Welcome to my humble critique of a favorite artist hero, Claude Monet. I'm certainly going out on a limb here to offer my opinion of this great artist's work--am I out of my mind? Me critiquing Monet? Why me?

I am an active real live artist with many paintings treasured by my patrons. I dare to offer criticism and take a hard look at such a revered artist's works as all this is meant to be helpful for new artists and painters, and useful for anyone who appreciates art, especially impressionism. I'll get a few things off my chest, while clarifying what's next for me and my work. It's all good, I promise!


I want to tell you another reason why I chose to do this, it's because Monet's paintings are great, mostly, and very useful for artists to examine and criticize. Hopefully you will see that his paintings are not perfect, though quite beautiful and effective in providing a good and interesting view of a person, place, or thing, Monet dares to take great liberty in his painting and creates images that aren't photographic but far better than a real or faithful rendering. Many artists in this 21st Century, with all of our fantastic digital imagery, can truly benefit from seeing and understanding Monet's world thought his eyes, in his colors and brush strokes, and his reduction and transformation of reality onto canvas.

This is why I wish to write about it, to assist people and helping them to comprehend the greatness in this artist's brevity, and to grasp his simplicity amid the complexity. Monet's overall effect in painting is what we'll explore though grasping his shortcuts and choices, and then perhaps we can comprehend beyond any of the little details the magnificence of seeing and painting what it is you observe, such as what Monet did, without the visual precision that dominates our way of seeing but with a similar feeling tone that comes though in most of Claude's paintings! 

If you are a beginning painter or a hobby painter, it is my hope that this effort of mine will assist you and inspire you, that by seeing much more clearly what's going on in these beautiful pictures, you can get down to it with your own paintings and become much more satisfied and possibly, even prolific.

Good luck! --Jack Anglin


Les Coquelicots / Wild Poppies Near Argenteuil

I grew up with a decent paper reproduction of this famous Monet painting you see below. One hundred years after the French artist made it, it was hanging right over the TV console in our living room. Anytime we spent looking at the TV, this Monet was in view, and so it was subconsciously ingrained into my psyche.

From an early age I was influenced by Monet. We share the same birthday, November 14, as does King Charles, something my mother was fond of telling me. I saw some other pictures by Monet, even was appointed to a committee at school to purchase a framed reproduction as a class gift, and we chose one of Monet's sailboat paintings, The Bridge at Argenteuil

I was a prolific little artist, always drawing something, eagerly involved in any art activity at school or elsewhere. In fact, in the second grade I won a city wide poster contest sponsored by The Humane Society. My creation was crude, of course, and typical for a child, but empathetic and a sad illustration of abuse and neglect of a poor dog. I can still see the picture in my mind's eye, but I don't believe it was ever returned to me or my parents--I wish I had it!

After that minor victory (but it was a blue ribbon and certificate for my grade in all of Pittsburgh) I quickly became the class artist as well as the family artist. My theory about artistic development in children will come out later in my critiques, I don't want to get too far off track. Just try to get the idea that I'm a grateful person and glad I got to develop my artistic talents and still get to paint, and Monet has always been a part of that!

Let's move on! Below are video chats I'll provide while examining Monet's paintings. Transcripts will be below the videos in YouTube. I'm just getting started with this project--stand by and check in often. Thanks! --JHA