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History is thankful Monet took the Challenge

By on Apr 1, 2014 in Blog, Vision | 0 comments

  Sometimes we see, hear or do something that changes our lives forever.   Monet’s ”Water lilies” was one of those pivotal life experiences for me.  I was 12 when I first saw them at the Art Institute in Chicago.  They transported me into a world of color and depth that fed my soul and felt like home. That visit sparked a life-long interest in Monet and his work. He was a man who took a challenge put before him, discovering a gift and a joy that would be part of his life forever.  Later, he founded the French Impressionism movement.  His life’s work and this particular style of expression inspired and influenced artists of his time and those that followed. Currently, I’m reading Claude Monet’s biography. I find it fascinating that he — who I associate with big beautiful ‘get lost’ in color artwork — actually started out with charcoal caricatures. Story has it In 1856 Eugene Boudin invited him to come paint with him outside at 5 a.m.  Startled by this request, Claude laughs and responds, “Why that early hour is unreasonable!!” (my sentiments also).  Boudin responds, “Of course it is unreasonable!” He then tells Monet he’ll bring everything he needs — all the supplies, the easel, everything — all he needs to do is show up. Eventually, he puts it as an outright challenge.  Boudin became his mentor and taught him to use oil paints as well as “en plein air” (outdoor) techniques for painting. Thankfully for me, and much of the world, Claude Monet accepted that challenge. Once he got started, he never turned back and his new discovery and passion made him famous.  Wow! Thank goodness. I couldn’t imagine a world without Monet. But what struck me about this story was Monet’s categorization of Boudin’s request as “Unreasonable.” The definition of Unreasonable is “exceeding the bounds of reason or moderation, not guided by or based on good sense.” Whether or not Claude actually said this, it started me thinking. What if he’d not taken the challenge? What if he’d let something stop him from getting up at O’too-early that morning? How many wonderful things do we have because of those who have done unreasonable things?...

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