Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What you can learn from the artist, Claude Monet

If you haven’t been to the New York Botanical Garden, this would be a good time to go. There is a wonderful celebration exhibit of the artist, Claude Monet’s Garden. Monet’s original flower garden still exists at this home turned museum in Giverny, France. The New York version is a fantastic recreation true to Monet’s vision. His garden was a love and vocation that lasted most of his adult life. His famous Water Lilies paintings came from seeing the garden almost every day, every season and every year for over 50 years.

Monet kept painting them until he died at age 86, because each time he saw them, they looked different. He loved to wake up in the morning and looked forward to each day. Some would say he never rewired. Other’s would say that he rewired every time he did a new painting. We think it’s the latter. Ask any gardener and they will tell you that everyday a garden changes. Something grows. Something dies. Animals and birds cycle in and out. It is never stagnant, but always dynamic and changing. Just like us humans.

He never bored of it. In fact he marveled at his good fortune that he was able to paint so many canvases. France commissioned him to create a series of extremely large paintings of the Water Lilies now housed in Paris at the L’Orangerie, a national treasure. It is an artistic memorial to those who died serving France during the First World War. If you can’t get to Paris go on line an see them or go to one of the museums in the U.S. that has one of his paintings.

The New York Botanical Garden held its annual Patrons Lecture earlier this summer, under written by the Carnegie Foundation at Sotheby’s in New York City. Professor Paul Hayes Tucker, the foremost authority in the world on Monet and a consultant on the exhibit delighted the audience, us included, with insights on Monet, Art, and life. Monet had the good fortune of never retiring. He painted until the end. He used his creative gifts and frequently asked the question, “Why would I ever stop painting? It is what I love most.” Fortunately for the world he was never forced to retire by an age limit or a corporate policy or even a limiting disability…he had cataracts.
So for all of our readers who love what they do, keep doing it. And for those who dislike what they do, retire if you can, and Get REWIRED. Dive into new activities and interests and find one that will nourish and sustain you for the rest of your life. Once you find that special something you can evolve into someone who thrills to wake up in the morning. Just like Monet did!