Elena Parker

The Impressionist Palette

Mash-up paintings by the Impressionists, as you hear and discover their thoughts on color and technique.


Introduction to Computational Media

The Impressionists changed painting in fundamental and profound ways. Beyond their breakthrough techniques for capturing light, their subject choices revolutionized the consumption of art. \"The Impressionist Palette,\" seeks to not only explore what we know about the Impressionists, but also to show the paintings and painters in an entirely new light.
In \"The Impressionist Palette,\" the user is able to paint with the Impressionist\'s work themselves, revealing some of the Impressionists\' seminal paintings nearly pixel by pixel. By limiting the reveal of the work to the size of the brush, I have forced the user to look at the paintings stroke by stroke. In seeing the paintings as pieces rather than a whole -- the user will be able to focus on the technique of the paintings in a whole new way, seeing how the individual color choices and brush techniques create the larger image.
When the user selects the signature of one of the 9 painters, he or she will begin to reveal a famous work by that artist. By clicking on another signature, he or she will be able to switch paintings entirely. Instantly, the user will have gone from exploring Monet\'s \"Impression, Sunrise\" to Mary Cassatt\'s \"Tea.\" By \'painting\' small sections of the different artworks side by side, not only is the user re-mixing the works themselves, but her or she is also exploring subtle comparisons in technique among artists of the same school. While Mary Cassatt\'s palette reveals masterly manipulation of porcelain, pastel skin, Monet\'s larger strokes paint the sea with choppy emotion. To further enhance the understanding of the array of skills the Impressionists used-- the painters will actually speak to the user while he or she is painting. Cezanne comments on line and color, Degas on capturing facial expressions and Manet on observation, all while the user is seeing these very techniques play out at the end of their own brush.
In the end, the user will have used any combination of 9 major Impressionist works to create something entirely new, while coming to understand the philosophies of the painters in practice and in speech. A high-res image of the user\'s work will be emailed to every participant who chooses to submit an e-mail.

User Scenario
A user approaches a blank palette. On the left, the signatures of the 9 impressionists are waiting to be clicked. A user can begin painting immediately, by dragging the mouse around the canvas. As he or she begins "painting," he or she will begin to see sections of Mary Cassatt's "Tea," and Mary will begin to speak to him or her: "One thing I have learned, the absolute necessity for system in painting. Prepare your palette...."
When the user tires of Cassatt, he or she can select another Impressionist. If he or she selects, "Cezanne" for example, they can begin to fill in the canvas with Cezanne's "Basket of Apples" -- overwriting or painting it directly against Cassatt's "Tea." As Cezanne speaks to the user, "An optical impression is produced on our organs of sight which makes us classify as light, half-tone or quartertone, the surfaces represented by colour sensations..." the user reveals the oranges, yellows and greens that Cezanne used to create full shapes of fruit. A user can continue to paint, choosing other artists or, at any time, clear the canvas or save his or her creation. If the user provides an e-mail in a designated field before saving -- I will be able to e-mail the High-Res image to them after the show. In the end, the user will have a piece of unique art work, comprised of sections of the Impressionists, which encourages looking at techniques of creation rather than the final resulting piece of art.