Jun 22, 2011
Andrea Wagner '12, Brandon, Minn., glances from her own easel to study the Monet still life in front of her.
After a moment, she picks up her brush and mixes a little more yellow into a spot of blue paint on her palette. She adds another layer of the color to the background of the copy she is creating. Then she glances at the oil painting in front of her again.
Wagner has perfected this rhythm of paint-pause-observe as she works on a replica of Monet's "Still Life of Pheasants and Plovers." The oil painting hangs in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Wagner received a fellowship from Concordia's Student Government Association to copy the work.
For the studio art major, recreating the still life gives her a deeper appreciation of Monet's style and viewpoint.
"I've always enjoyed his work," Wagner says. "Now I appreciate how he saw things."
She carefully chooses the shape and size of a brush to mimic his effects. She mixes her own paints using a minimum palette of six colors – just like Monet did. The elimination of black seems to bring more life to the painting, she observes.
When she is done with the copy, she will paint her own still life – likely using similar lighting and palette.
"I can only imagine that this will inform my future work," she says. "I expect my work will be more freeing."