Me and Claude Monet - My Story

My own pencil sketch of Claude Monet aged 50 years
My own pencil sketch of Claude Monet aged 50 years | Source

I have just read a wonderful hub on the impressionist artist Claude Monet written by oceansnsunsets called Claude Monet - His Path To Painting.

I remembered seeing just a few weeks ago in my ‘personal’ box (my box containing years of memories) a project I had written on Claude Monet while I was studying for an ‘A Level’ qualification in Art at college.

I haven’t looked at it for many years, it was written 22 years ago and suddenly I was curious as to what I’d done. As I held my project book in my hands it bought back many emotions and memories of why it was written.

This is my story.


My project on Claude Monet written 22 years ago
My project on Claude Monet written 22 years ago | Source

I found myself sat on a bus, the seat next to me empty. My sister had waved me off, wishing me a good time and here I was just ten minutes later staring out of the window, my eyes threatening to fill with tears, wondering what on earth was I doing here.

I was 37 years of age, going to Paris for the weekend on a bus full of young art students, on the verge of tears. I was like a child away from home for the first time feeling lost and homesick.

The bus made a stop for more students, I looked up and there was a familiar face. Her name was Annabelle she was about 18 years of age and she was from my art course. I liked her and was delighted when she asked if she could sit by me.

Suddenly things were looking a little brighter and we ended up sharing a room at the hotel and spending the weekend together, visiting museums and exploring Paris by metro. I remember especially enjoying visiting the Eiffel Tower, and an evening boat trip on the river Seine.

Sailboats at Argenteuil - my own pastel drawing
Sailboats at Argenteuil - my own pastel drawing | Source

But the whole idea of the weekend was for ‘us’ art students to visit the museums and see the original works of famous artists.

A page from my project
A page from my project | Source

I was a mature student, and had been widowed just a few months before.

Suddenly I had become a single parent with two children to bring up, a mortgage to pay and I had no job or prospects.

Almost immediately I realised that the world doesn’t stop for you to come to terms with bereavement, that to me was like a ‘double whammy’ how can you make important future decisions when your brain isn’t working?

Incredibly within a few weeks of being widowed, I had enrolled for several courses at my local college, I remember almost ‘zombie like’ completing the forms for a ‘Training to go back to work’ course comprising of English, word processing and IT subjects.

But also in my numbed state, I and my wonderful, supportive sister and children decided it would be a good idea, to take a course in something I enjoyed as a ‘distraction’.

I enrolled in a one year ‘A Level’ evening art course. I have always enjoyed drawing and sketching and had taken my ‘O Level’ at school.

My sister bought me an easel, some pastels and sketching pads.

Art turned out to be a lifeline for me.

Here was a world I could create and could escape to.

Photograph taken at Musee L'Orangerie Paris
Photograph taken at Musee L'Orangerie Paris | Source
Photograph taken at Musee L'Orangerie Paris
Photograph taken at Musee L'Orangerie Paris | Source
Photograph taken at Musee L'Orangerie Paris
Photograph taken at Musee L'Orangerie Paris | Source

I remember my first art class, I was nervous. All the other students looked so young and I felt as though I had two heads and didn’t belong on this planet anymore.

This first class was sketching ‘still life’ our teacher placed a large ‘Rubber Plant’ in front of us, I was shaking that much I didn’t think I would be able to hold a pencil less alone sketch!

Several minutes passed and I was engrossed in my work, my teacher was looking over my shoulder, ‘I love what you are doing with that plant’ he said.

What? he loves what ‘I’M’ doing with the plant? Well aren’t I doing the same as everyone else?

I very discreetly looked to the left and right at my neighbours sketching and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I needed to check out more work and went over to the sink and washed my hands I managed to look at about six different sketches - they were so different!

There were big plants, there were small plants, some thin, some fat!

We were all looking at the same plant but we all saw it differently - I felt I had just learnt a valuable lesson - not just about art, but about life!

