In Defense of Impressionism

In Defense of Impressionism          

by Hall Groat Sr.

“It`s all a big blur—but it won`t hold up in court.”  People are prosecuted for what someone thinks they see. They have a strong feeling what the killer looked like although in reality, they often come to admit—“Your honor, it was all a big blur. “

A painter often deals with impressions of what they see and strangely enough, those impressions can be more powerful than reality. My own mother told of the heartbreak she felt at the death of her mother (my grandmother)   1911, in Auburn, New York. She walked the streets in search of her mother and was so sure she recognized her, she ran up to strangers calling out” mother, mother” to no avail. Accepting death of a loved one can be very difficult at any age.

Attending a lecture conducted by a former Director of the Everson museum and the former Syracuse Symphony director, Daniel Hege on the subject of impressionism was very enlightening. It was held in the museums auditorium, coinciding with an impressionist exhibition. Each speaker had a completely different sense of how we interpret impressionism in art and music. Later I was invited to attend an after the concert discussion with Daniel Hege at the John Mulroy civic center. A prominent doctor stated he could not understand how anyone could interpret impressionism.  No matter how educated a person is they may lack the ability to perceive certain aesthetic experiences in life. We are all wired slightly different. The pragmatist may be left out of the ability to sense certain things we all take for granted. So—the following is my attempt to shed light on the subject of “Impressionism”

As a working artist in the defense Industry, after college, I was illustrating aircraft in flight. To create motion you must have an understanding of what makes the aircraft appear to be moving. The trailing edge of the wings and tail must be slightly blurred. It will create the visual impact of the airplane in flight. Comic book artists create the ultimate sense of motion —like Superman, Captain Marvel, even Submariner and hundreds of others.

When you are walking, running, driving or just turning your head, what you see is an” Impression of your environment.  It`s more rare to see a dead, frozen and perfectly realistic view.  So we go through life seeing life as an” Impressionist “, where objects meld together in a beautiful spectrum of color. Wow! your honor I hope this sheds some light on the case.




Romantic Garden Gate, United Kingdom 16×20 in. Oil on canvas Hall Groat Sr.

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