Get inspired by Monet
Claude Monet, born Oscar-Claude Monet, was one of the great French Impressionists. As one of founders of Impressionism, Monet revolutionized painting in more ways than one (Google Arts & Culture). Monet sought inspiration from nature, especially from his own garden. Born in 1840, Monet was drawn to creativity early on. He studied traditional painting in Paris after spending some time serving in the military, but he grew bored and restless. He soon left the traditional school and methods for en plein-air (an outside) practice (132, Lunday). Monet is known as one of the first artists to paint outside, no matter the weather (Google Arts & Culture). It is his plein-air paintings that earned him his fame (132, Lunday). It is said that the term Impressionism is owed to Monet’s plein-air artwork. A critic by the name of Louis Leroy saw a seascape by Monet and called it an “impression”, as in it was Monet’s impression of a painting and the name stuck (Google Arts & Culture). Monet is especially beloved for his water lily series. He filled over 250 canvases with scenes of the water lilies in his garden. Throughout World War I, Monet tended to both his painting and his gardening. Even when the war drew close, Monet continued with his creative practices (137, Lunday). Although the German front line was 40 miles from his home, Monet continued to do the work he loved best- painting and gardening (Google Arts & Culture). He died in 1926 in his home in Giverny, France (137, Lunday).
Monet is one of the artists that I always felt meh about… until I saw his work in person. I remember visiting an art museum, and being in awe of the size of the water lilies. The brushstrokes Monet used to create depth and movement in his pieces. I’ve fallen in love with Monet as an artist, his work ethic astounds me. I want to create the way Monet created: painting even when everything feels like it’s falling apart. I want to be dedicated to a subject the way Monet was dedicated to his waterlilies. I want to think deeply about where my inspiration comes from and be able to articulate it, like Monet was able to articulate his love of gardening/nature and how it inspired him.
Monet painted even though war raged around him. He found solace in creativity, especially depicting the water lilies in his garden. What kind of ‘wars’ rage around you? In what creativity activities do you find peace in times of disruption? In what mediums?
Artist Date’s inspired by Monet
Make a cake: As a technical challenge for The Great British Bake Off, in season 9 episode 2, the bakers had to make Monet’s favorite cake. If you love Monet and baking, this might be a fun challenge. You can find the recipe here: https://thegreatbritishbakeoff.co.uk/recipes/all/prue-leith-le-gateau-vert/
Visit a Museum: Take a virtual trip to see some of Monet’s water lilies. These huge paintings can be seen in the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris, France. You can take a tour via the internet here: https://artsandculture.google.com/streetview/musee-de-l-orangerie/wAHg2EZf7REqmQ?sv_lng=2.3228262&sv_lat=48.8637281&sv_h=165.48626074552845&sv_p=-4.06112337643934&sv_pid=zKLcs3hGIyhQ_dkfMiObTA&sv_z=0.13434350928555983
(This museum/paintings are on my bucket list of artwork to visit, if you ever are in Paris I hear this museum is a must visit)
Watch a movie: One film which not only features Monet but other Impressionists is Midnight in Paris and stars Owen Wilson. Watching this film will not only transport you to Paris, but also to the time of the Impressionists. Be on the look out for the Musée de l'Orangerie as it's featured in this film along with some of Monet's waterlily paintings.
Visit a garden: Monet loved his garden, and in it he found his greatest inspiration. Visit a great garden. Bonus points if you can find one featuring waterlilies.
Visit a Monet: Research museums local to you and see if you’re able to visit a Monet painting in person. One of the advantages of looking for a Monet is that he crafted so many paintings, there’s a higher likelihood of being able to view one. (You can visit this painting at the National Gallery in Washington, DC. https://www.nga.gov/collection/art-object-page.61379.html)
Get Inspired by Nature: Work plein-air. Take whatever creative medium you enjoy and spend some time outside; get inspired by the world around like Monet loved to do.
Google Arts & Culture. “Claude Monet - Google Arts & Culture.” Google, Google Arts & Culture , 2022, https://artsandculture.google.com/entity/claude-monet/m01xnj?categoryId=artist.
Lunday, Elizabeth. Secret Lives of Great Artists: What Your Teachers Never Told You about Master Painters and Sculptors. Quirk, 2008.