I have thought about those words many, many times since. At the time they were spoken to me, they ‘lifted’ me from the deep, dark hole I was in, they gave me back some self-esteem and confidence. I’d got a long way to go, but I was moving forward. From that moment on I held my head a little higher.

My own pastel drawing of Impression- Sunrise painted by Claude Monet in 1872
My own pastel drawing of Impression- Sunrise painted by Claude Monet in 1872 | Source

I’m no good with a paintbrush, but I do enjoy pencil sketching and working with pastels and these were the medium I used for most of my work.

For part of our course work, we had to write about an artist who inspired us and I chose the impressionist artist Claude Monet. Looking at my project now it looks so basic compared to what we can produce these days with the help of today’s technology.

I remember spending hours researching through books, whereby today we would just ‘Google’ our subject!

My own pastel drawing of The Cloud painted by Claude Monet in 1903
My own pastel drawing of The Cloud painted by Claude Monet in 1903 | Source

I have always been in awe of the magnificent paintings Claude Monet produced especially his reflections of the Lily ponds and my project focused on ‘reflections

It was therefore an incredible experience to actually see some of his work in the Paris museums. Some of his paintings were 14 foot wide - they were breathtaking to see.

When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have in front of you, a tree, a field. Merely think, here is a little square of blue, here is an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact colour and shape until it gives you your own naïve impression of the scene’ Claude Monet

These words have inspired me not only in art but also in photography.

It’s never to late in life to learn, or change direction. I was surprised to learn that colleges welcome mature students. Here is an opportunity to learn something new, or further your knowledge in a subject you enjoy.

I achieved my A Level art qualification and was so proud of myself!

My ‘training to go back to work’ course opened up a whole new career for me in banking, I worked in this industry for nearly 17 years.

My own pastel drawing
My own pastel drawing | Source
My own pastel drawing
My own pastel drawing | Source
My own pastel drawing
My own pastel drawing | Source

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Comments 126 comments

sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago

Wow! what a story! Just a word of appreciation can change someone's world, the power of words. A great testimony and beautiful pastel drawings. Love them. Have a wonderful day! God Bless!


Sunnie Day 4 years ago

Dear Lesley you are such a gifted talent. Thank you for sharing your story and the beautiful pictures. It reminded me of when I started nursing school at the age of 31 with all the young ones in my class. You are an inspiration!

Hugs,

Sunnie


Cosmic Bus profile image

Cosmic Bus 4 years ago from Maryland

Very interesting !thanks for sharing. I am a 40 something looking at returning to school and studying art as well. Voted up!


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

I love your story.. so awesome.. I am book marking this so I can read it over and over. I am so glad you saved your this for 22 years.

thank you for sharing

Voted way up

Debbie


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

.....well I come to you today through our mutual friend Kim (Sunnie Day) via our new group at FB - LET'S JUST TALK MUSIC OR CINEMA where your magnificent art and this wonderful hub was posted - and I am here to extend an invitation to my new group which I created and in the last two weeks we have gained 108 members and we are having a lot of fun - my name is Colin Stewart at Facebook with the same profile photo and on my homepage is the group title in order to click for the link - I sincerely hope you can join us - it would be a thrill to have you here with us - lake erie time 11:09am and sending you warm wishes and good energy


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

What a great story, seems that 1990 was just 5 yrs ago. Madonna and express yourself. This is s wonderful time traveling experience. I noticed the typewriter, probably electric? The pics show that time has untouched your art. Lovely shoes and fruits. I always wondered, why Modernism in painting has this surreal kind of experience?

LORD


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

This is such an inspiring story of how you were able to rise from the ashes - to remake yourself. It is a story that can give everyone hope and inspiration. Your artwork is very impressive. Thanks for sharing this story.


