It's really hard to make a painting of a waterlily pond, though we have a lovely one just a 10 minute walk from our house. Sunflowers are another subject it's almost impossible to do.
Do you know why?
It's because these subjects are forever etched in our minds as Monet's and Van Gogh's. When ever someone sees any artist's water lily pond painting they invariably say "Oh, just like Monet!" They are absolutely delighted with themselves for being able to make the connection and identify an artists work.
For artist however this is a heavy burden to bear! I for one don't really think I can compete with Monet or Van Gogh when it comes to some of their most innovative and iconic paintings.
But the charm of the subject matter is alluring, you can easily see why Monet and Van Gogh choose these subjects and I guess artists just can't help themselves. We all tackle them sooner or later in one form or another.
For me this was a fascinating exercise and allowed me to revisit Monet's great masterpieces with new eyes. This is a very good thing since many very familiar paintings can loose their power when they become too familiar to our eyes on calendars, coffee mugs and umbrellas. Nothing like emulating a master to deepen your insight into a work of art.