By Judy Berman
Claude Monet’s art studio, and his final haven, was in the open air by a pond filled with cream- and rose-tinged water lilies just minutes from his home in Giverny, France.
This pond was a source of Monet’s inspiration for more than 20 years. “The basic element of the motif is the mirror of water, which changes its appearance every moment,” he said.
Monet had an arched green Japanese foot bridge built overlooking the pond. As you stand on it, it’s easy to envision the Impressionist artist painting on his easel near his broad, square-ended rowing boat.
In 1883, Monet, his wife, Alice, and their eight children moved here. They settled in a big pink stucco house with green shutters. He developed his garden which he said was his most beautiful masterpiece.
This setting changed the focus of Monet’s paintings from everyday slices of life to scenes right outside his door. “He was obsessed by the sunlight dancing across natural scenes, like his garden. But Monet still loved to paint water scenes, so he created a water garden, too.”
No doubt, if Monet walked thru his beloved gardens now, he would grab a paintbrush and try to catch those dappled spots of sunlight on his canvas.
“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.” (Claude Monet)
“I am following nature without being able to grasp her, I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” (Claude Monet)
“I would like to paint the way a bird sings.” (Claude Monet)
“Every day, I discover more and more beautiful things. It’s enough to drive one mad. I have such a desire to do everything. My head is bursting with it.” (Claude Monet)
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- Main Photo: Waterlilies in Claude Monet’s Gardens, taken by Vern McGinnis
Source of quotes:
“Monet and the Impressionists for Kids,” by Carol Sabbeth, 2002.