When I Met Monet-Part II

When Michael wears our Kungfu shirt and stands on the bridge leisurely looking over the pond, I recall the painting I did years ago. That painting is about Monet; about Monet standing on his Japanese bridge watching his beloved waterlilies.


If Monet were here, he would like to wear the same clothes Michael is wearing now, and would look over the pond as Michael does.

Or, if Michael were in Monet’s Garden, very likely he would walk up the bridge, stop, take a deep breath to enjoy the summer scented air, then look at the blooming waterlilies, the pink of which dramatically stands in contrast against the water’s deep blue and the willow’s emerald green.

Yes, indeed it is just a summer dream—Monet cannot be here, and Michael isn’t in his garden either.

Among all the famous painters, Leonardo da Vinci and Claude Monet are my two favorites. In my opinion, Da Vinci represents sense, while Monet represents emotion. When I look at “Mona Lisa”, I am amazed by how realistic the painting is, how skillful the painter is, how calm perhaps a little sentimental I feel; yet when I look at Monet’s waterlily painting, among the colors, the lights, the blocks and strokes of paints, I am overwhelmed by the painter’s deep but strong emotion.

At the later stage of this master’s life, even though he had gained wealth, fame, and a peaceful life, revealed from his paintings, I still strongly believe that something was stirring in his deep soul. Tremendous beauty and raw, undying emotion-- the combination of the two is irresistible, is fatal.

I particularly like one painting Monet did of his first wife Camille. It was like a snapshot: On a snowy day, perhaps the painter had been staying in his room for too long, and perhaps their lunch or dinner time had long passed while the painter still hadn’t showed up yet, the wife worried about him. She purposely passed his door; she knew that he never put down the curtain so the light could come in. Therefore, when she passed, she took a glimpse at the room trying to find out what he was doing. In fear of disturbing his work, she didn’t knock on the door, pretending that it was just a random passing by. Yet the look on her face was concerning, even with a touch of sorrow.

It is that look which attracts me. A typical wife’s look. Having been Monet’s solo model for years (which determined their relationship in the marriage), and having suffered their embarrassed financial situation for quite a long time, she couldn’t be happy.

The painter, who perhaps was working and by chance his attention was caught by her red scarf. Red, black, snow-covered ground and snow-white sheer curtain. Therefore, she was captured in this painting, as well as her worried look.

Later on, I searched online, but failed to find any painting of her where she was smiling.

He might not be a good husband for her, nevertheless, this iconic genius remains a great source of inspiration for me.

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