My definition of art is an expression by an individual, put on canvas, sculpted, composed or built in a visual form; appreciated by others for its beauty and emotional power. Declaring something a piece of artwork is decided but the person who created it, but it is the viewer that determines whether that artwork is any good, and that view is constantly changing. The things that fascinated us once may not any longer. Although anything can be considered art, even a child’s drawing or ceramic green frog, for it to be considered great art, I believe the artist needs the skills to create, the creativity to give the artwork vitality, and the daring to use new techniques regardless of critics opinions.
To be a great artist you would need to possess all three characteristics. Having the skill to paint does not make the painting a work of art, it is the combination of skill and creativity that make it possible to imagine a beautiful picture and be able to bring it to life. Most importantly, an artist must have the courage to try new techniques and forge his or her own path rather than continuing to do what others have done before them. It is this last characteristic that has created some of the most captivating artist of all time.
Claude Monet is an artist I believe encompasses all these characteristics. He was the founder of the Impressionist period and led the way to twentieth-century modernism by developing a unique style and brush stroke that strove to capture on canvas the very act of perceiving nature (Auricchio n.pag). His painting titled, Impression: Sunrise, was one of the works he contributed for an independent exhibition in 1874. Many critics said that this painting looked unfinished, due to its undefined lines and indistinct forms, but Monet took this criticism as a badge of honor and he and his fellow painters decided to call themselves impressionist after the paintings title (Aurricchio n.pag). Impressionists, Monet in particular had new ideas on painting techniques and the use of color, swirling bright, contrasting colors close together.
Up close, their paintings are confusing blobs of color. Stand back, and your eye mixes the colors to make a glowing picture. These artists recorded the light and colors their eyes saw at a moment in time, getting their "impressions" onto the canvas quickly before they disappeared (Cox 14-16).
Monet often painted the same scene in a series, to catch the way the light changed throughout the day. He had the gift of bringing a simple outdoor scene to life, his skill and daring to try new techniques made his paintings bold, bright and full of movement. “Creating this effect using only paint, brush, and palette required artistic genius” (D'Alto 30-33).
In addition to Monet, the other artist whom I believe encompasses all the characteristics above is Michelangelo. He was an artist in every sense of the word, who had an exceptional influence on the art world. “He was considered to be the greatest artist of...