Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Monets' Garden


l realise this post is a bit of a departure for me and l really hope it's entertaining, after all this blog is for you.
Claude Monet has been my favourite artist as long as l can remember, l love that he painted exactly how he wished  and dedicated his life to it. What l also relate to is that his paintings were almost entirely inspired by his garden, (more specifially the colour in his garden) and although Monet painted many subjects over his lifetime, his garden/lilypond paintings are the ones everyone remembers, in fact he spent the last quarter of his lifetime painting the surface of his lilypond.

Gotta love those colours.
Oscar Claude Monet is on the right.

A few weeks ago when this post was in the planning stages l thought l would try my hand at his style (again).  After blocking in the actual picture ( left hand picture) l loaded a 3 inch paint brush with paynes grey, yellow and green paint, (acrylic) and started laying down the colour. After placing the colour l fiddled very little with the result just adding a few shadows and flowers, as l wanted it to look fresh and spontaneous. The picture on the right took half an hour to produce and although (hopefully) it looks passable from a distance, as soon as you enlarge it you'll see it's a big mess. Anyway it was a lot of fun, but it's certainly not an easy style to copy.

About 18 months ago l had the good fortune to fulfill a long held dream of mine, to visit Monet's garden in Giverny near Paris. (This is the pic l've tried to reproduce).

Here l am standing on the famous Japanese bridge, staring into deep space, having a jolly old time. It's hard to get the bridge to yourself but...... no matter.
Monet absolutely loved things Japanese and Japanese art in particular, he collected numerous works and had them (still does) hanging throughout much of his house.

I've made this pic really big so you can see the water lillies in bloom and the Japanese bridge in the distance. How lovely is it... so serene. You can see that the crowd has thinned out and at this stage hardly any one was around.

One of his many famous waterlilly paintings. The colours are spectacular.

This is Monets' house where he moved with his family in 1883 when he was 43. He would spend the next 43 years here before he died.

This is the kitchen as it was then and still is today. You are not allowed to take photos inside the house, and in fact if security catch you, they take your camera and delete the photos, and they follow like a dog looking for a bone.
l found these interior photos here  after a huge amount of searching, they were apparently taken from postcards.

One of the bedrooms, you may notice the Japanese art on the walls.

This is the dining room which shows up much more yellow than it actually is.
His decor would have been very " out there" back in the day.

If this post has inspired you to pick up a paint brush, l'll leave you with a couple of Monet's quotes from,

No one is an artist unless he carries his picture in his head before painting it, and is sure of his method and composition.”

I would advise young artists . . . to paint as they can, as long as they can, without being afraid of painting badly . . . . If their painting doesn't improve by itself, it means that nothing can be done - and I wouldn't do anything!”

Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.”

Did you enjoy this post. l've really loved sharing my special artist with you.

Til next time.



  1. What an interesting and fascinating inside look into the life of Claude Monet - It must have been a surreal experience to visit his home in person! Lovely to see real photos and not just ones in books too. You look right at home on that bridge and your own bridge painting looks amazing. Thanks for doing all that research and showing pics of the inside of his house too. Very intriquing to see this.

  2. Loved every bit of reading about your wonderful dream experience. Loved every picture too. You look very content, on the bridge, in the midst of your dream experience. It had to be absolutely captivating for you as an artist!