Friday, August 19, 2016
The Spirit Came
This afternoon I went to the pond again. The water was like a mirror when I arrived, and I planned on painting it that way, but the spirit came across the water and everything changed. This view is of the south side of the pond. The painting is a 12x16 oil on panel.
I'm currently reading a Met catalog of a Corot exhibition which took place mainly in 1996. Corot, like his contemporaries who were painting plein air in Italy and France (early-mid 1820s), tried to remain faithful to the topography, though that idea didn't carry through with studio landscapes. However, staying true to the topography was a novelty, so much so that one mid-19th century French critic (Silvestre) wrote that "... the academic landscapists prune the trees and weed out the mosses in the forest of Fontainebleau finding virgin nature too ordinary for the grand style." I find amusing the idea that the artist can improve on nature. If whatever one is thinking of painting doesn't appeal, then one can always move. Significant changes to a natural setting and contrived nature are usually apparent.