Meet the bar at dVerse tonight with Bjorn once again our inspiration and host.

I thought we would continue our journey through the world of art and try to paint with words like an art movement. Today I would like us to look deeper into impressionism. Today impressionist art is one of the most loved ones. We have learned to love the light brushstrokes, the technique of blurring the edges. Maybe hinting rather than being exact.
Impressionism has always been seen as a French movement with artists like Monet, Renoir and Cezanne. At first the audience were hesitant and their ideas were thought to be too radical. Today I think that impressionism has become the essence of good art, and the works of impressionism has found their way into our homes. There is something so comforting in the lightness of colors and shapes.

So let us study their techniques:

  • They use short, thick strokes of paint quickly to capture the essence of the subject, rather than its details.
  • Colors are applied side-by-side with as little mixing as possible in opaque fields, producing contrasts of vivid colors.
  • Wet paint is painted on top of wet paint blurring the edges.
  • Grays and dark tones are produced by mixing complementary colours. They avoided the use of black paint. Impressionists always started from a light background.
  • Wet paint is placed into wet paint without waiting for successive applications to dry, producing softer edges and intermingling of colour.
  • The play of natural light is emphasized, with special attention to reflection. The preferred light is that of dawn or twilight.
  • They preferred painting in the open air. Bring in the nature.

This resulted in a freshness that had not been seen previously, and despite the modernism and abstract paintings that have followed since I do not think that impressionism has ceased to be popular.

So now it’s your challenge to capture these ideas in poetry. What would a short thick stroke correspond to in words, or a bright color?

I would try to use poems written in separate pieces that capture moments or images. Maybe you can try to use the technique of list poetry. I would like you to use images from nature, maybe clear nocturnal skies. Add some people, maybe food of wine. Now from these small images create a scene. Avoid darkness, and include some laughter. Color them, not only by the name of colors, but rather use objects with a clear hue.


white upon white

layered thick

curved with knife

and artist’s memory




jazz notes fly

on surface

twist and turn

in artist’s soul




splodge of red

umber too

thrust upward

from artist’s canvas




light falls from

all angles

shadow changes

artist’s view (er)




Artwork by Marcus K. Here is a fascinating introduction to him, which influenced my write.


37 thoughts on “splash

  1. frankhubeny says:

    Nice video of Marcus K’s work where color is more important than shape. The thick paint also creates shadows that will change the way the painting looks depending from where the light source comes, as you mention in your poem.

  2. Grace says:

    I get the impression that the artist’s feelings and soul are splashed and displayed in his canvas ~ Love the artistic response to his work ~

  3. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Like a drop of jam on a white suit, this painting, & your words bend art like a mixmaster creating pudding. Like your lines /jazz notes fly/on surface/.

  4. Singledust says:

    we can hide in white too from the words you write, not only needing darkness, the thick white paint creates unseen shadows, but still shadows nonetheless. Lovely introduction to this artist.

  5. kanzensakura says:

    I went ahead and learned about the artist before I read your poem. so very interesting…impasto. I took several art classes at the Museum of Fine Arts in Philadelphia years and years ago and learned of this technique. I love how you brought the painting to life with your words.

  6. kim881 says:

    I love the way you’ve used the white space in your poem, Paul, to convey the art behind it, the ‘white upon white / layered thick’ jazzed up with notes that ‘fly /
    on surface’, creating movement in the white paint, and with splashes of colour.
    Yes, light is falling from all angles!

  7. Mish says:

    I enjoyed the focus of “feeling” in your poem, bringing more than colour to the canvass but also the spirit and passion of the painter.

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