Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Monet Speaks

Detail of Monet waterlilies painting

During the Masterclass I recently participated in with Dorothy Caldwell, Dorothy shared a list of questions that French artist Monet wrote relating to his art. I loved the list as it is so timeless.


  • What is that dam thing out there? (Imagine the aged whiskered man saying/writing french.)

  • What does an idea look like? (I always imagine that art legends know even if I don't.)

  • How does this whole mess fit together? (Repeat....I always imagine that art legends know even if I don't.)

  • Does this line have integrity or is it girlie? (I suppose "girlie" as in Not Strong.)

  • What have I made up and what have I observed? (Think of his waterlilies. I saw them in person for the first time last summer and I'd say it is about 50/50 for the waterlilies.)

  • Of all the things I can do what shall I do? (Now there's a question! This is the reason teachers give assignments and why it can be so difficult making work when you have everything from which to choose.)

  • Will I ever get it right? ( Does it surprise you that Monet would ask himself this question? I am somewhat surprised and it makes me think he was rather grounded.)

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  1. Thanks for this post Terry. It is reassuring to see the Masters were human too.

  2. Thank you Jane. This list came from a very old book that is out of print and Dorothy said it was also "dated". I do not have the title of the book but I love the list.

  3. They were human too!! What a relief:)

  4. Hi Ishita! I love your way of saying that. Yes, they were human too.

  5. How delightful! I think I would have liked having a glass of wine with him.

  6. Thanks Judy. If you don't mind, I think I'll join you and "Mo". I'll bring the snacks.

  7. Good questions/thoughts to ask oneself.

  8. Love this post, Terry. Tomorrow I will post one of his questions in my studio: "Of all the things I can do what shall I do?" What a simple, lovely, to the point, question. About art and life in general. Goes well with the Benjamin Franklin quote that was posted near my workstation at the Crow Barn: "Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff that life is made of."

  9. Thank you Elizabeth for commenting. It's so true and I'm happy that this was meaningful for you. Hope you'll drop by another time!