Monet and Me

I was introduced to the world and art of Claude Monet by my father when I was very young and when get even a hint of a water lily, I am transported to treasured hours spent with Dad turning pages of big hardback Monet art books ~ our heads, hands and hearts moving in unison.

I saw my first water lilies of the year this weekend ~ as colourful, fresh and delicious as anyone could wish for:


water lilies


Monet has been playing on my mind since and I’ve been perusing some of his quotes. Here are the ones that appeal to me most. I hope you like them:

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”

“I would like to paint the way a bird sings.”

“The further I get, the more I regret how little I know…”

“It’s on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly.”

” It took me time to understand my water lilies. I had planted them for the pleasure of it; I grew them without ever thinking of painting them. “

And, naturally as a bridge lover,  one of my very favourite water lily paintings by Claude Monet is this one:


The Water Lily Pond with Japanese Bridge by Claude Monet, 1899






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.