Monet and Me

Water Lilies
Water Lilies

Monet dominated my thoughts as made my way to Mount Congreve Garden yesterday. I knew the water lilies would be in full bloom and they were.

I have had a passion for art since I was very young. I think it was probably ignited by my father who brought me to the art galleries in Dublin from the time I was a tot. He was the person who introduced me to Great Artists, like Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh ….. but there was another person who gave me a love of painting.

Her name was Miss Barrett and she was my art teacher in Secondary School.  I absolutely adored Thursday afternoons in First Year, especially, as we had a whole hour and a half of art with Miss Barrett and this came after a hellish morning grappling with subjects that were beyond me.

Miss Barrett seemed ‘old’ then; I suspect she was probably in her early 50s, if that! She knew how to inspire and encourage and had a motherly gentleness that always made me feel that happy, secure comfortableness that is often so elusive.

I didn’t have a natural flair for drawing or painting but Miss Barrett wanted all her pupils to enjoy art and to experiment without fear.

The happiness of Thursday afternoons descended on me in Mount Congreve yesterday and I felt like Miss Barrett was walking with me.

Pastel Pink
Pastel Pink

I doubt Miss Barrett ever knew how much those classes meant to me and I deeply regret that I never even thought to thank her.

How I’d love to take up art again and find a teacher with Miss Barrett’s wonderful traits.

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

10 thoughts on “Monet and Me”

  1. Your photos are art! And you do have a natural flair for that! Your writing is art!

    It took me a long time to understand that there are many ways to express art. I always figured the artistic gene jumped from my Dad to my nieces, totally by-passing me! He could paint and draw, they can draw and animate… Me, not so much! I have since changed my mind. My cakes are art, my photography is art, my cooking is art! 😀

    1. Dale, thanks for this interesting perspective on art and you are so correct about the different forms. However, I still have a hankering to go back and learn more of the basics of drawing and painting as I enjoy it so much and I suppose because it hold such positive vibes for me. Unfortunately, I had to choose between Art and some other subject that I thought I REALLY needed when I was heading into the second phase of secondary school so sort of left it behind.

  2. I have been reading these blogs of yours for some time – delighted to have met you, albeit briefly, as we wandered through the magic of Mount Congreve – and really just want to say how much your words mean to me. Especially today when Monet was the subject of a very important conversation in which I had participated. I too, had an art teacher when I was a child who told me that the talent that was not present in my efforts need be no impediment to my enjoyment of the work of others. That,in fact, the onlooker was as important to the creative process as the perpetrator.

  3. Stan, I really appreciate your kind words and it was lovely to meet you and Bernadette in Mount Congreve.
    How interesting that you had been discussing Monet just before reading this post.
    It seems that art teachers can play a huge role in shaping our thinking about art in broad terms. My Miss Barrett was so emphatic about the enjoyment that could be derived from art irrespective of level of talent and I think she was right.
    Hope to see you in Mount Congreve again soon!

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