I know what Manet meant by not being able to emulate nature on canvas, that the best the artist can do is present his own, “naïve” impression.
This sky was so magnificent, there was so much shimmer and reflection and the colors harmonized so perfectly, that it left me in a wonderful state of awe. I just stood there and looked and marveled. I felt close to the beginning of time somehow, I’m not sure how else to explain it. To explain it, the way it made me feel, would have to come out as gibberish, because words–rational sentences–no matter how poetically laced, could never come close.
So I’ve tried to recreate this feeling. I think it’s best to do that than try to reproduce the actual. Magnificence has to be found, by the artist, in the way his materials are exaggerated. I can never think I can put nature on my canvas, only my feeble impression. I try to show what I feel and this becomes a painting.