WESTON J. COURIER – AN AMERICAN IMPRESSIONIST
Thank you for allowing me to share my art experience with you.
I realize now that my interest in art began at a very early age when I stood in wonderment at the prints of famous paintings. While in high school my father, a factory worker encouraged me to enroll in an Industrial Arts program where I first became fascinated with drawing. And, for as long as I can remember I have had a true appreciation for the magical beauty of nature. So, I guess it’s no wonder that while serving in the Marines in Japan during the 1960’s I became transfixed by the gorgeous flower gardens, ocean bay, Mt. Fuji and the glorious cherry blossoms in the Spring. I would learn later the significant influence Japanese art had on the Impressionists of the 1800’s.
In 1995, I finally decided to see if l could actually make a painting and in particular in the impressionist style; so I enrolled in a beginning oil painting class at a local college that was taught by a very talented artist, Mr. James Duis. With some of the basics in place, thanks to Mr. Duis, I then spent several years trying to perfect my own impressionist painting technique.
Finally, in 2002 I decided to go to the source and study impressionism in France where it had originated. I was able to locate an art study program in Giverny lead by the accomplished abstract/impressionist artist, Gale Bennett. He had held art study sessions in Giverny, France for over fifteen years. It was the perfect opportunity for me to learn how to paint like the great impressionist artist of the middle to late 19th century. Giverny is a very small town of about 500 people located in the upper Normandy region, northwest of Paris. It was the home of the famous impressionist, Claude Monet for his final forty-three years. I was so inspired by the first experience that in 2006 I again was drawn to Giverny for further study under Monsieur Bennett. While in Giverny we created paintings “en plein air” (out in nature) as those wonderful impressionists did over 155 years ago. We enjoyed painting at many of the same venues in Paris, along the Seine River and throughout the Normandy countryside; including towns such as Vernon, La Roche Guyon, Les Andelys, Vertheuil and of course in and around Giverny. However, the most memorable paintings were actually completed in Monet’s very beautiful garden and pond areas. We were very fortunate as Art Study participates to have exclusive access to Monet’s gardens every afternoon. It was a truly magical experience that will never to be forgotten.
Many paintings are created “en plein air” while others are either completed or created in my studio. The painting scenes are in the classical impressionist style with their brightly-lit skies, reflections in flowing water and multi-colored textured trees and flowers.
My paintings have found their way into homes all across the United States.