Impressionism is the newspaper of the soul.” – Henri Matisse
As we enter the last month of summer and head into fall, we become more aware of the effect of sunlight shining on the earth. Impressionistic painting places its emphasis on capturing the transient effects of sunlight and the accurate depiction of light according to the season, the time of day, and the atmospheric conditions.
In the summer, the sun is at its highest point directly overhead. In the fall, when the direct rays of the sun hit the Equator, the angle of the light starts to diminish and sunshine light becomes weaker as it is spread over a larger area. When the angle of the light changes in each season, the light and atmospheric conditions also change and they affect the hues of the direct light as well as the reflected one.
Impressionism emerged in the second half of the 19th century as a movement with a visual language that captured light and atmosphere. The movement was named when a critic, Louis Leroy, wrote an article using the title of a painting by Claude Monet, Impression, Soleil Levant. Even though the impressionistic way of painting was not immediately accepted in the art circles of the time, it is now very well regarded. The names of the core impressionistic painters such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet and the American Mary Cassatt are nowadays well recognized and sought by art collectors.
There are many artists today that use the impressionistic visual language. They beautifully capture the light and atmosphere. Their broken brushstrokes convey a sense of movement to the work. The fragments of color provide flickering touches that bring life to the art. The preferred subject matter is casual and from everyday life which relates well to the viewer. The shadows avoid blacks or grays in favor of purples, blues and colors that suggest the reflected light of the surrounding objects. And, the details are lost in the imperative quest for visual effects, for immediacy, spontaneity, and play of light.
Within NOAPS membership, there are many artists inspired by the transience of light. One of them is Linda Nearon who enlightens us with the effect that light exerted in her life. Linda explains: “In my childhood, I spent the summers in the Wasatch Mountains in Utah. I loved waking up in the early morning and observing the diffused light hitting the trees and mountains like a musical melody giving the atmosphere an ethereal mood. I knew then that I had this passion to capture on canvas the effects of morning light on trees and mountains. Later in life I moved to California, and my horizons expanded to painting the effects of light in cityscapes, seascapes and flora. Now, my work has both a representative and impressionistic style.”
Linda’s paintings have won several awards. Morning Song, won Merit Award—Landscape in the Greenhouse Salon International in 2008 and it was published by American Art Collector Magazine and Southwest Art Magazine. In 2009 and again in 2011, Kennedy Publishing Co. selected Linda as a featured artist in their book, “Best of America Oil Artist Vol 11” and “Best of World Wide Landscape Artists, respectively.” In 2010, Linda’s painting, Small Town Afternoon, was juried into NOAPS 20th Best of America Exhibit.
More of her paintings can be viewed at http://www.lindanearonstudio.com/index.html