Monday, June 11

With a new exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden I reminisce about my visit to Claude Monet's home in Giverny, France

In the cafe at Monet's Giverny in 2007 just after it had been restored
 a trip to Monet's former home in France 
sparks a love for photography 
and affirms a love of gardening, decorating, color, food and art!
 In 2007 we took a trip to Paris.  
Of course there were lots of fun dinners, visits to museums and shopping, but one of the most memorable parts to the trip was our visit to Monet's former home.  Monet's gardens had recently been restored and the Japanese-inspired bridges painted the same bold green as in his paintings.  Because both my children love art, this trip was a no-brainer for us. Monet was not only an amazing painter, but a good cook, a decorator and also a gardener --
gosh, I would have loved that man!
"Claude Monet was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. Wikipedia
Born in 1840 in Paris, Monet created many works and series.  Some of my very favorite paintings he created were born on and inspired by his property at Giverny.  The Haystacks series are some of my favorite works.  Who else but Claude Monet could take an otherwise mundane daily image such as stacks of hay rolled in a field and turn them into such lovely wonders to behold.  He painted these haystacks at various seasons and times of the day.  His magical way of reflecting light and adding colors in unusual manners, while layering his paintings are only some of the talents that make him a world class painter and one of the most prolific in history.
Claude Monet at Giverny
 haystacks and iris - both Monet painted on his property
With the botanical garden in New York City recently opening a new exhibit in his honor and inspired by his gardens, I felt compelled to write this story. I have yet to visit the exhibit but as soon as school is out in late June, we are heading straight to this exhibit.

Giverny is a small village only a short ride west out of Paris near the town of Vernon.  Monet's former home and gardens are still available to the public. There are lily ponds, Japanese-inspired bridges and flower gardens depicted in Monet's paintings.

check out Gabby's photography below taken in France
but as a decorator, I was especially enthralled 
with the interiors of Monet's home.  

As can be seen in his ethereal and rich paintings,
he had a love for intense color.
His home is no exception and I absolutely applaud his bold yellow dining room...his beautiful blue kitchen and the happy feeling that permeates the entire home.
 these four photographs are courtesy of http://www.Giverny.org
we all know the love affair the French have with pink and green,
and then he adds the bright red - divine!

 rustic yet rich at the same time, and this combination is something the French are very adept at creating.  You can see Monet was an avid collector from his pots to his framed works.
although this room was designed many years ago, it still has a fresh new and moderne appeal.  The painted yellow bed with the green windows flung open to breathe in the beautiful foliage is soothing and seems almost medicinal, 
don't you think?

Until October you can experience the talent and views of Monet at the
New York Botanical Garden.  
I just clicked over to the website and there are a host of programs from family events to movies about Monet and his inspirations.  
There is even an Ipad APP you can buy in case you cannot make it to the exhibit.  

Talk about accessible art! 
I love that there is something for everyone here.
 some images at the NYBG's Monet exhibit in the Bronx

Maybe I'll see you in the garden?
photograph by Gabby Stephenson