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Painter of Light

Claude Monet was the painter of clouds, sky, water, reflections and light. Monet freed the brilliance in the colours of nature until their colours became more important than the natural objects themselves. He altered our experiences with colour.

In his 70s, Monet, had fallen into depression after the deaths of his wife and, later, his son, he all but ceased to paint. Encouraged by his friend Georges Clemenceau, a politician, he began to work on his last and most ambitious project, a series of water lily paintings, until his death at 86.

Monet has said, the goal of his large Water Lilies paintings was to supply "the illusion of an endless whole, of water without horizon or bank." That, he did. His panorama of water and lilies, sky and clouds, water and reflections, have neither beginning nor end. They are poetic, meditative, inspiriting and joyful.

Les Nymphéas de Claude Monet (1840 – 1926), Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris

The Clouds, 1915 - 1926, triptych
Green Reflections, 1914 - 1918, diptych
Morning, 1914 - 1918, four panels
Sunset, 1914 - 1918
Morning with Willows, 1914 - 1918, triptych
The Two Willows, 1914 - 1918, four panels
Bright Morning with Willows, 1914 - 1918, triptych
Reflections of Willows, 1914 - 1918, triptych

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Hiroshi Yoshida, 吉田 博 (1876–1950)

From a very young age Hiroshi Yoshida’s artistic talent was evident, his father, a painting teacher sent him to Kyoto and Tokyo to study western style painting. In 1899, in his 20’s he went to the United States and Europe. He never stopped travelling, through his art, he captured his experiences in North Africa, Egypt, Afghanistan, India, China and Korea.

Like the French Impressionists, Yoshida wanted to capture the momentary by exploring the effects of light at different times of day, capturing the colours of ephemerality.

Kanchenjanga is the third highest mountain in the world between Nepal and Indian. Yoshida explores the effects of printing different colours for the same keyblock to create very different moods at three different times of the day.

Yoshida’s style is distinct and unique, combining the techniques of western-style oil painting with Japanese traditional printmaking. The blending of these two sensibilities gave a fresh perspective to his world travels, an embrace of similarities rather than differences.

Kanchenjanga, Morning, 1931
Kanchenjanga, Afternoon, 1931
Kanchenjanga, 1931


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Tsuchiya Kōitsu 土屋光逸 (1870 – 1949)
One of the leaders of the Shin Hanga (新版画), new woodcut prints art movement in early 20th-century Japan, Tsuchiya Kōitsu’s landscapes beautifully uses light, water and shadows to express the ephemerality of a dream-like escape with nature.

Suma Beach, 須磨の浦, 1938


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The Art of Making Things Visible

Swiss-born artist, Paul Klee (1879 - 1940) has said, "Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible."

One of the most original voices in modern art, Paul Klee was complex and brilliant. A leading avant-garde figure whose art reflected the spirit of surrealism.

Paul Klee explored the idea of creating as an intuitive act emerging from the spirit of the artist, culminating from all his experiences. The art of Klee was rooted in nature, revealing a mystical sense of an inner quality beneath the surface appearance of nature.

It was the process of change in nature that fascinated him. He used geometric elements of the point, the line, the plane, the solid to represent the change in time and space. Colour was emotion and energy, within which the lines established the action. For him, movement was the motivating force of all creativity.

The fish was particularly symbolic for Klee to explain the difference between “indivisible” and “divisible”, he used the fish's scaly exterior to represent the parts of a whole. In Fischbild, Fish Picture (1925), Klee combined different techniques to convey depth of the blue ocean and evoke the playful energy of the fish.

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Matthew Reinhart Engineering Pop-Up Art

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Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris
Claude Monet
The Water Lilies - The Clouds, 1920–1926

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Nocturne is a musical word to describe a composition that evokes a dreamy serenity, reflective of an evening or nighttime mood. American painter James McNeill Whistler found parallels between paintings and music, and coined Nocturne as a painting style. For Whistler, painting is a harmony and an arrangement of colour, line and form.

Whistler in his 1872 painting, Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Cremorne Lights convey a sense of peace and tranquility through a subtle combination of colours that stirs the imagination.

The scene captures the viewpoint of looking up the Thames River, industrial chimneys on the left balanced by the lights of Cremorne gardens on the right. If natural landscapes are used as metaphors for the spirit of life, the industrial landscape can be used for the death of that spirit.

The expanse of colour in the foreground encourages reflection by pulling us into the vast space of the composition. The dreamy haze inspires the feeling of transcendence.

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RoboArt: The Human Paint Brush

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Running Free

One of the most famous artists in China and the pioneer of contemporary Chinese art, Xu Beihong (徐悲鴻,1895 - 1953) changed Chinese art and culture.

Xu Beihong’s life spanned from the reign of the last emperor to the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. His art reflected that period of time, the turmoil and aspirations of the Chinese people.

At a young age, he gained a government scholarship to study at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, the distinguished and famous art school in Paris. He was one of the first Chinese to study European style painting. Over the next six years, he studied European classical and Renaissance art. He mastered both Western and Chinese art, merging Western perspective and composition with Chinese brush and ink techniques. From France, he learned to paint from life using real models and to look at nature and landscapes.

Of his body of work, he is best known for his horse paintings. He was patriotic and sympathetic to the struggles of the Chinese people. His horse paintings projected the strength, power and the spirit of the people. Xu Beihong exaggerated the features of the horses to give them a vivid expression of human feelings.

The energy and strength of the horses reflected Xu Beihong’s hope for the people to freely gallop and soar.

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Holo Painting
Light painting is a lot of fun for photographers and now Holo Painting goes one step further. Using light painting, stop motion, and hyperlapse techniques, a three-dimensional light painting is created. A hologram is not an image but rather a recorded and encoded light field. Very neat!
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