Monday, August 17, 2009

"Never does Mlle Morisot finish a painting, a pastel or a watercolor. It is as if she were composing prefaces to books she will never write."

I don't know about you, but that's one of the things I like about Morisot's work, nevermind Mr. Paul Mantz, 19th century art critic quoted above. Been reading about Morisot lately because she seems to get lost in the crowd, blocked by the shadow of Cassatt. She was one of the earliest of the Impressionists to exhibit regularly at the Paris Salon, and later when the group broke away, she was invited to join Degas, Pissaro, Monet and others to exhibit in the Salon des Refusés with them. She married Eugene Manet, Edouard's brother, when she was 33. In 1872, Edouard painted her in black for mourning following her father's death - at right:

I like the unfinished quality of many of her paintings - you get the feeling they were executed quickly and with spontaneity. In the one above, A Summer's Day, you can see how dashed off that lower left hand corner is - just a flurry of brushstrokes.

How do you decide when your
work is done? D0 you consciously try to leave an area unfinished? What strategies have worked for you? I have none yet. Here's one I'm working on of the 520 bridge over Lake Washington. Trying to leave it alone:

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