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Life as an Impressionist Painting


I do not personally draw or paint much. I can get a pretty good stickman going but that’s about it. Nonetheless, I do enjoy looking at art and paintings. Impressionist paintings have always had a special place in my heart. In my mind they are simply beautiful.

Claude Monet was the founder of French impressionist painting and he is certainly my most favorite. The way he worked with colours, I think it is almost beyond words to describe ... They seem to merge one into another, slowly shifting: yellow to orange and then red ... blue slowly turns into green and vice versa (i.e. San Giorgio Maggiore).

Impressionist paintings are a bunch of little dots or short strokes of the brush when one looks at them up close and nothing makes much sense. One has to step-back and look at such paintings as a whole and by no means singularize a small part of it, in trying to understand it.

As I was thinking about that last night, I thought that Life is really like an impressionist painting: we each are a little dot on the canvass of Life. Some of us are bigger, some smaller ... some are red, some are blue, etc. And if You take one of us and try to explain existence through that individual, that would really not mean much because there are so many of us and we are all unique in our own personal ways. Yet, even though we may look different – we are all One, part of the same thing and deep-down inside the fabric of the canvass, the base is the same for all of us.

If I just take one little colourful dot from Monet’s San Giorgio Maggiore’s painting and look at it, it may seem boring or dull but when I look at the entire painting, my understanding and perception changes. Such is Life: when we are stuck in tunnel-vision, things are not as fun but if we can travel, learn and absorb the vast experiences which Life can offer us, the ride gets much better!

Try seeing as many colourful dots as possible when You are looking around! They are beautiful in my opinion (or we’re beautiful). Cheers!

Note: The photograph of Claude Monet's San Giorgio Maggiore, is not mine.

Famous Claude Monet Paintings


Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on September 22, 2014:

Thank You Mr. Spirit Whisperer.

If You make it to Paris at some point, check-out Musee d'Orsay - there's a great collection of Monet's paintings there. : )

We are indeed all One but not everyone sees it. Kinda of like when Confucius said: "Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it."

All the best!

Xavier Nathan from Isle of Man on September 22, 2014:

I too love Monet's work and have always been attracted to the impressionists. I love the way you use their work as a metaphor for life and evidence for the idea that we are all ONE! Thank you.

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on November 23, 2013:

Greetings again Mr. Crin,

History is often written by the victors so, yes no everything is perfectly factual.

Scroll to Continue

My father loves Van Gogh and so does my sister. I have seen some of his work; I even made it to Amsterdam about fifteen years ago. I find Van Gogh's painting more rigid than Monet's. The tiny brush strokes of Monet's also seem much bigger than those of Van Gogh and ultimately I do not see the same beauty but hey: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

Thank You very much for stopping by.

Have a great week-end!

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on November 23, 2013:

Thank You for the visit and comment, Mrs. Dee aka Nonna.

I am happy You enjoyed the read.

Cheers! : )

Crin Forbes from Michigan on November 21, 2013:


Mr. Happy

I am not spending very much time lately here, either...

I don't really have too much confidence in some of the on-line sources.

While, it is true that Van Gogh was Dutch by birth, his "post impressionist" period was spent in France where he developed his style.

Actually, his prior period was known for only some charcoals of people working in mines, and they were not a sign of the future Impressionism.

I am sure opinions differ, actually they differ on the same painter in different periods of his life.

They had a special Monet at the Art Institute a few years back. I don't know how many works were displayed, but they were plenty. I saw so many of his hay stacks, I had enough for the rest of my life. Some of them are down right crazy, as a matter of fact, some think they were made by one of his children...

Well, it is interesting how history looks at facts. Brancusi was born in Romania and he did some works in his native Romania also, but his creative years were spent in France. Although he died as a French citizen, everybody talks about him as being Romanian...

You may call me Crin.

