Learning from an Artist
No trip to France is complete without getting a taste of the famous artworks of those who came before us. Typically, most visitors will go to Le Louvre or Versailles to get their fix. I was fortunate to get a good taste of each, but made a special stop while on a road trip to Normandy. I went to Monet’s Gardens.
When I was in grade school I took a pottery class. During that class we had to make a variety of things ranging from Grecian-style pottery to vases and basic shapes. In the class one of the projects that we did was actually inspired by Monet’s works. After reviewing some of Claude Monet’s paintings, I made a jewelry jar for my mom that depicted the scene with the boat and bridge in the pond at Monet’s gardens. From that day, I always associated Monet’s gardens with that pottery work.
Once I finally got to visit Monet’s gardens I realized a lot of things about Monet. Perhaps Monet wasn’t perfect, I have to admit I don’t know too much about the guy’s personal life, but Monet sure knew how to spot a beautiful place to live. That scene that I had envisioned from my childhood seemed to come to life when I first saw the pond. It was as if Monet, had captured life in an impressionist work of art. His paintings were such accurate depictions of the real thing. It is amazing to see that kind of talent in person.
While admiring Monet’s gardens I pondered Monet’s life and his inspiration for creating art. I noticed a few things that I’d like to share. Here are a few things I believe Monet’s life can teach us.
Monet’s Lessons for us
1.) Claude Monet surrounded himself with inspiring things. He was able to literally look out of his bedroom window and find inspiration for his paintings. This undoubtedly helped with his creativity and lead to a seemingly endless amount of potential paintings. Whether you are writer, artist, a musician, blogger, a business man, or Indian chief, surround yourself with things that inspire you. How will you get inspired if you don’t?
2.) He lived in his paradise. Maybe I am assuming too much here, but it seems as though he lived in his own personal paradise. He created and adapted his home into what he thought was beautiful and lived in it. Why should we settle for something less than we are capable of achieving? I don’t mean living in a big house with lots of gardens. I mean create your paradise in your life and attempt to find whatever that is, likely it will be different for us all. Monet lived harmoniously with his house. Live around what you love.
3.) Monet likely gave himself purpose. By creating the gardens, Monet was required (unless others were helping) to wake up and tend to his gardens. They wouldn’t have been so beautiful if he didn’t. Much like the farmer who wakes in the wee hours of the morning to tend to his animals, or the shepherd who tends to his flock as if they were his own children. Monet’s purpose was his gardens.
4.) He made the best of what he had around him. From things that I have read in the past, Monet was painting from a young age in Normandy. He always drew that which he had around him. When he was living in coastal Normandy, he painted people and towns. When he lived in Giverny he drew his gardens and pond. The same of his time in the Mediterranean and so forth. At times when you are unable to do other things that you want, remember to make the best you can with what you have around you.
Although Monet’s life was surely not perfect nor free from problems, I still think that there are some positive aspects we can take from his life, at least his time as an artist.
What are your thoughts? Have you visited Monet’s Gardens before? If so, what was your reaction?
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