Garden Art – Monet’s paintings are a garden study on canvas

Gardening and art go hand in hand and a perfect example of that is the work of Claude Monet.

Claude Monet’s work is well known and has had such an impact on so many people. Artists have studied it for years. It’s a style that seems to fit in with most decors and most people can find something they relate to in the work.

Monet was a turn of the century French Impressionist who painted in his garden, particularly his water garden at his home, which was called Giverny. He painted his water lily pond in the soft purple light of dawn, the vivid noon day sun and dusky magenta sunset, He painted them over and over again watching new color and life each time. The magic of all water gardens captured his attention each day as the flowers changed with the light and the water reflected the sky, clouds and sun.

Monet lived in the garden he painted. This gave him a depth to his work and time to study light and seasons and the impact of the different vegetation and lighting. This in-depth color study led to unique color combinations that really set his work apart.

The gardens were going downhill at Giverny but a restoration project was started in the 1980’s to bring the garden back. It was restored using the paintings Monet did for color combinations and design.

The Giverny garden is set up in cool colors with a few exceptions scattered here and there. A few bold yellow or hot red accent colors are used for surprise and to enhance design but are rarely used as major structural components. Foundation colors for the garden are in shades of whites, pinks, lavender and purple. They are set against a shell pink house with aqua green trim. The garden and house emphasis and set off each other.

For the artist the color harmonies or theory of why it works so well interests them and why Monet used these colors and would replant the same color combinations using different plants species and varieties. For the gardener these garden studies offer simple yet effective compositions to make a garden a living art piece that offers beauty and relaxation.

There is a book out called, “The Magic of Monet’s Garden: His Planting Plans and Color Harmonies.”

A review of this book says it has blended Impressionist art with quality horticultural writing and landscape architectural understanding of color.

Both painter and artist use color to create their artwork. The difference is one uses canvas and one uses the earth. Both study color, combination, and changes and step back to see and study the results

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