Poplars

7:00 AM

Claude Monet, Poplars, 1891

I don’t think I've ever taken away more from a class than I have this year. I learned how to appreciate things, how to look at something and see that there is more there than what I think I can simply see. Colors, shapes and composition are just parts of the piece, things everyone can see. But this year has taught me to feel, to place myself into the life of the artist when looking at his or her work. It’s something that I always thought people were joking about, when they said that a piece moved them or how inspirational a piece was. Now I see it.

To me, beauty does not have to be refined to be there - that’s something I learned this year. Impressionism epitomizes this, the artist just giving glimpses of a moment in time, any moment, instead of going into painstaking detail to show only an over-posed one. Short strokes not only allow the viewer to lose themselves in the movement, but also give more feeling than flat canvas. 

Claude Monet’s Poplars are the perfect example of my education, of my moment in time. At first, all I saw here  were bright colors and a lot of little strokes. It was confusing, but pretty. But I didn’t really look too far into it; I didn’t know how. Looking at it now, I see the skill and the magnitude of the work, I understand that the background is an equally important part of the scene. After all, that’s the whole point of what Impressionism was, to make you remember what you feel, to put that lasting impression on canvas for all to see and interpret. 

Kind of funny how much has changed. But this picture took me right back. I’ve never had that happen before - I never had such a strong reaction to a piece.

Editor's Note: The students were assigned to write about the artwork that has impacted them the most. These pieces will run for  about two weeks.

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