Dee aka Nonna on November 21, 2013:

Your last paragraph really makes a great point....stepping back and looking at the bigger picture....things become much clearers. I love this article. So happy you mentioned it in your comment on my hub. I love the painting that begins your hub....beautiful.

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on September 11, 2013:

Greetings Mr. Forbcrin,

my apology for responding so late to your comment, I have not been around Hubpages much lately. I do wish to thank You for stopping by and commenting though - I appreciate it.

I think You know quite a bit more about painting than I do but nonetheless opinions can differ, especially when You put Van Gogh in the same boat as Monet ... I personally do not think Van Gogh was part of the Impressionist group of painters. He was a post impressionist painter even in Wikipedia's opinion lol: "was a Dutch post-Impressionist painter".

Thank You for letting me know about the collection at the Chicago Art Institute, I am not terribly far maybe I will make my way there at some point - would love to!

Cheers! : )

Crin Forbes from Michigan on August 08, 2013:

It is amazing how many people like Impressionism today, and how controversial it was when it started...

I would not say that Monet was the "founder of the French Impressionism". He was the first person to work on one of the techniques used by the painters of the Impressionist movement. The irony is that what is today a title of " noblesse" today was a pejorative when it was first used. A critique was so ticked by Monet's "Impression, soleil levant" making fun of the term in a publication of the time (Le Charivari).

It is hard to generalize Impressionism as "Impressionist paintings are a bunch of little dots or short strokes of the brush when one looks at them up close and nothing makes much sense." You may be right if you refer to some of Monet's works, however not all of them are dots... Pointillism is more dots. Van Gogh does not have dots, nor short brush strokes; Gauguin does not have neither nor; Caillebotte, is totally different from the ones I mentioned, yet he was an Impressionist, although his painting was with a more realistic flavor...

What I like about Impressionism is not so much the way the paint is laid on the canvas, as much as I like the way the light is broken down in the colors of the spectrum with preference for a selected wavelength... I think those guys, are as important in handling the light, as much as the chiaroscuro was a few centuries before.

Chicago Art Institute has a very impressive permanent collection of Impressionists, however when they had the tour of Impressionists about twenty years ago, I went over and over to see the show, and I spent full days, without even eating... (Well, I did not have to pay, I used all the opportunities I could to get in for free due to the membership at the Institute)

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on February 22, 2013:

Thank You for your comment, Mrs. Genna East.

I have made a mental note now to stop at that museum if I ever pass through Boston. Sure will - I love impressionist paintings!

And I really love your comment!

Thank You again. : )

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on February 21, 2013:

The Impressionists are among my favorites…especially, Claude Monet. When I was at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, I spent considerable time admiring his work. If you stand at the just the right distance from his paintings - depending on his subject of course - you can smell the salt sea air or the earth; and feel the morning mist or sun on your face. Such was part of his genius. Wonderful hub. :-)

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on January 29, 2013:

Greetings Mrs. Welch,

Thank You for the visit and I am very happy that You enjoyed this piece of writing. Art is magical, in so many ways ...


Deb Welch on January 27, 2013:

Yes - Beautiful thought here about life. I majored in Art - way back in HS and scored a 99 on the final exam in art history - I have forgotten most of the artists and paintings. I never completed Art School to be an Interior Designer but I still love Art. The Monet painting you featured is awesome, a real gem.Thanks - enjoyed.

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on August 31, 2012:

Hello Mrs. Storyteller,

I do think that we are indeed as you said, "part of a figure called... "higher combination of cells." It is difficult to see this when we indulge in our egos but when we learn to put it aside, then our perception widens. Hence, I spoke of impressionist paintings and the need to look at them from afar, in order to understand them. I saw this as somewhat a similar topic.

I am happy that You enjoyed the write. Thank You for the visit. : )

All the best!

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on August 30, 2012:

Mr. Happy, how did I miss this one? I am glad you featured it. The painting caught my eye and I had to click on it, rather than the Native American costume hub I intended to read.

