Painting like Monet
Claude Monet is considered one of the greatest French artists of all time. He is best known for leading the Impressionist movement and influencing generations of artists to come including Cezanne, Degas, and Renoir. With such a splendid and rich repertoire of work, it was difficult to select a period of his life to study.
(Post cards from the Musee de l’Orangerie in Paris, France along with one of my favorite books)
We focused our learning, on the last 20 years of Monet’s life, where he concentrated his efforts almost exclusively on the picturesque water lily pond that he created on his property in Giverny. We learned that Monet painting En plein air (outdoors) and observed how light and time of day inspired his subjects. This encouraged our second graders, to create their own water lily painting inspired by a time of day. They used color, value, movement, and texture to capture Monet signature style. They did so brilliantly.
(We applied paint with quick directional brush strokes. From up close, we observed our individual brush strokes. From afar, colors mixed together creating our water lilies, water, clouds and light.)
Shortly after Monet died, at the age of 86, the French government installed his last water-lily series in specially constructed galleries at the Orangerie in Paris, where they remain today. Monet’s water lily paintings were given as a gift to the French government in honor of the end of WWI. Monet once said, “ The Water lilies are an extension of my life. Without the water, the lilies cannot live, as I am without art.”
Monet’s Water lilies are considered to be the crowning achievement of his extensive career. This past summer I visited the Musee de l’Orangerie in Paris, France. It was one of the highlights of my travels. I was so excited to share this experience and artifacts with our second grade artists.
Monet wished this water lily installation would be a kind of Sanctuary where, “ nerves weighed down by work would be relaxed” and where one could experience “the asylum of peaceful meditation in the midst of a flowered aquarium”
Take a look at our second grade masterpieces