Evening In The Sky

Evening In The Sky 36x36x1.5 acrylic on canvas

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.

8 Comments

  1. oldswimmerSusan Holland
    September 12, 2014

    I LOVE IT. It is exactly full of all of what I love about impressionism…and of expressionism too. This is a fabulous piece, sir!

    Reply
    1. MT McClanahan
      September 12, 2014

      From you that is so welcome a review Susan! I secretly want to be an Expressionist more than anything. You really saw my heart in my words (and painting) here. Impressionism is about seeing, Expressionism about feeling, right?

      Reply
  2. […] Please see a further illumination of my thoughts on this work at mtmcclanahan.com/blog. […]

    Reply
  3. Stephen Carpenter
    September 19, 2014

    What you wrote about these moments is in tune with what I get. The thing is, for me, and why we can only produce a re-collection (to my way of thinking), is that we are inside the moment and traveling with the passage of time. Skies and everything else is in flux.
    Im – Ex pression isn’t as easy as it once was but I’m with you (I think) When you’re working one way, the other is nagging. I’ll let you know how I’m doing on balancing it. I think this painting you did has some clues and guidance.

    it’s a very powerful piece.

    Reply
    1. MT McClanahan
      September 19, 2014

      Most interesting Stephen–you are a deep thinker! The idea of “traveling with the passage of time” gave me pause. But are we inside a moment or is flux the constant state (but I may misunderstand)? The idea of being “*inside* the moment” also struck me solidly.

      That is what I aim for–the state of flux–I think. It’s not just showing movement or motion, but the passage of instances, but not from an Impressionist’s point of view necessarily.

      Thanks for clarifying my *own* thoughts!

      Reply
    2. MT McClanahan
      September 19, 2014

      Impressionists aim to capture a moment–I think I aim to show the passage of a moment–if that makes sense.

      Reply
  4. oldswimmer
    May 2, 2015

    I could live with this one forever. It is exactly what is the “meaning of life” to me. Symbolically (earth sky sea) and emotionally (passages of time) and spiritually (alive and potent and revolutionary every moment.! My favorite so far Marcus! Susan

    Reply
    1. MT McClanahan
      May 3, 2015

      You have made my day Susan! And I was starting to question this one!

      Reply

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