I love how you compared each of us to one dot on the canvas. Sometimes I feel as if this is truer than we know. As if maybe, as our cells shape the figure called "me", so too, I am part of a figure called... "higher combination of cells."

This is both humbling and inspiring. I wonder if we, as dots, can change our colors? LOL. What fun!!!

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on April 06, 2012:

Hello again Mr. Pritchard,

my father is a Vincent fan so I have a vague idea of what it may mean to be a Vincent fan.

I am not. I find his paintings sad and it has nothing to do with anything I may know or not know about the artist. I just can't seem to find Monet's cheerfulness in Vincent's paintings but I guess one would not want to be looking for Monet in Vincent anyway ...

"Perhaps there is something wrong with my eyes but I have often seen light performing as a swirling mass of dashes and lines, especially stars at night" - I am going to have to change my stare, I like what You wrote in the above statement.

Interesting. Thank You for the words and for taking the time to read my posts! All the best.

Gareth Pritchard from North Wales on April 05, 2012:

Hi Mr.Happy, I am more of a Vincent fan myself, I like the way he depicted light as swirling masses of dashes, not dots and I have seen light acting in the way Vincent describes it on many occasions. Perhaps there is something wrong with my eyes but I have often seen light performing as a swirling mass of dashes and lines, especially stars at night. I also think that everybody is part of the whole picture as well as all having a small part of the answer.

Thanks, BoGareth.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on March 21, 2012:

This is quite an interesting read bout Claude Monet and Impressionism.

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 19, 2012:

I like your perspective Cclitgil! Definitely sounds like fun. Thank You for taking the time to read and comment as well - cheers! : )

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 19, 2012:

Thank You for the beautiful comment left, Mrs. Ruchira. All the very best! : )

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on March 19, 2012:

I like BEING the impressionist: going around, dotting this and spotting that. It makes for great fun! :) Great hub, Mr. Happy.

Ruchira from United States on March 19, 2012:

Mr. Happy I am delighted to get an insight into a beautiful painting and how it co-relates with us.

loved your perception.

thanks and voted up as beautiful thinking!

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 19, 2012:

Thanks for the great comment Mr. Diogenes. I will not get too much into weird topics of discussion but since You mentioned infinity, I just wanted to say that I do agree with You. According to numerology, I am a number eight and eight is often seen as Infinity: the loops are connected and the way of the eight is infinite. I do see us as All One: All is the same energy from the Source.

A strange way of looking at infinity and numbers, I suppose. Thank You for taking the time to comment. Cheers!

diogenes from UK and Mexico on March 18, 2012:

I have often described a small deed or other happening as "Just another brush-stroke on the canvas of life."

I often find that people of like mind often seem to come to the same conclusions in life. I have thought for 20 years, for example, that if infinity is a given, then we must come back...repeat ourselves, time and time again as the particles that makes us all swirl around and around.

Now I find science has breached the subject and explained it better than I ever could.


Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 18, 2012:

Thank You for taking the time to read and comment as well, WannaBWriter. I apreciate your kind words, all the very best! : )

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 18, 2012:

Thank You Mr. Spirit Whisperer. Yes, the Law of One ... I keep promoting It. (one way or another lol) Only law worth anything in my mind. Cheers!

Barbara Radisavljevic from Templeton, CA on March 18, 2012:

I, too, love Monet and impressionist paintings. I also love the way people's gifts and talents combine to make this a more beautiful and kind world.

Xavier Nathan from Isle of Man on March 18, 2012:

This has to be one of your very best. You are the conductor of an amazing orchestra that splashes colour on every sound and music to every picture. Bravo my friend! The law of one at its very best. Thank you.

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on March 18, 2012:

Thank You Mrs. Ananceleste; I am happy You enjoyed the read. Have a wonderful week-end! : )

Anan Celeste from California on March 18, 2012:

Amazing metaphor! beautifully written. Such an optimistic and poetic take on life. Voted up!

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