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Back when I was first learning how to paint with real watercolors (about 8th grade), we had an assignment in my french class. I’m not sure what it had to do with speaking the French language, but I loved it all the same: we had to replicate a french impressionist work of art. I chose an obscure Monet piece. As I was looking through and discovering artists of the French impressionism, Monet really struck a chord with me. I became just slightly obsessed.

A painting I did at the ripe old age of 13

Funny story, not long after I discovered my obsession with Monet I found out I needed glasses. BADLY. My mom and dad joked that my poor eyesight was the reason why I related to Monet’s impressionist style so readily. They were probably on to something. Or perhaps it was something about the impressionist movement that made real moments and landscapes so beautiful and breathtaking.

Since learning more about art and art history Monet still has a place in my heart, but I’ve grown to love all kinds of artists. Right now I’m totally digging on these fantastic artists:

Even now, as I look back through the paintings I’m most proud of (interesting how most of them happen to be at my parents’ house) I find that each of them have a very painterly approach.  Perhaps this is a coincidence because of the style of the first artist I ever loved?

Throwing paint isn’t always my go-to technique, but it’s fun to do. There’s something about the almost childlike or (this is such a ‘po-mo’ term I hate to say it but it’s true) visceral experience of the controlled chaos of making an image with bold brushwork.

Who was the first artist you ever loved? I would love to hear your stories! Let’s talk art, today.

Do you have an iPad? You can access Art.com’s Art Circles app where you can discover more art via curators (yours truly is on there), style, color and words. The app is absolutely stunning, free, great inspiration for your home and for getting your art on. If you don’t have an iPad, you can find my art picks at my You+Art profile page.

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    1. Celeste says:

      I love Monet, as well. His paintings were some of my first real introductions to art. I was able to see an exhibit of his works when I was in high school, and it was a really neat and special experience.

    2. Melissa says:

      Several of my family members are artists in the professional sense and it’s something I just have such a love for. It’s intimidating to start from scratch (never taken any art classes–ever) when so many loved ones are so talented but it is something I plan to try someday. These are beautiful. Congrats on your work.

    3. Nicole says:

      Vincent Van Gogh. I recently watched a documentary about his life taken entirely from letters sent between him and his family. Benedict Cumberbatch starred in it. I was first attracted to his art when I was younger since the colors were so vibrant and expressive. Watching the movie gave me a new perspective into his work and explained why he chose different subjects. I really recommend watching it. It’s called, Van Gogh: Painted With Words.

    4. phil says:

      my mother was the first artist i loved . i was once stuck in front of grunewald ‘ s insenheim altarpiece . giotto ‘ s scrovegni chapel visit was also a big moment . velasquez , dali , vermeer , caillebotte , constable etc etc … i love them all

    5. ira lee says:

      i fell in love with art in high school, and still wish i would have persued it in college. :( i really like many artist from the 19th century- monet, van gough. but my fav is probably salvador dali. i enjoy the whole process of creating, the ideas in your head, the planning, colors, the work and concentration it takes to produce a piece of art from your mind to the canvas. and i appreciate it even more thinking of how hard it must have been to acquire materials, paints, brushes, ect waaaaay back in the day before they were so readily avaiable as they are now. and also the quality of the materials they had at their disposal! wow, can you imagine? yet they still had a desire to create, and produced wonderful paintings.

    6. The artist I ever loved was my wife, but Van Gough was a close second.

    7. lindsay says:

      Love the painting by 13 year old you- sunlight on leaves is one of my favorite things. And thanks for the list of artists to check out. I’ve always been fascinated by Dali’s technical ability.

    8. I love your paintings! I was in love with Georgia O’Keefe as a kid. I started learning watercolor on the weekends around 13 too…I remember thinking I was alright, but then dug up the paintings on a recent trip home to my parents’ and realizing they were not so hot. Haha. I do need to pick up a paintbrush soon though. I’m intrigued what I’d be like now…

    9. […] painted this last night. I’ve painted a few versions of this very iris (1, 2), but the one that I still have was too big to be cropped into one of these frames. I had some […]

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