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Friday, February 28, 2014

Fun Facts About Monet's Garden in Giverny

I saw the first Spring blooms of azaleas this week and became obsessed with thoughts of gardens.  This led to musings on the grandest of gardens, Claude Monet's living masterpiece at Giverny, France.  So I decided to do a little research to learn more about the topic.   I learned the following based on an article by the New York Botanical Garden:
1.  Monet thought like an artist when planting his garden.  He focused on color, scale and atmospheric effects.  He planted monochromatic beds of flowers for more impact.  He used complementary color schemes to create more visual intensity and interest.  He used reflections of sky and water to add with shapes and color and increased the effects of sunlight and mist with specific colored plantings.  Blue and purple blooms increased the perceived blueness of the sky.  Plantings of orange, pink, gold and bronze tulips and wallflowers increased the richness of the glow of each sunset.
2.  Monet added sparkle among the colorful flowers by adding white flowers in and around the more brilliantly colored blooms.  Patterns were repeated.  Nothing was random or sparse. 
3.  His favorite garden color combinations were pink and blue, yellow and blue, red, silver and green, blue/purple, pink and white.  One has only to see the stunning bright green lily pads reflecting on the blue water along with yellow, blue and mauve water lily blooms to realize how wonderful his ideas were.
All in all, Monet's gardening "hobby" was another form of masterpiece making!  Awesome.
Copyright Mona Vivar, Dreams of France, 14 inches by 11 inches, acrylic on canvas, private collection

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