May 25 2011

#25 “Making an Impression”

From Abigael

Like most people, I’m not necessarily an “art scholar,” per se, but I know what I like; and the one artistic movement or style that has always captivated me the most is Impressionism. I’m not sure exactly what it is about this particular style intrigues me, but I believe it has something to do with the idea of transforming seemingly random or chaotic strokes of a brush into an artistic masterpiece that inevitably presents itself as calm and soothing. There is a method to the madness of Impressionism that is gentle and sets the viewer at ease. Of course, I am really only familiar with the most famous artists of the school of Impressionism: Van Gogh, Renoir, and Monet, but I have been blessed to have been able to see several works by these creative geniuses in person, and I have found them to be astounding and worthy of hours of study. Recently, though, I was introduced to a new Impressionistic prodigy by the name of Abigael, and it is her work that is on display today.

When I first observed this piece, my mind was drawn to recall Van Gogh’s Starry Night. It’ funny how the mind makes the connections it does. Some people may not find it easy to draw similarities between these two works, but essentially, if you were to examine some of the most traditional features of Impressionistic paintings, you would no doubt find that this work by Abigael is classically Impressionistic: the play of natural light is emphasized here, and even though the picture clearly depicts the nighttime, the color black is avoided; also, short strokes are used to capture the “essence” of the subject as opposed to the specifc details.

In the end there are some who might argue that such a classic depiction of the wolf (howling at a moon hovering in the nighttime sky) is too clichéd to be considered a great work of art. I, however, resoundilngly rail against this narrow interpretation. If there is such a thing as a modern classic, I believe we have found it. The noble wolf with his head raised calling out his plaintive nighttime cry may be an image that we are well familiar with, but that does not mean we have fully explored its power or the extent of the beauty of its artistic rendering. In fact, I only just received this work yesterday, but I was so moved by it that I simply had to display it today.

Thank you, Abigael. I know this wolf has certainly made an impression on me…