For Mums birthday we decided to take her into the National Gallery to see Monet's Garden.
She is still well enough to do this kind of thing and art is something that we all love so Mr P, Mum and I went there today. Together we wandered the large exhibition. It was magical to be able to see these much published works in the flesh - both up close to examine the movement of the brush stokes and the visible canvas and then to step back and see his true magic at work. The way the eye mixes the paint and illuminates the work is amazing.
The other thing that was lovely to see was the scale of the works. That is something that you don't appreciate from books. As he aged the works got bigger. There were also some studies so you could see his base painting and how quickly he worked. Up close these seemed out of place but from a distance, these basic paint sketches had a magical quality.
I really enjoyed the later works - bigger, bolder and much more expressive. Painted in France during World War 1 after the loss of his second wife, one can only imagine that his painting became a form of escape from the horrors of life and he built his beautiful garden for solitude.
If you are in Melbourne, I highly recommend it. There are no haystacks - it is really about his garden. There are a few landscapes and early works, but a really good exhibition and Mum, Mr P and I all really enjoyed it. So much so that I will take the boys to see it too.