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Mission San Xavier del Bac

A study of light and it's effect on plaster

I love all of Monet's paintings.  One of his lesser-known projects was painting images of the facade of the Rouen Cathdral.  He created over 30 paintings of this Cathedral in Normandy during 1840 - 1926.  He painted different times of day, different weather conditions and different seasons of the year. Monet's goal was to replicate the color reflected on the plaster of the Cathedral under different lighting conditions.

In a challenge to myself, I chose the Mission San Xavier del Bac, south of Tucson, AZ to emulate in a similar way..  The structure dates back to 1783-1797. While the plaster of del  Bac has been well-cared for, the spectacular sunsets, seasonal storms, cloudy days and beautiful blue skies all influence how white the "White Dove of the Desert"

appears at any moment. The colors, as well as the shadows created by the sculptured relief juxtaposed to the smooth plaster walls insure the Mission rarely looks identical from one day to the next.  Keep in mind, Monet and I have completley different painting styles (and experience, ability and talent. Duh!).  His knowledge of color theory, hues and values, as well as the ability to fool the eye make him far more talented that I will ever be.  But I am getting older and have alot of painting to do,  That technical stuff could be over-rated.

The goal of these paintings is to replicate the number that Monet created, within the timeline he painted his series, with as great an example of atmostpherics as possible. Finally I hope to approach the Mission about letting me show these at the Cathedral. Not only will these be able to record my development as an artist, they will eventually someday be auctioned off for the homeless charity I support.

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