This past weekend, I finally visited the Monet Secret Garden Show at the Vancouver Art Gallery. I have done a walk-through of the exhibit on opening weekend but due to the crowds decided to come back later. An advantage of a Gallery membership is one can avoid the line ups and walk in any time… even if it is to see one painting (one of my favorite things to do).

Me looking at “Les Roses” Monet 1926, this painting is thought to be his last painting while he had little vision left.


I appreciated Monet’s series of the same tree over & over, as I am currently working on a series of trail limited to 2km of North Vancouver trail. The lighting is always different making the scene always new.

My earlier walk through of the Monet exhibit was prior to hearing the Heller Lecture by Ross King on Monet, which I wrote about in an earlier blog post. King called Monet the “King of Grouches”. The annual lecture was aligned with the opening show. Since the lecture I have been reading Ross King’s biography of the artist. Since I have been working outside in the backyard on bigger pieces that don’t fit in my home-studio, I have been thinking about taking advantage & painting the garden around me.

Me working on a 66″ wide painting this summer in the backyard. It does not fit into my studio space.

My own paintings often find inspiration in visiting galleries and seeing other paintings. Usually this is over a long period of time when I see a piece, catalog it in my brain and then find my own composition. This past weekend inspired by Monet’s story (through my reading) and the Monet show I decided to sit in the backyard and paint Beth’s beautiful garden ‘en plein’ air just as Monet did.

I chose way too hot an afternoon to do this… but I focused on brush strokes and not filling up the whole canvas – just as Monet’s later work. I think I’d achieve a more Monet-style painting with pastel colors and subtle contrast on an overcast day – but a key to being a professional artist is painting all the time – and especially painting when I have bouts of creative energy. Regardless if they are timed with the best sunlight.

After seeing the show I took a stab at some Plein Air Garden painting – perhaps MUCH too hot a day to try… but I was inspired.


Here is my resultant painting… I’d love your feedback on this one. It was so much fun, but likewise uncomfortable not to put down several more layers of paint.

Close up of the painting Backyard Garden, Joanne Hastie, 18″ x 36″ Acrylic on Canvas


Backyard Garden, Joanne Hastie, 18″ x 36″ Acrylic on Canvas


Backyard Garden, Joanne Hastie, 18″ x 36″ Acrylic on Canvas


Have a great week,



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