Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Monet's Garden: Impressionism and Quilting

Claude Monet was one of the best loved Impressionist painters of the late 19th-early 20th century. He painted many scenes of his gardens at Giverny, in the northwest of France, which is shown in the photo below.

Monet was fascinated with the way that bright light fell from the sky and diffused upon the trees, grasses, and water surrounding him. He painted the effects of light in nature with rapid, deft, brushstrokes and broken patches of vivid color. Today, we are featuring four landscape quilts which celebrate Monet's garden and his brilliant "plein-air" style of painting.

Monet, by Darlene Sweetwood

Darlene Sweetwood has created a beautiful quilt, awash in light and shadow. This work focuses on the water, bridge, and sunlight that Monet saw as he painted. Darlene used diamond piecing to portray the quick, energetic brushstrokes of Impressionism. The lilypad and dragonfly perched on the border draw the viewer's eye into the gently rippling azure pond. For more information on Darlene Sweetwood's quilts, visit Quilters Fabric.

Serenity Bridge, 48 x 48, by Marinda Stewart for Michael Miller Fabrics

"Serenity Bridge" was designed by Marinda Stewart for Michael Miller fabrics, using a solid fabric panel in the center to portray the graceful bridge over the lake. The quilt is constructed by using watercolor piecing techniques around the lake and background trees. The shimmering blue, green and white prints lend a light-dappled warmth to this cheerful scene.

Monet's Garden Walk, by Lenore Crawford

"Monet's Garden Walk" beckons us to wander up a flower bedecked path to experience a rainbow of floral color. Lenore Crawford has used precise fabric painting, so that the Impressionist tradition of using both warm and cool hues of nature takes full effect. One of Lenore's passions is painting the landscapes of France. She has captured the garden as Monet himself must have seen it in springtime, burgeoning with fresh grasses and blossoms.

For more information on Lenore Crawford's award-winning artwork, visit her website and blog. Lenore also teaches workshops on her fusing and fabric painting techniques.

Monet's Garden, Giverny, France, 48 x 60, by Joan Jamieson

Joan Jamieson was commissioned to create this quilt by a couple who had just returned from Giverny and who wanted a reminder of their wonderful vacation. She used an endless number of tiny pieces of blue and green fabric to construct this delightful scene. In order to add contrast, she created delicate pink flowers for the lily pads on the lake and added beautiful pink clouds to the sky. The graceful willow tree provides an intricate focal point, as she has lavished it with thousands of perfectly placed stitches to give it added texture. You can see a close-up of Joan's beautiful applique and quilting in the image below.

For more information about the creation of the above quilt, visit this webpage; and to see more of Joan Jamieson's quilts, visit her online galleries at Quilted Views.

Photo Credit: Photo of Monet's Garden, by Michael Scaduto at Wikimedia Commons.

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