Sunday, April 12, 2009

Impressionism – Dos and Don’ts





Impressionism is one of the latter art styles. There are some criteria's and techniques that define it, but are they really a must have or just a definition?

According to Wikipedia.org –
"Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that began as a loose association of Paris-based artists exhibiting their art publicly in the 1860s. The name of the movement is derived from the title of a Claude Monet work, Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant), which provoked the critic Louis Leroy to coin the term in a satiric review published in Le Charivari."

Thus the term initially defined a single painting.

Then, again according to Wikipedia.org it was used more broadly –
"Characteristics of Impressionist paintings include visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, the inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles.
The emergence of Impressionism in the visual arts was soon followed by analogous movements in other media which became known as Impressionist music and Impressionist literature.

Impressionism also describes art created in this style, but outside of the late 19th century time period."

So, what do you need to do as an artist to insure that your artwork fits the definition of impressionism? Interestingly, not much.

The term is so 'widely' defined that virtually any artwork, unless it can be absolutely positively defined as abstract (or it's variation such as cubism, etc...) can fit the term.

Most artists nowadays use visible brush strokes (yes you can see them in virtually any painting if you are close enough).

Most artist use open composition.

Almost anyone knows how to use light and make emphasis on it. Outside of abstract oil paintings (or probably broader definition of abstract and oil paintings) you can not really create an artwork without using light and making emphasis on its qualities.

Most of the art will cover ordinary subject mater, unless it is futuristic artwork.

All art is about perception and experience and again most artwork is about experiences we (humans) have.

No artist will probably agree that their visual angles are not unusual, thus most are using unusual visual angles.

Thus, this really leaves only handful of exceptions – abstract paintings, etc... and one rule. But even the rule is really more of a guideline than a rule. The rule is: "In pure Impressionism the use of black paint is avoided."

So, take a hard look at all the paintings you have the chances are 90% of the artwork that is not abstract is actually impressionism.

And here are some examples of impressionism art:Impressionism Oil Paintings on Canvas.

Mikhail Onanov
Artist

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