Tag Archives: Lucy Clements

Walking with Claude

“Walking with Claude”
a drawing in oil pastels and coloured pencils of Monet’s house and garden in autumn.
320 x 400 mm. February 2018.

Does the spirit of Claude Monet walk in his garden?  He said his garden was his greatest masterpiece – so perhaps he lingers within its borders.  But all the tourists might drive him mad!  He (like many artists) used to be infuriated by the interruptions of curious people.

I like to think he may come and go – leaving when it is busy and returning when all is quiet.  The garden was nearly empty of people in late autumn of 2012 when I was there.

Who knows?  Perhaps we walked side by side sharing in silence our solitude.

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On a former occasion, in 2005, I visited Giverny with my family.  Here I hand the page over to Matthew to introduce his song “Walking with Claude“…

Matthew, Emily, Lucy and Alicia on the Japanese bridge in Monet’s garden. August 2005. Photo by Julie

Walking with Claude  by Matthew Clements

“In the summer of 2005 we spent time in Monet’s garden.  It was during one of our last family holidays before Emily, Alicia and Lucy sprouted their own wings.

I wanted to write a song which somehow captured the artist in his idyll.  My mother, Barbara, was a gifted gardener.  I thought how she would have loved Monet’s garden but her advancing age made it unlikely she could ever make the journey.  In fact, she never visited Europe during her life.  So the song became my description to her of his wonderful garden.

By the time I wrote the song a year later, my own impending kidney failure somehow impacted the spirit of the song as I compared my mother’s mortality with my own.

The brilliant Perth guitarist and singer-songwriter Simon Nield, already with well advanced cancer that would soon take his life, found his own meaning in the lyric and recorded me singing it in his studio in 2007.  He then overlaid some of his own gorgeous guitar.  Thank you Simon!”

 

“Day Trip to Giverny”
Drawn in January 2018

 

Ephemeron and Ephemera

Ephemeron A soft-focus drawing of Mameyuri 170 x 260 mm. May 2016.

Ephemeron
A soft-focus drawing of Mameyuri
170 x 260 mm. May 2016.

Ephemera Mameyuri and Katsuyuki 170 x 260 mm May 2016

Ephemera
Mameyuri and Katsuyuki
170 x 260 mm
May 2016

Ephemeron (singular) and Ephemera (plural) mean ‘short-lived’.  The titles refer to the transitory state of being maiko in particular, and to youth and beauty in general.  Both maiko in these two small drawings; Mameyuri and Katsuyuki, have long ago given up this traditional life and are fully back in the modern world.

The photographs which I used as source photos for these drawings were taken by Lucy, my youngest daughter, in 2007 when she was 13 years old.  We joined a photo-shoot in the streets of Gion and decided to hang in there unless somebody told us to go away.  Nobody did so we took many photos of Mameyuri and Katsuyuki.  Lucy can still remember my telling her not to delete ANYTHING off her camera – including blurry photos.

Lucy, aged 13, in 2007. She was my partner-in-crime in Kyoto, helping me to gather photographic material.

Lucy, aged 13, in 2007. She was my partner-in-crime in Kyoto, helping me to gather photographic material.

Below is another drawing I did (in 2010) from the same 2007 photo-shoot.  It is also drawn from one of Lucy’s photos.  We sure had fun together, Lucy and I!

Kyoto a la Mode Coloured pencil drawing of Katsuyuki and Mameyuri.

Kyoto a la Mode
Coloured pencil drawing of Katsuyuki and Mameyuri.  2010.

It seems like just the other day that Lucy and I were photographing in Kyoto together, yet she had barely entered teenage-hood.  Today, a young woman of 22, she is the age of a geiko and is pursuing her own artistic career in Sydney.

The two little drawings side by side.

The two little drawings side by side.

Related page:  An Exceptional Day in Gion

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