Inspired by Monet – Junior Critics Forum

Students from St Theresa's Primary School enjoying the exhibition Monet's Garden: The Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris

Thousands of Victorian primary and secondary school students are among NGV visitors excited by the current Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition Monet’s Garden: The Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris.


In programs at the Gallery, and in classrooms around the state, Monet’s work is inspiring insightful discussions and writing, and some very creative art making projects.


After visiting the exhibition, a group of Grade 5 students sat down in the Great Hall of the NGV and reflected on what they had seen.  Alexandra wrote ‘I love the way Monet uses different layers.  The way he will paint the tree fifty different shades of green instead of two.  I also like the way he makes the strokes bold and easily seen’.  Her friend Tara ‘noticed that Claude Monet paintings tend to vary from ocean landscapes to willow trees…but I observed that the majority of Monet’s paintings show that he is thoroughly obsessed with water.  I also love the way he layers his paintings up and uses many different tones and shades’.   Evie commented that even though she sometimes gets ‘slightly bored’ on excursions ‘Monet makes me want to stay for hours and hours.  I don’t want to leave’.


How have your students responded to Monet’s Garden?   What did they learn about Monet from the exhibition?  Was there something about Monet’s work that surprised them?  Did your students have a favourite work, and what was it that appealed to them about this work?


Be part of the Inspired by Monet – Junior Critics forum by sharing your student’s responses in the comments box below.  Responses from students of all year levels, and up to 250 words per student, are welcome.


Please tell us the first name and year level of each student whose writing is sent in, and the school.  Please also let your students know that you are submitting their work for publication. Individual students are also welcome to submit their responses.


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14 Responses to Inspired by Monet – Junior Critics Forum

  1. Tara says:

    Yr 11 Strathcona BGGS
    Houses of Parliament, reflections on the Thames 1905
    Claude Monet

    The exhibition Monet’s Garden at the NGV is absolutely stunning. Surrounded by Monet’s paintings, one is given an individual insight to Monet’s life experiences, personality, and his point of view. It is easy to get caught up in the wonderful atmosphere and closely experience Monet’s life and love for his garden.

    The painting, Houses of Parliament, reflections on the Thames 1905, painted on one of Monet’s visits to London, immediately draws and impresses with its bold colour, texture and shapes which combine into a striking atmosphere. The dramatic, soft, intense and scenic mood of this painting is wonderfully awe inspiring.

    Monet contrasts the bold building with the choppy, reflective surface of the River Thames and the fluffy, cloudy backdrop. He creates a strong impression of the building through the bold colours and shapes – which help place us in the scene, feeling the enormity of the structure. The harmonious colours in the painting bring a sense of unity. The short and dappled horizontal strokes effectively create the impression of the reflective surface of the water. This contrasts with the subtle, curvy strokes that create the texture of the cloudy sky. The contrasting textures of the different parts of nature equally bring out each other’s beauty, and complement the solid structure of the parliament buildings, presenting to us a symbol of how the beauty of nature can so well complement the man-made. Monet creates a unique and expressive view of nature and buildings in harmony.

  2. Dexter says:

    Dexter, Yr 8, Billanook College

    An arm of the Seine at Giverny (1885)

    In his painting An arm of the Seine at Giverny (1885) Monet uses similar shades of blue, green, purple and white to reproduce the reflection of the clouds, trees and boat on the water. The light, wispy brushstrokes make the point where the water meets the land seem to blur together. The use of cool colours in the painting gives it a relaxed, calming feeling. The painting has a very natural look due to the absence of any sharp, flat surfaces. The way Monet has painted the sky, trees and river coming together on the left side of the painting draws your eyes to the boat. The darker tones of the overhanging branches give a feeling of coolness. The way the brushstrokes are painted in the same direction creates a feeling of unity. The heavier brushstrokes that represent the fallen leaves make the water look much more solid than the trees and sky above – which are painted with delicate little flicks of the brush. The work is painted in a way that gives less emphasis to shape and more to the colours that are being used. Monet’s work is an interesting painting which shows how colour can be used to define an object, rather than shape.

    • Deb Strudwick says:

      Dexter you have chosen one of my favourite of Monet’s works to refect on. Your colourful,and sensitive response to his work brought back memories of my visit to Giverny and stay on the Seine, very near his garden. Thank you for painting a picture with words and sharing it with others. You have a gift for descriptive writing.

  3. Dominic says:

    I feel relaxed when I look at the bright paintings. The warm coloured paint makes me feel calm, as if I was in the painting relaxing in warm sunshine.
    Dominic, Year 6, Resurrection Primary School

  4. Tina says:

    Monet’s art works are just amazing! The brushstrokes and shades of colour he uses explain the whole picture. He uses yellow and orange to make me feel happy, or darker colours to make me feel dull and empty. I love the way he portrays water – it’s just remarkable! One of my favourite paintings is ‘The Japanese Bridge’. The painting evokes the feeling of freedom. Monet’s art works are truly amazing.
    Tina, Year 6, Resurrection Primary School

  5. Ezri says:

    Monet’s paintings are truly inspiring for me. I love how when I look at his work, I get all different ideas and different ideas about each painting. I love how although not all paintings are clear or as bright as others, I will always get some sort of emotion inside me.
    Clear blue
    Trickling, flowing, drifting
    It soothes and calms me
    Ezri, Year 6, Resurrection Primary School

  6. Olivia says:

    I feel like Monet moves me to another time and place. The way he uses brushstrokes and colour makes me feel a certain way. In the painting ‘The Japanese Bridge’ I feel warm and restful. His paintings were, and always will be, wonderful works of art.
    Green lush
    Swishing, rustling, moving
    Calm like a still lake
    Olivia, Year 6, Resurrection Primary School

  7. John says:

    Monet’s paintings make me feel different emotions depending on the painting.
    John, Year 5, Resurrection Primary School

  8. Abuk says:

    Monet’s paintings are classically beautiful work. He gives me the impression like no other. His is an inspiring artist.
    Pretty pink
    Open bloom display
    Floats serenely on water
    Abuk, Year 6, Resurrection Primary School

  9. Camille says:

    Monet uses a style of painting that makes me feel warm inside. All his art is picturesque and serene because of the way he uses different strokes and shades to make me feel a certain way. Monet’s garden impressions are fresh and crisp and make me feel refreshed. When I see dull colours from one of his masterpieces, I feel miserable and cold.
    Camille, Year 6, Resurrection Primary School

  10. Stephanie says:

    I admire Monet as an artist because of the emotion I feel when I look into his work. They stimulate my mind an send me deep into throught. He has a great range of colour and depth in most of his paintings. I especially enjoyed the series of garden paintings that Monet created at his own home.
    Stephanie, Year 6, Resurrection Primary School

  11. Kenny says:

    I love Monet’s paintings. Each of his paintings evokes an emotion in me, and makes me feel like I’m there. Even though he doesn’t use fine detail, I always get an impression of that place he paints.
    Dimming, fading
    Darken dying goes
    I watch it leave
    Kenny, Year 6, Resurrection Primary School

  12. Amanda says:

    Monet is more than a good artist. The way he places every brushstroke and his use of cold and warm colours gives me a range of emotions. His remarkable masterpieces are a true honour to France.
    Amanda, Year 6, Resurrection Primary School

  13. Ashol says:

    I love the way Monet makes different impressions of the water in his paintings, but in others he leaves mystery. Each piece of art is unique, even though most have water in them. The way he does his brushstrokes and uses dots of colours changes the whole image.
    Ashol, Year 6, Resurrection Primary School