Courtesy of Claude Monet

Claude Monet, the Impressionist painter, was famous in part because he decided that it might be interesting to try painting one scene over and over but on different days, at different times of day, in different weather, but always from the same perspective. You might try Googling Monet’s “series paintings” to see what I mean. He did many of Rouen Cathedral and many of some haystacks. I’ve seen these in exhibit, and they are fascinating!

So why don’t we try that? Set yourself the task of picking one thing and writing a paragraph about it on day one, then another on day two, and so on.

It might help to pick something that has some special meaning for you. Or, it might be intriguing to pick something that means absolutely nothing to you. Follow Monet’s lead in that it may help to pick a different time of day, different lighting, or even different moods. I’d leave it in the same place so that you can explore what subtle differences arise and why.

I like this idea and hope to try one too.

7 responses to “Courtesy of Claude Monet

  1. Great idea ! This one is going to take some time, but it should be interesting in the extreme, sort of like the hype over the New York City Blizzard that wasn’t. We in Northern Indiana get that much snow in April and May. I’ll start working on my Monet Memo.

  2. I also have to chuckle at the hours of media coverage about snow. I guess they are desperate for something to fuss over. I started my own Monet challenge last night. I think part of the difficulty will be making each new paragraph interesting enough to attract readers. We’ll see. It’s worth a shot, and so?

  3. I’m finding it hard to make my paragraphs (three so far) interesting. Is anyone else having this problem? It’s like lousy journal writing. Maybe I need to try harder to be creative instead of merely showing what’s there.

    Anybody trying this? How is it going?

  4. Ever since I started considering this challenge, my little brain has been in a state of circular thinking, which is dangerous in my fragile condition. I even attempted to watch a PBS special on Quantum Physics to shock my grey matter into high gear. It failed to achieve the hoped for cranium engagement. So I gave up for today, and I am currently coloring in my favorite coloring book. Much more my speed of concentration today. I’ll make another go at it tomorrow.

  5. Wednesday January 28: I wake up in pain. I tell myself I’ve gotta stop with the booze. Just because I don’t have to drag myself to the office anymore doesn’t mean I should let myself go. I make coffee, wash down enough Ibuprofen to kill a kidney or two, then fire up the laptop. Check Ann Linquist’s website. There’s a new challenge: ‘Courtesy of Claude Monet’. No takers yet.

    Thursday January 29: I watch Suzie get dressed. Give her the usual coupla hundred and wonder why either of us think she’s worth it. I check the ‘Courtesy of Claude Monet’ challenge. Ann Linquist and Peanut Beranski have posted that they’re having problems coming up with something.

    Friday January 30: Danny O’Brien calls, crying into his phone from the roof of the office building. Says he’s being blamed for the missing funds and he’s gonna jump if I don’t do something to clear him. I tell him I can’t talk at the moment and hang up. I check the ‘Courtesy of Claude Monet’ challenge. Ann Linquist and Peanut Beranski are still having problems coming up with anything.

    Saturday January 31: The apartment’s a mess. Even more of a mess than before the Feds came in and turned it over. They take my laptop along with other stuff, but I’m not dumb enough for that to do them any good. After they leave, I’m feeling a little guilty. I go down the block to an Internet café, transfer some anonymous bucks from the Caymans to Danny’s widow’s account. I notice I’ve still got a few minutes of credit left, so I check the ‘Courtesy of Claude Monet’ page. Nothing.

    Sunday February 1: I have to pay Suzie double to get her to come in on the weekend, and then extra again to tidy the apartment afterwards. I leave her to it and go meet the rep from Fakes-R-Us to pick up my new passport. It’s worth the money, good enough to make even me believe I’m who it says I am. I go to an Internet café and book my flight. Still nothing new on the ‘Courtesy of Claude Monet’ challenge. Boring.

    Monday February 2: Before I pack my shiny new laptop into my bag, I check my flight details. While I’m at it, I look at Ann Linquist’s website. She’s abandoned the ‘Courtesy of Claude Monet’ challenge. Personally, I’m not surprised. Talk about a lousy idea. Like, how the hell is anyone supposed to find anything interesting about their same-old-same-old day-by-day existence?

    • You’re killing me! I had such a great time reading this. Not only is it a great thriller about what you/narrator is going to do next (new passport, the mysterious Suzie, Cayman Island accounts, Danny’s widow), but Peanut and I get to be characters in the story. “Talk about a lousy idea.” Love the irony. Bravo, anonymous. Hey, show up with a nickname so we can at least imagine you! –Ann

    • And the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction goes to” Anonymous” for the Monet Challenge. You dreamed the Impossible Dream and made it come to life. Brilliant work, and thanks for including me, as that was the only way I was going to be able to participate in this one. You must have had a Big Brain Day !

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