weeks ago, my 15 year old son Jean-Luc's soccer team was playing in a tournament on Prince Edward Island. After winning their game on Saturday morning, we made our way to Charlottetown to visit the capitol city. While doing the rounds of the art galleries, I discovered the magnificent art glass of Robert Held at Details, Past & Present Art Gallery. Upon entering the gallery, I was greeted by a collection of his vases and bowls. They brought me to a standstill and I was transfixed. The quality of the glass, the purity of the colors, almost as if these vessels were illuminated from within. I realized at that very moment that I was not leaving the premises without buying a piece. I also knew that it had just became an ''Objet de désire'' that I would want to paint very soon.

Robert Held is a California born artist, currently living in Vancouver BC. He has been a glass blower since 1968. He currently has nine assistants by his side working in one of the largest art glass studios in North America. He is represented by art galleries & museum shops throughout North America. His main influences are Louis C. Tiffany, Gustav Klimt and Claude Monet. I am a great admirer for all three. The most logical choice for me was to superimposed my new acquisition over a pocket-size Claude Monet art book from my own library. The color scheme was perfect and the book complimented the vase to perfection. This vase in part of his Meadow Line collection. The title of the painting is a play on word. It's a piece where art imitates life, life imitates art, and art imitates art.

Jean-Luc visiting Claude Monet's house in Giverny, France - 2006
In 2006, Jean-Luc had to do a presentation of a famous artist in front of his art class. Earlier that month as we were making our way through France and Switzerland on a family road trip.....it also turned into a field trip to acquire hands-on exposure to the world of French Impressionist painter Claude Monet. We visited a few museums that housed his artwork in Troyes, Lyon & Paris and visited his domain in Giverny. The pink house where his art studio was also located, the breathtaking flower gardens and the Japanese inspired arched bridge leading to the large water lily pond with the weeping willows.
Claude Monet is considered one of the founding members of the Impressionist movement. The term Impressionism was coined by art critic Louis Leroy in 1884 upon viewing Monet's painting, ''Impression, soleil levant'' during the first group show of this new artistic league.
Last month we had the last of the original windows on our house replaced. I requested windowsills for the second floor bedrooms during installation. The ledges have yet to be painted, so the natural pine board did create a warmer palette to set up the composition. I've done at least a dozen paintings featuring windows.....there will be more to come.
This painting is the second of three to be part of the invitational group show ''The Still Life'' to be held at the Elliott Fouts Gallery in Sacramento California from October 2 to November 5, 2010.


  1. Spectacular!!! Your paintings catch my eye immediately and then the story behind them makes them even richer. We lived in Europe for a few years and I never made it to Monet's gardens, some day I will visit.

  2. woooooowwwww!!! bello trabajo...felicidades!!!!

  3. Could be my new favourite of yours Alvin. I love the composition, the clarity and the colours. Great job!

  4. This is such a stunning painting Alvin. If that glass piece is half as beautiful as you've portrayed it, you made a great purchase and what a beautiful still life set-up you've created to feature it.

  5. Beautiful, Alvin, I love the handling of the vase, and it does compliment the book colors perfectly.

  6. Beautiful. Your work inspires this hack to try harder.

  7. Thanks for so much everybody for the support and comments. PS- Jason, I mostly explored the new colors from the mega Liquitex lot I got on ebay. Much fun!

  8. Salut Alvin,
    Encore un masterpiece. Quelle beauté et quel talent !
    Le jardin de Monet à Giverny vaut le coup d'oeil. C'est une de mes visites préférées. Je m'y rends au moins une fois par an.
    Dommage qu'il y ait tant de monde !
    J'espère que tout va bien pour toi et que les affaires marchent bien.

    Bien à toi

  9. Merci Hélène pour le beau commentaire. Chez Monet nous y sommes allés en avril durant le temps des tulipes et des fleurs printanières. Heureusement pour nous, ce n'était pas trop achalandé ce jour la.

  10. Impressive work Alvin! Interesting dialogue between shapes, colors and
    artistic references. Love the "Art Nouveau" influence on the vase and also how it's reflecting on the book.

  11. Alvin!

    If the vase looks this good in your painting, I can only imagine what it must look like in person!

    How neat to incorporate another artist's work into your own!


  12. Thank you Pierre for your comment, it means a lot from a master light painter.

  13. Hi Dean,
    Believe me the actual vase has a quality to it's glass that made it irresistable as a subject matter and it might reappear in a future work. Thanks for visiting.

  14. super painting Alvin. Wonderful light, subject and presentation.

  15. Dear Alvin,
    So beautiful...beyond language...indeed it's in color and lights. Look forward to next!!
    Kind regards, Sadami

  16. Exquisite!! Alvin you are, hands down, a master painter of glass in the way you handle all its textures, colors, reflections, etc. Never ceases to amaze me!

  17. Just wanted to thank you for your recent comments on my blog! I appreciate them!

  18. Alvin, this takes my breath away... tu fais tellement des belles choses. Quelle belle composition... Merci de partager. :o)