“I would like to paint the way a bird sings. What keeps my heart awake is colorful silence. It’s on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way.” (Claude Monet)
One of the highlights of our recent road trip took place at the massive complex of the National Gallery of Art West Gallery in downtown Washington D.C. Finding a convenient, public parking location at Union Station, we opted in mid morning to take a DC Circulator bus for a nominal fee from this main transportation hub for the five minute ride to the Gallery stop along the National Mall. As with most art museums we visit, it seemed best for us then to predetermine which galleries of the museum best suited our artistic taste. Predictably, Ruth and I thus agreed that our “can’t miss” priority would be to observe the museum’s extensive collection of French Impressionistic Art of the late 19th century.
What then the makes French Impressionist painting so alluring for these two cosmopolitan travelers? Speaking only for myself, those hazy impressionist depictions amid outdoor nature resonate as a much calmer world of peace and non-confrontation that I strive to find today. As with my love of the improvisational nature of jazz music, the blurry outlines of space, shape and color in a Monet, Renoir, Pissarro art piece also evoke the act of exciting travel discovery in not knowing for sure what one will find at the time. That sense of uncertain wander thus seems exactly what I desire from our current road trip adventures off the Interstate Highways in the American West.
The loose and easy feeling of Impressionistic Art also provides some emotional therapy for me given our current avoidance of overseas travel due to the COVID pandemic. For I seem desperate to re- experience again those free spirited times of traveling with an unlimited Eurail Pass, city by city, throughout the European continent In this regard, I recall my obsession with Impressionistic times in a recent blog when I depicted one of my main characters as Claude Monet, returning to life to accompany me on a fictitious road trip journey here. So as the uncertainty of one’s future fate goes on, I think you can see that thoughts of Impressionistic wonder can restore thoughts of optimism with what the beauty of life can be.