By Jingyi Wang (MFA 2016)
Last week I came to Giverny with my three classmates from the New York Academy of Art for our residency with the Terra Foundation. We had a wonderful week here, everything went well.
Giverny is a really beautiful village thanks to two things that can be seen anywhere, Claude Monet and flowers. Because Monet had been living here in his late life, Giverny became a world-famous village. The lack of streets makes bike riding the primary transport and this allows us to see the special countryside scenery. When I stand on the street, I always imagined how this village looked at the time of Monet. Was it as beautiful as nowadays?
In Giverny we visited Monet’s house and garden, as well as the impression museum. They gave me have a good understanding about Monet.
About Monet’s Garden
As a painter, it is a great honor to be able to paint in Monet’s garden. I need to thank my school who gives me this opportunity. Before I came to NYAA, I studied in China where impression has an important position. I still remember the first time I saw impressionism was when I was 14 years old. My mother took me to Beijing to see a great exhibition called Sunshine & Impression that included fifty-one impressionist French paintings. I was attracted by the bright colors of the painting, and it was from this that I decided to become a professional painter. Also at that time, Claude Monet became my favorite artist. Eleven years later everything changed in my mind, but I still remember that was the reason I became a painter. I painted in Monet’s garden everyday even after it closed to the public at 6PM (meaning all tourists gone) leaving only the quiet garden and me. I enjoyed this time very much, painting here was my childhood dream. I spend a lot of my time excitedly painting the lily pond. It is beautiful but very hard to paint. The colors are too similar to control. That gave me a profound understanding of Monet; I marvel at him that he can have so much imagination from this garden.
About Monet house
As a tourist, I looked around Monet’s house yesterday. There were many paintings hung on the walls of the study room. All the colors are harmonious in his house. Through green windows we can also see his colorful garden. Whether inside or out, it is a beautiful house.
About Flowers & My Work Here
For me, the most interested thing living here are the flowers. Since last semester, I began to paint plants including flowers for my work. I also used watercolor to create a series of flowers named ‘Flower Talk’. I liked painting the plants, because they were blooming and withering just as some human beings do, and I became inspired from this fragility. I enjoyed describing their most wonderful time and dying moments. Plants may appear more vulnerable than humans, but they are still alive without fear.
In Giverny, I can find flowers anywhere. I cannot stop my eyes from looking at them, cannot stop my hand from painting them.