Accidental Impressionism

“I didn’t become an impressionist. As long as I can remember I always have been one.”
– Claude Monet

Impressionism, led by Claude Monet et al, developed partly as a reaction to photography, which could produce more “realistic” images. Artists dug deep and realized that there is something they could do better than photographs at that time — present a subjective view.

Painting and photography continued to develop as alternative artistic expressions. Today, a quick Google will show many good examples of Impressionist photography.

One thing that I admire about painters though is that they seem to conjure the image in their heads and put them into canvass as a pure creative act. Photographers still rely on the physical world. I’m sure good Impressionist photographers have mastered their techniques, but for most people, part of the process is the confluence of events, perhaps even chance.


For me, definitely, these images are “accidental” in that they came from quick snaps from a moving vehicle. As a realistic representation of the scene they probably failed. At best these are poor attempts for the essence, the “impression” of colors or shapes that caught my attention, to get through despite the shake and blur. Or maybe the blur helped my poor attempts at life imitating art.


One can always say, tongue-in-cheek, that accidental impressionism begins where image stabilization ends. But pursuing it can also be a worthwhile learning experience in artistic expression.

“Impressionism is the newspaper of the soul.”
– Henri Matisse

(Photos were taken during a trip to Warrook Farm near Melbourne.)

(More info on Impressionism here.)

Life Imitates Art


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