Monet's Water Lilies - High Museum of Art - Atlanta, Georgia

This past Friday evening my wife and I, along with some friends of ours, visited the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. We went to see the Monet Water Lilies exhibit. Two large installations are on display till August 23. Prior to this visit, all I had seen of Monet's art were much smaller works of his. I had only seen the water lilies series of paintings in books - which really do not do justice to these immense and wonderful paintings. I was struck by the rich color, texture, and vibrancy of the paintings on exhibit at the High Museum. I took the above photo with my iPhone as that was the museum would allow. Of course it doesn't really give a sense of scale or do justice to the beauty of this work of art. This is just a view of the center section of a triptych that spans 42 feet in length. This particular piece is titled "Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond."

The image below is a close-up that reveals the heavy texture of Monet's brushstrokes.

Looking at those textures on the canvas - well, I wanted to touch ever so gently the canvas and feel the rise and fall of the impasto brush strokes. But, of course, I could not do that! It did make me think, though, of why such works of art appeal to us so much. Our day-to-day graphic design work is produced with digital technology. While beautiful art is produced digitally, there is no real, tactile connection with the artist. Viewing a canvas of Monet's, there is a visceral connection with the artist. The dabs of paint were applied, scraped off, and applied again by the very hands and fingers of the artist.

It's as if you can reach across the gulf of time and shake the hand of Monet.

ArtCarl OlsonMonet