Beyond Gobbledigook

Georges-Pierre Seurat. The Seine at Le Grande Jatte, 1888. Oil on canvas, 25 5/8 x 32 1/4 in; Musee Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels.

Posted in Oil on canvas, Uncategorized by Jessica on May 12, 2009

Georges-Pierre Seurat. The Seine at Le Grande Jatte, 1888. Oil on canvas, 25 5/8 x 32 1/4 in; Musee Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels.

Seurat brought science and art together. He used the technique, pointillism–painting with small dots of primary colors that create the impression of secondary and tertiary colors. The idea was based on breaking color so that, when looked from afar, it creates a mixture of colors.

With summer quickly approaching, I was drawn to the blues that create the ocean, even with the yellow and the red dots. It makes me excited for the bright sun and blue ocean, even though we don’t sail in California.

But really, I chose this painting because Seurat reminds me of my first encounter with art history. In elementary school, we had these lectures, Masters of Painting. I’m not sure if that is the correct name. But I remember all the fourth, fifth, and sixth graders filing into the “library,” sitting cross-legged, shoulder to shoulder, and we’d look at art slides, with each time being a different artist. I used to love them because they were like a mini-fieldtrip, but I sometimes got in trouble because I couldn’t stay silent for an hour and a half. And after every lecture, we’d return to our classrooms and attempt to emulate or imitate the artist’s technique. I remember after the lecture about Seurat, we were given Q-tips, paint, and paper. With the Q-tips we painted enormous dots, that were actually really ugly, but I guess the point was that we understood the technique of pointillism. I’m angry at myself for not appreciating these lectures and experiences at the time.

J

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