Happy November, and Happy (early) Thanksgiving!
November is one of my favorite times of the year. I always celebrated my and my Grandma's Birthdays during Thanksgiving Dinner, so this month is very meaningful to me.
I decided to go the Santa Barbara Museum of Art tonight. On the first Thursday of every month, the museum is open to the public for free, and there is a different feeling going at night. This was my first visit since before 2020, and it felt fantastic to be back. Along with a lot of new exhibits and remodeling, my favorite Monet paintings are still on display.
The first Claude Monet painting, pictured above, gave me the insight and epiphany that helped me pass the Bar Exam (law). I was seeing and analyzing every issue that the model essay answer did, but I still was not receiving above average grades. Then I looked at this painting, and it clicked. While I see the mountain, the buildings, the path, and the vegetation, I realized that everything has to be in its proportion (ie don't blow things out of proportion).
I realized that while I saw the mountain, sometimes I made the mountain a big deal, in art terms, I didn't leave it in the background but brought it forward into the foreground. And perhaps an issue/building that should've been spotted but not in great detail was also brought too far forward into the foreground. And conversely, maybe the big, foreground building was made equal in size, or even a little smaller, than the other buildings/issues. Once I saw this, my essay scores drastically increased. Merci monsieur Monet!
So seeing this painting again for the first time in at least five years was like greeting an old friend; it was a great night, and I am so thankful that Monet left this painting for us to appreciate, and for the epiphany it gave me!
Here are some other Monet paintings from England that are meaningful to me both in terms of art, and also from personal experiences I had while in England.
Long story made short is, while on a walking tour in England, I stopped suddenly, looked behind me and to my left, and asked the guide if Monet stayed in this hotel. The guide said yes, and asked how I knew that, and I responded something like, "Because there is a painting of this bridge from that angle, so I knew that out of all of the buildings here, Monet had to have stayed in that particular building." The guide couldn't believe I Sherlock Holmes' this conclusion, and while it was clear as can be to me, there was a part me that was amazed as well!
I will most likely share other paintings from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in the future, but I really wanted to share these with you tonight, because I'm so thankful to be able to see these paintings in-person, and to have had them in my life for many years.
What are some things in art, or non-art, that you're grateful and thankful for this year?
Have a wonderful November!