Ana María González Paniagua
Editorial Team Member

Art is a small window that opens the vision in the core of someone’s heart. It allows us to peek into what life is like for that person. How they see themselves, others, and the environment can be explored through art, but most of all, what they value. 

Art has always been something present in my life. I have taken years of drawing and painting classes. I have studied and admired art for a long time. Being in the presence of incredible artists or their pieces touches my heart. For instance, Claude Monet. 

Claude Monet is one of my favorite painters. His art speaks to me in a way not many artists have been able to achieve. For me, his works’ beauty does not only lie in the ability to be precise without sharp lines and perfect images, but also in how he recreates the same images multiple times with different effects, yet always with clear intent. For instance, in his Waterloo Bridge (London) Series, he has a couple of renditions, of which two stand out to me: Waterloo Bridge and Waterloo Bridge, Gray Day

The thing about these two is that, in theory, they are the same, an image of the Waterloo Bridge. However, they could not be more different. The original Waterloo Bridge portrays the sunny, beautiful, cloudy London day. With hints of yellow, pink, and lilac, it achieves a positive aura with the painting. On the other hand, Waterloo Bridge, Gray Day, has a hazy finish, changing the brightness into more muted tones. Now hints of black, gray, and red are visible. What can this change possibly mean? Perhaps I will never know what Monet honestly thought, but I can guess. Life is like a long train ride, where we will see sunny and gray days, but eventually, there will be light at the end of the tunnel as we arrive at the final station.

I remember the first time I saw the series. I was in the middle of a temporary exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. As I walked through, I stumbled upon Waterloo Bridge and its multiple versions. I was astonished by his ability to recreate something detail by detail, so precisely, the same with each other, but completely change the effect it had on his audience. I felt moved. Suddenly, I felt as if a little bit about how life works and our journey toward happiness and success became evident. Monet addressed a greater universal truth: While life is not always easy, there is always hidden beauty. I saw a little bit of humanity in a painting done a long time ago by someone I don’t know. Yet, somehow, I connected and saw life on a 2D surface.

Allowing ourselves to get immersed in the creativity of others can give us so many things; perspective, confidence, hope, and reassurance are only some. If we only allow the strokes to mean more than lines, we can find truths in everything around us.