The Art of Seeing

Impressions of Spring through Word and Image –

Emily Dickinson and an Impressionist Painter

Thursday 28th March 2024

 7-8pm UK time via Zoom


A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period —
When March is scarcely here…”

 A Light Exists in Spring by Emily Dickinson



 This session will be recorded.

As Spring returns in our seasonal cycle, Nature reveals herself differently in visual resplendence, as new growth emerges from the stillness of the ground, blossoming into colour and vibrancy. As light is renewed, Spring beckons us out into the world again, asking us to open our five outer senses, these great portals we possess – each one distinct in its own right, yet interconnected – which act as bridges between our outer experience and the inner richness of our feelings, bodies, imagination and heart. The seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching of the world reminds us of an engagement with Nature, of phenomena, and of relationship, the arousal of feeling sparked by a touch of something ‘other’ on the senses from which relata arises.

The art that emerged in the period known as Impressionism communicates this relationship by taking the viewer into a felt response to our impressions of Nature.  Instantaneous moments of seeing, fleeting moments of time, can sometimes give rise to an emotional, spiritual longing as we are both drawn into Nature feeling part of her, and simultaneously stand apart from her as witness to her continuous movement. Similar to the French Impressionist painters, the American poet, Emily Dickinson ( 1830- 1886), captures the images and emotional experiences of Nature by not seeking to copy or recreate it in a realist sense, but rather communicate the living experience of it through her open senses, and her deeper, reflective responses to the moments of its vision.

In this session, we will take just one painting of Spring by an Impressionist painter as we are guided by the poetic imagery of Emily Dickinson’s words. The Impressionists and Dickinson were contemporaneous, and the similitude between their works reveal the joy at the dance of Spring emerging in the world, and of the loss of it in the transience of time, brought to life through word and image.

These sessions take a threefold approach of theory, practice and reflection with just one work of art.  The work of art will not be revealed until the session, but do please bring open eyes, ears and a pen and paper! Or, if you prefer to just listen and look, you can do that too.  These sessions are open to everyone whether you are a seasoned art lover or not. 

These sessions are £10 per person. Email me directly to book at info@maryattwood.com if you are not a fan of PayPal, or you can use the PayPal button below.