Monet’s Jerusalem Artichoke Flower Inspired Paper Flowers

Monet’s Jerusalem Artichoke Flower Inspired Paper Flowers

Sarah Yakawonis, 1985 –


Paper Flowers 

Jerusalem Artichoke Flowers

Claude Monet (1840 – 1926)


National Gallery of Art

oil on canvas

When you think of the floral paintings of Claude Monet, one flower comes to mind, water lilies, but Monet also painted this charming arrangement of Jerusalem Artichoke Flowers. Monet was one of the founding Impressionist, was a master of en plein air painting, French for “in the open air,” referring to a painting done outdoors rather than in a studio. While this painting depicts an interior scene, a key aspect of en plein air painting is depicting the transoral quality of the light, rather than a photo-like reproduction of the flowers. This painting does just that. 

While Monet’s Water Lilies were painted at the end of his career, his Jerusalem Artichoke Flowers were painted at it’s beginning. A year after this painting was completed he drew a low ballot number and was drafted into the First Regiment of African Light Cavalry (Chasseurs d’Afrique) in Algeria for a seven-year period of military service. His prosperous father could have purchased Monet’s exemption from conscription but declined to do so when his son refused to give up painting.

If you are just starting to make paper flowers, you might not notice how different the paper I use in my kits are. Traditionally paper flowers are made out of crepe paper or tissue paper. While these papers do make amazing flowers, I have never been satisfied with how flat the colors seem. When tackling such a masterpiece a single color would have never worked. It needs those colors, the petals and leaves need those color shifts that evoke how light changes. The paper in this kit allows all of those details so that they not only make a lovely flower but evokes the work of Monet.

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