"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home" (Twyla Tharp)

Monet's Garden ...

 We have just returned from a month overseas  - the usual jetlag, tiredness and mountain of work to catch up on is waiting for me.  There were so many highlights I don't know where to begin so I will start with inspiration... a reminder of the magic of travel, no matter how far away you are - and how seeing new places and enjoying new experiences can renew the soul and inspire dreams ...


 I was lucky enough to visit Giverny in France and spend some time strolling the gardens that were the inspiration for so many of Claude Monet's paintings. 

There is so much to be said about Monet's paintings and I would love to talk more about his inspiration and the gardens and ponds at Giverny ... however I am extremely jet lagged and have so many photos to go through for now I will let some of the pictures show a window to his gardens ...

For nature lovers and gardeners it is a source of education and inspiration -  for botanical art enthusiasts it is a door to a world we could get lost in ... how I would have loved to have taken a sketchbook and watercolours and spend many hours, days, weeks surrounded by such beauty.

It seems everyone had the same idea ... even though these photos depict a place of serenity and calm - it was quite a challenge to avoid tourists like me in every photograph and reflection... I guess it's up to us to create a place of inspiration in our own world, no matter how big or small... I am lucky my husband is a keen gardener and works well under guidance :)

I could have walked the paths and gardens all day ... 

 The tulips were not at their best ... their had been a lot of 'un-springlike' weather and the peonies weren't in flower but were budding everywhere - in weeks to come it will be stunning


Monet's house was lovely and inviting with well lit rooms of good proportions ...

My Dad had a penchant for painting all the woodwork green - not sure if this is Monet's choice but he was in good company ...

  So many tourists (me being one of them!!) it was rare to capture a glimpse of the pond bridges without anyone on them ...

The colours were beautiful ... so rich and striking even on a dull, cold, rainy grey day ... I love the way water reflects the plants, trees and flowers so you have a mirrored effect of the plantings .. a beautiful way to make the most of a visual masterpiece.


I hope you enjoyed our visit to Monet's Garden ... my visit to this beautiful sanctuary has fuelled my enthusiasm and energy - can't wait to start painting again!

For more information on visiting Monet's Garden here is the website

All images  © Vicki Lee Johnston 2012


  1. So many gorgeous photos Vicki, so much inspiration.
    I must visit this place one day :)

    1. I hope you do Claire - always best to check their site as it is closed for some months.

  2. This is a breathtakingly beautiful selection Vicki. What a treat. Oh and thanks for sorting me out with FB yesterday. x

  3. Thanks for these gorgeous photographs Vicki! It has been my life long dream to go to the gardens. They used to offer residencies for artists - not sure if they still do - but wouldn't that be amazing?! Sadly I think a lot of the artists are quite modern and abstract so it seems like a waste to me. It's about time they had a botanical artist there.

    I hope you are slowly getting back to normality. Must be nice not living out of a suitcase and to be in your own bed. Nothing quite like it is there?!

    1. My pleasure Jess. I hope you get to go and the residency idea sounds perfect ...
      Perhaps one day we will organise a workshop there ... :))
      Life is slowly getting back to normal, I do enjoy my own bed but living out of a suitcase has its benefits - there is so much housework to do at home!

  4. What a romantich holliday did you have and inspiring visit to beatifull places!!! Marvellous days in Europe!!!!

    1. Thank you Renata - it was romantic and inspiring! Hope to return xx

  5. Your photos are gorgeous Vicki - thank you :)

  6. All that color, so wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
    Must have been a great experience to see the garden.