Lush palettes of late, deep pink tulips and the pale pink blowsy heads of peonies in full bloom are tucked among dense clumps of pink scilla. These, in turn, are layered under a canopy of flowering wisteria at Claude Monet’s home in Giverny. The wisteria reaches out over the pool of water along the beds, painting a reflection of pale lilac and purple blossom onto the water’s surface. Claude Monet’s glorious paintings of water lilies at his home near Argenteuil are but snapshots captured in oil of the real work of landscape art that Monet created over time at Giverny.
Creating a garden landscape is to create art in three dimensions over the fourth dimension that is time. The beauty of the work changes daily, by the hour, with the light and the season. The light on a garden at dawn, with dew on the roses, and the pale, translucent sunlight reflecting on pools of water is very different from the harsher light at full noon, where the water reflections become almost blinding. Monet’s garden contains almost a hundred different species of trees, shrubs, and flowering plants. The gardens flower from April to October, with the famous water lilies blooming on the water beside masses of roses, dahlias, salvias, cleome, and gladioli.
There are also magical examples of such gardens locally to read about and visit. In their book, Artists in Their Gardens, Valerie Easton and David Laskin showcase art gardens created by Pacific Northwest artisans such as ceramic artist, Anne Hirondelle, and glass blower, Ginny Ruffner. Both artisans have followed in Monet’s tradition, and placed the beautiful objects they create with their hands in a living, changing, landscape of flowers and foliage that reflects and complements their creative talents.
Valerie Easton is presenting a lecture on the Pacific Northwest artists listed in Artists in Their Gardens at the Tacoma Art Museum, at 11:30 a.m. on June 11, 2011. As part of that presentation, Valerie will be sharing how the artists she interviewed use everything from recycled materials to glass art to ‘blur the line between art and garden design.’ One of her recurrent themes in talking about the artists is how the artistic gardens are but examples that show that it is possible for everyone to be as creative when designing a garden.
The mild climate in Tacoma provides such garden artists with a choice of thousands of plants to create similar landscapes. For readers who are interested in signing up for the lecture, the cost is $15.00 for non-members, $10.00 for Tacoma Art Museum and Tacoma Garden Club Members, and $5.00 for students. You can sign up here:
For more information about Giverny’s gardens, visit the following web site:
For more information about Valerie and David’s book, visit Amazon:
If you have already followed in the footsteps of Monet and these artists, and created your own art garden, feel free to submit photos of your creations. I will create a slideshow of the best for publication.
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