12”x 12” Oil on Panel
17”x 17” Framed
When I began this series of paintings, I knew I would have to paint water lilies. There is a pond with lilies in our neighborhood in Northern Virginia. There’s one across from the U.S. capitol and botanical gardens in Washington, D.C. not far from the National Gallery of Art. There’s one at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond where one of my sons is a realtor. Near many of my stomping grounds there is a lily pond. AND, during a trip to Tokyo, Japan a few years ago, I got to visit a Monet Exhibition at their National Museum. I saw the inspiration for this piece there.
What I love about water lilies… The dead ones are right there with the perky new bright green flowering ones. Monet used the yellows and browns of the dead lilies to compliment the colorful flowers and the blues of the sky reflected in leaves and water. His ponds embrace diversity and they are beautiful.There are patterns in nature. The rhythm of shapes in lily pad ponds is hypnotic. I could and did enjoy painting them in a trancelike state for hours on end.There’s mystery in those depths. I want the collector for this painting to feel drawn into the scene, imagining what fish, turtles (there were both in this pond) and insects might be peacefully existing in the cool cleansing waters.Everything about Monet and impressionism was about capturing a feeling or experience, rather than achieving accurate depiction. I paint tight realism, but I don’t copy life or photos pixel by pixel, because for me, the feeling and experience is muted when I see paintings that replicate. Here, my colors are saturated and I’ve deepened the contrast in some areas. I placed only a few lilies in the painting, and I placed them strategically. I blended the brush strokes in some areas and left others very painterly. I tried to portray this scene like a musical score, not a mechanical rendition.
by Claude Monet
Oil on Canvas
National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo