Listen: 395a Monet's Passion; The French House; Marrying Into Italy
"To step into his garden to find what he wanted to paint instead of just organizing a bouquet or organizing still life. He organized a whole garden. That would have the colors that sang for him coming up and artists to help restore the famous gardens. At Javanese tells us about Monet's passion or walk a beach in Brittany to experience a dreamlike beauty after mountains of seafoam pile up onshore it becomes a very magical surreal thing because the first sunlight is blowing through it and it's lit up like a crystal cavern. We'll hear how life could take a turn for the wild when you turn an old farmhouse in France into your home and three Americans married. Italians tell us how they adjusted to settling in in Italy. It was expected that a three course meal was going to be on the table every day. Let's share the romance and the beauty. The travel field our ahead. It's travel with Rick Steves. We're looking at the places and the people we love today on travel with Rick Steves. We'll hear the stories of three American women who's European travels resulted in the ultimate souvenir a husband and a new life in Italy. We'll also hear how American family almost got over their heads when they fell in love with a rugged little island off the coast of France and bought a house. There Don Wallace tells us how his neighbors helped his family restore more than just a building. Eight seven seven three three three seven four to five. That's our phone number. Let's start with a look at the intimate gardens. That impressionist painter Claude Monet created around the end of the nineteenth century at his house. In Javanese Elizabeth Murray is a gardener in an artist from the Monterey Bay area in California. She volunteered nearly a year of her life to help restore the gardens in nineteen eighty five. She's updated and re released. The beautiful photo filled book. She compiled to convey how. Mornay created his gardens as a work of art in themselves. It's also where you can experience his famous water. Lilies in-person her book is called Monet's passion ideas inspiration and insights from the painters gardens. Elizabeth thanks for being here. My pleasure thank you for inviting me. Anybody who loves ART KNOWS IMPRESSIONISM? And when you say impressionism you think Claude Monet. Set up the garden. What is it with the great painter? Having his own garden to help inspire his art his garden was both a sanctuary for him and his family and a place that became his biggest inspiration and he lived there and she bernie a little village for forty three years and he's heard to create this garden for his own pleasure and delight and then realized it had everything he needed to paint. He didn't have to travel outside of it any longer as he was aging. And all these other political things in wars were happening so here is the garden of great beauty that nourished him inspired him and he organized the colors implants than reflections said that it was something he could be inspired to paint each day so he spent his last forty three years there. He died in nineteen twenty six today nearly one hundred years after his death we can go there and enjoy the gardening wizardry of this great painter because he painted and he planted and it comes together. Now you've visited back in Nineteen eighty-four reading your book. It's just an amazing story. Tell us how you first met Jeff Rene and then why that changed your life. Well I've always been a painter and a gardener and when I went there I literally got a lump in my throat. I had fallen in love. I thought more than anything I want to know. This garden intimately and the best way to know a garden is to work in it so I had a French friend with me and I didn't speak French and she helped me meet one of the gardeners who said Oh you must go and speak to monsieur vendor camp and ask if you can work here and I thought you know what I live in Carmel. California. I have a great house in nine people working for me as a professional gardener. But I'm willing to give that up in order to work for free and it has been something that has enriched my life but wait a minute about thirty years ago you were traveling around and you were visiting gardens all over Europe teen a lot of gardens your professional gardener with your own staff. You went to Germany two hours west of Paris and you were so impacted by that that you went home. Quit your job and moved to France and volunteered for nearly a year. Yes that's right and I didn't speak French. Learn some Don Don. Does she need Let me soon to Clinton. I'm not a gardener. I go to these Great Gardens in Europe and I love them. They just are delights How was a step above? All of those will. It was a step into my heart. That was it. It wasn't that it was grander by any means. But I love Monet asa artist and so this is like a living painting and I felt like many people who visit the spirit of Monet. So when you feel the spirit of someone you love and admire and then you get to see some of the ideas and where he lived. You really feel his presence. And that's really what I fell in love with. And so you have a great painter. Who New Light? His whole his biggest emphasis was painting light and all the shades of color so instead of just organizing a bouquet or organizing a still life. He organized a whole garden. That would have the colors that sang for him with his kind of color sensitivity and rules of collar. Now this is interesting Elizabeth. You're talking about late. And you know the whole rallying cry of the impressionist movement was for the artists to get out of the studio and into the light and they would satisfy easels out in nature and then they will grab the light and and these are dislike. Monet would famously paint the facade of a church at different times of day in for them. It wasn't the same subject. It was completely different subject because the late in the shadow would play on the physical object differently at different times of day. And this is sort of the essence of impressionism. Isn't it it's capturing the light and the reflections in the shadows exactly the impression of that moment gave its name impressionism. His one thing to have it on a building. In which money did they incredible ones of the Cathedral in Rwanda but then you have living texture of plants that are going to change with the light and they have their own vibration as an artist and a gardener? Elizabeth you could sit in Monet's garden and would you appreciate the different times of Day. Would you insulate dimension of it? So as a sightseer we can go in the morning and we can go out for lunch and take a walk and come back in the afternoon and artistically. It's a different garden absolutely and then it might rain. You might have pouring rain. Bring an umbrella and then the rain will break and you'll have gray clouds and everything will be all shiny and sparkly or you might be there for early. Do or you might be there for little frost. The seasons completely changed the cars. Just it's carbonated the whole experience by appreciating this extra dimension. I'm Rick Steves and our guest. Elizabeth Murray is an artist photographer and gardening expert. She helped with the restoration of Claude. Monet's famous gardens at Scheffer name after time and the Second World War had left them in ruins. She's published a book called Monet's passion with photos. Observations and tips on the plants Monet us to convey a vocabulary of color in his gardens. Our phone number's eight seven. Seven three three three seven four to five Kristen's on the line in Delray Beach Florida. Kristen thanks for your call. Nice to talk to you rick. I'm so excited to hear what Elizabeth is saying about. Monet's gardens because for me to mays ago when we went to Paris my husband and I took the train to Giovanni and loved it. It was the first time that we had gone. I'm a photographer and I. It was splendid. We had a pretty rainy state for most of our time in Paris but the day opened up when we went to give your knee and it was one of those days where the sun is not shining brightly but it was light it was perfect for photography and I loved it and it was was saying about the different textures and the different colors for the different seasons was so true because the lillies were not in bloom in. May but still the way. The banks of the pond were planted. That were wonderful reflections in the water and there were there were areas that were all blues and Purple Flowers and then there were areas that were all yellows and oranges. It was splendid and Hysteria steria on the Japanese bridge. It was just a very exciting time. And you need to be tuned into those beyond the physical features. Sort of dimension of what you're looking at two. You need to be looking at the glimmer in the shadow and flex lease and It's nice their web page. Lists the flowers that you can expect to have Blooming in the different seasons. I found that a wonderful help. So Elizabeth you've been there over thirty years many many times. What is your recommendation to enjoy the garden? The most is there a season or time of Day. Or is it just the variety? Well I love may may junior incredible although they tend to get a little more crowded and I also love the late summer early autumn like September. And the first couple of weeks of October because the garden has gone wild to end the."