Impressions of Art – Weekly Photo Challenge

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”

Edgar Degas

ESSENCE OF PROVENCE

ESSENCE OF PROVENCE

In the late 1800s, artists like Monet, Degas, Cezanne and Renoir developed an artistic style that became know as impressionism. It focused on depicting the visual “impression of the moment”, especially as related to light and color. They were known to have been influenced by early photography and were among the first to have painted “en plein air”. Although I truly appreciate all forms of art, I have always been partial to impressionism as my favorite style.

ESSENCE OF PROVENCE-BEFORE

ESSENCE OF PROVENCE-BEFORE

“I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”

Vincent Van Gogh

The opening capture above is my impression of the original shot which follows it. In Provence, there are vineyards at every turn – one more picturesque than the last. For this week’s Art challenge I’ve attempted to creatively present an impressionist view of several scenes using post-processing tools – including the lovely vineyard scene. For me, the scene spoke of simpler days gone by – thereby leading me to present it in a rather nostalgic way.

LONE EGRET

LONE EGRET

“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”

Bansky

Creative courage involves trying new things and pushing boundaries. Although I love nothing more than a wonderful photograph, I also admire those who step outside the box and use imagination to create another view entirely. I am the first to admit that my skills with textures and effects are seriously limited but I do enjoy playing with images now and then to see what might result. My goal with the capture above was to create an ethereal feel similar to my own impression as I made the shot here on Kiawah early one morning.

LONE EGRET - BEFORE

LONE EGRET – BEFORE

“Every form of art is another way of seeing the world.”

Claudia Gray

WHITE HORSE

WHITE HORSE

“In art as in love, instinct is enough. ”

Anatole France

I’ve seen many horses in my travels, but it seems white horses are the most elusive and rare. I captured this beautiful creature during a visit to La Camargue in Southeast France. The region is known for its beautiful salt marshes and its white horses. To me they are rather ghostly in appearance, but in an appealing way. My interpretation is an attempt to portray that quality.

WHITE HORSE - BEFORE

WHITE HORSE – BEFORE

“Art is not a thing; it is a way. ”

Elbert Hubbard

PEACEFUL MOMENT

PEACEFUL MOMENT

“A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.”

Paul Cezanne

The final image captures a truly peaceful moment on one of Kiawah’s smaller lagoons. There our many species of water fowl, in this case bufflehead ducks, find calm waters and a variety of small fish and grasses on which they can feed undisturbed. I wasn’t especially happy with the original capture (below) which I found a bit busy. But after de-saturating it and applying some textures I felt it better delivered the peaceful impression that struck me while shooting the scene.

PEACEFUL MOMENT - BEFORE

PEACEFUL MOMENT – BEFORE

“Art is literacy of the heart.”

Elliott Eisner

Like the impressionists before us, the best artists bring heart and emotion to their work. They achieve success when the viewer not only sees their work but also feels it. Here’s to the effort as much as the result.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all! If you’d like to learn more about impressionism, click here. 

120 thoughts on “Impressions of Art – Weekly Photo Challenge

  1. A beautiful collection! I love how you interpretated this challenge – with your own art – creations – imitating your photos. Excellent!

  2. Wow, your impressions are other-worldly. The original shots were all wonderful standing alone, but the photo of the bufflehead ducks (look so similar to mergansers) and your transformation is fantastic ~ serene and peaceful (at least until the hunters show up…). The tools of textures are something I need to look into, another realm of artistry and it looks like fun. Great take on impressionism 🙂

    • Thanks Randall – it is indeed an interesting exercise and there is SO much to learn! It’s a whole other art in and of itself. I do occasionally like to play with the images to see what evolves . For me though, it’s a fun exercise now and then rather than a primary focus.

  3. This grouping of photographs is outstanding, Tina. The first one is captivating. I can imagine sitting under a tree reading and smelling the scent of wildflowers. You’ve done a spectacular job on the challenge. Have a GREAT week …
    Isadora 😎

  4. The white horse . . . instantly made me thing of the song “Wildfire”, by Michael Martin Murphy.
    Love all the photos and I’m with you on Impressionism.

  5. Loved the way you played with the photos, Tina. Hard pressed to pick a favourite – both before and after look amazing. The final horse image sort of of looks like something you see out of a fairytale land up in the clouds. Very pure, very delicate. Love the first quote by Edgar. Art is what we make others feel, and how we inspire and change their perceptions. Also really like the one by Anatole. Art is like love, all about instinct. How true – when it comes to instinct, we don’t hold back 🙂

  6. Pingback: Life Imitatis Art (Remake 3) | Chris Breebaart Photography / What's (in) the picture?

    • Thanks Janet! I’ve been really enjoying using textures. At first I used some I purchased from French Kiss, then I started making my own which is fun. I also used the NIK Color Efex and Silver Efex pro tools as well as photoshop on all of these. call it a labor of love!

  7. Really interesting, Tina. Before seeing the first “real” shot, I thought the first was a painting. And the horse does look ghostly.

  8. If I didn’t know better.. I would swear you painted these scenes rather than ” techniqued ” them. Fooled me and I love especially the white horse… Oh yes and the egret too!

    • Thanks GF! I always wished I could paint or even draw. How nice that today’s tools allow me to express creativity with photography since I’m truly helpless with a paintbrush or pencil!!!

  9. Happy Valentine’s Day to you too Tina. This of course is my favourite post ever. We share a love of impressionism and your images, quotes and text have brought light and warmth to an otherwise rainy and dull day here on the West Coast. Just the word “Provence” takes me to another place where I would happily be at this moment. With warmest wishes as always 🙂

    • Wow Andrew – favorite ever? Love that my friend! As for Provence, yes sir – I agree wholeheartedly. A wonderful place to return to, mentally OR physically, whenever reality lets you down!

  10. Lovely post on impressionism, Tina. You are a great artist. The layer on the photos is very good, we like the effect. And quote 1,2 and 3 go right into my book of gems, they are new to me and already so precious!
    Happy Valentine, Tina.

  11. Tina I love this post! I too am very fond of Impressionism. It is my favorite art as well. I love what you did to your photos to create impressionistic art. Beautiful! Thanks for the lovely inspiration today.

    • Thanks so much Nicole. It’s interesting how you can change the feeling of a photo by working with some of the artistic tools available today. I don’t do it often but enjoy it when I do.

  12. A lovely series on impressionism. I like what you’ve done with the photos. I’m having a bit of a tough time with this week’s challenge … hence why it’s called so! But maybe I’ll find something in the next couple of days.

  13. Really interesting contrasts. The last one was my favorite. Except for the b/w heads, the buffleheads almost disappear against the marsh and its reflection.

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