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.