What does an obscure photographer stuck in the concrete landscape of an Australian suburb and Claude Monet, a French impressionist master have in common?… the love for nature, gardening, flowers and the symphonies of colours.
“The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration” – Claude Monet
Born on 14 November 1840, Claude Monet is one of the most significant, influential and universally celebrated figures in the history of Art.
Monet was a founder of French Impressionist painting (late 1800’s) which focused on emotions, form and changing light and movement rather than realism. Impression, Sunrise, a most splendid painting by Monet is attributed to inspiring the name of the impressionist movement.
Monet is perhaps most famous for his monumental series of oil paintings depicting water lilies, serene gardens, and Japanese footbridges. The water lily series were painted at his property in the village of Giverny, in northern France where Monet lived his final 43 years from 1883 to his death on 5 December 1926.
Throughout his life Monet planted flowers and loved gardening and being outdoors, at one with nature. In his later years, especially during his time at Giverny, he became a passionate student of botany and was the architect and visionary of the vast and beautiful landscaped gardens (five acres of flowerbeds and water-lily ponds) which became the subjects of some of his famous masterpieces.
“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.” – Claude Monet
To achieve his grand vision, he devoted himself to flower gardening and employed several gardeners for additional support. He sourced and imported plants, some rare, from around the world including irises, daises, nasturtiums peonies, delphiniums, rhododendrons, Oriental poppies, asters and many species of sunflowers and the water Lilies for his famous lily pond.
Monet didn’t let finances get in the way of accomplishing his dream and he said, “All my money goes into my garden,” But also: “I am in raptures.”
Today Monet’s house and gardens attract over half a million visitors each year, testament to his visionary brilliance.
It was Monet’s love of plants and flowers and not painting that inspired him to transform his property into an oasis. And as Monet, I created my garden beds purely for the pure joy, inspiration and companionship that plants and flowers provide.
Graceful, enchanting and full of zest, flowers with all their eccentricities and richness of colours never fail to captivate the senses. As with Monet, I can’t imagine life without being surrounded by nature.
“I must have flowers, always, and always.” – Claude Monet
Images included in this post are captured in my garden, focusing on my collection of showy merry African daisies (Osteospermum) of which I clearly adore. The scientific name is derived from the Greek osteon (bone) and Latin spermum (seed).
As homage to Monet, several of the images are impressionistic in style, with a dreamy soft almost defocused effect, cascading with vibrant colours. The multiple exposure photographic technique is used, in which I have superimposed nine exposures to create a single image in-camera. Raw files were then converted into jpegs with very minor basic adjustments in Photoshop.
Official website of Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny.
The Claude Monet Foundation – https://fondation-monet.com/en/
Cluade Monet Quotes
“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.”
“My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature”
“I am good at only two things, and those are gardening and painting.”
“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.”