I went to see the Monet exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery today and I found it quite interesting. They didn't have any of his seminal works, but they did have some smaller scale studies of his waterlily paintings that were installed in the Orangerie in Paris. He basically created this huge panorama of his lily pond when he was quite an old man; very inspiring. What I enjoyed about the studies I saw at the VAG was that you could see that he was really into mark-making as a thing in itself. Swirls, twirls, scribbles, scrapes (I didn't realize he did some much scraping . . . has the effect of a soft glow), rhythmic lines, dots, dashes, slashes. Such a huge variety of marks. And a variety of thick, thin, layered, exposed canvas.
As a painter, I could understand what he's saying with all those marks. I can relate to that feeling when your hand spasms and makes an interesting mark that blends with the others. I felt the same way when I saw the Cezanne room at the Musee D'Orsay in Paris; I felt like I was in his shoes making those marks.
Do other painters feel this way/have that experience?
What do non-painters see/feel when confronted with those marks?
And not to mention the delicious colour palette that he used. CHOMP!