seeing a monet IRL

Made it down to the Vancouver Art Gallery on a Tuesday night (entry was pay-what-you-want yay!). After enduring an hour-long wait, we finally got to the exhibit.

The main reason for visiting was because it was a requirement for the course I'm currently taking at Regent College titled The Christian Imagination. Two things struck my mind while touring the space:

1. Dang, why didn't I manage to visit Giverny?

2. These pictures are something else. 


Most of the little I knew about Monet was his obsession with water lilies. So my assumption was that his pieces were just about plants, nature, and more plants... y'know, boring stuff - how radical could it get?

Well, I was wrong.

I realise that the one thing about Monet's art - or most art, for that matter - was that when viewed at a distance, it was a lot more impactful. I felt a distinct sense of wonder, a hint of what must've been Monet's feverish attempts at capturing what was unfolding before his eyes. I was a spectator, and also a participator, of that immense awe he felt at the world.

He was more than fixated on plants; he was intrigued with light, shadow, time, change, seasons... and all of that came through in his paintings.

His works were dubbed impressionist, a term meant to be derogatory at the time because they were considered to be "unrealistic" representations of reality. To me, though, they were quite real - how he made moonlight play over the water, made a pond's reflection come alive (3D, hey?) and painted sunlit skies with faint pastel hues.

His paintings cared not for the general characteristics of a place but sought the fleeting appearance it took on in a changeable environment. He would begin a canvas and work on it for an hour or less, switching to a new one as the light changed, in pursuit of what he called “instantaneity”.
— an excerpt from the Monet exhibition

When I first read the lines above, I had a little inner chuckle. Because, really, what has changed from Monet's time to our Instagram-obsessed generation?

It's a question I've been pondering for quite a while now since starting out on the Regent College course - why do we have an innate longing to make something of lasting value? Or perhaps, why did God, our almighty Creator, give His creatures a desire to create?

I leave you with this question, for now.