LABrashear profile image

LABrashear 4 years ago from My Perfect Place, USA

Beautiful! I love Monet and you did him justice in your "impressions" of his work. You are very talented. I hope you continue with your art as well as your writing. By the way, I too visited from FB - LET'S JUST TALK MUSIC OR CINEMA. Voted up and sharing.


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 4 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

Mum, I'm so happy that you chose to write a hub about this! It seems like a lifetime ago but this has brought back so many memories. As I read back through your story I smiled and cried, remembering the strength that you had as you picked yourself up and went on to do something brilliant. I'd forgotten just how GREAT your artwork was!!!! You did an amazing job, and I am really happy that you kept your projects and shared them here. So very proud of you :) x


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Lesley. I think you have been holding out on us. You are a talented writer, a spectacular photographer and now you have added Artist Extraordinaire, to your long list of accomplishments. It is always a pleasure to read your hubs as you share continued glimpses of your beautiful soul.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

What an inspiring story. Your art work is beautiful and your sister's support when you were first widowed tugged at my heartstrings.

It's wonderful that you're now able to use your artistic talents in your photography and share those skills with us on Hub Pages.

You seem to find so much meaning and beauty in the simple things of life and I always come away from your hubs feeling uplifted.

Voted up across the board except for funny.

The High Heel pastel drawing is awesome!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

If your teacher could only know what he gave you with just a few words of encouragement. I loved your story, your courage. You are an inspiration. Is it ok for me to be just a little bit envious of your sketching skill? HaHa..My Sister Eva has that skill too. Thank you so much for sharing your story..Best Wishes....


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi sofs, it's surprising the impact a few words can make...

Many thanks for your comments, they are much appreciated, best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi sunnie, yes being in a class of youngsters was really intimidating initially!! but eventually I loved their company:-)

Thank you so much for your lovely comments, take care Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Cosmic bus, it's nice to meet you.

I hope you enjoy returning to school and your art class, I wish you all the best with it - enjoy!

Many thanks for your comments and votes, Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Debbie, the project was looking a bit tatty but I am so pleased I kept it.

Thank you for your lovely comments and votes, best wishes Lesley


stessily 4 years ago

Lesley, Your journey with Claude Monet's art is heart-warming for me, as he is one of my favourite artists, especially his water lily series. Rebuilding your life through your own efforts and through encouragement and support of others, especially your sister, is inspirational.

Your trip to Paris reminded me of a visit to the Louvre, where art students were set up to learn from the masters by striving to make replicas or by creating variations of the magnificent artwork there. Each room held a multitude of discoveries for me, both from the paintings and sculpture in the collection and from the students' renditions.

Your sensitivity to and appreciation of nature are conveyed through your drawings. I especially like the Owl and the Citrus Fruits pastels which you made.

Thank you for sharing.

Kind regards, Stessily


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi epi, it's good to see you, I will pop over to facebook later, many thanks for the invite and to sunnie day for posting the link to my hub.

Take care and see you soon, Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello lord de Cross, it's hard to believe this all happened 22 years ago and Madonna was top of the charts!

The whole project looks 'antiquated' yes it was typed on an electric typewriter and all the research through books, very time consuming I remember!

Many thanks for stopping by and your comments, they are much appreciated.

Best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Cindy, I hope my story will inspire and give others courage to learn something new or change direction, especially those that have experienced bereavement, to pick up the pieces and gradually move forward.

Many thanks for your comments, best wishes Lesley


Hayley Richardson profile image

Hayley Richardson 4 years ago from London, UK

These are beautiful pictures and it's a lovely hub. Voted up!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi LABrashear, thank you for your very kind comments! I would love to visit Giverney one day, it's on my 'to do' list!!

I must come and visit FB - LET'S JUST TALK MUSIC OR CINEMA. I will see you there and many thanks for your votes and sharing, it's much appreciated, best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Cloverleaf, as I held the book in my hands so many memories came flooding back, can you believe that was 22 years ago?

You, Richard and Jackie were so wonderful and supportive, I love you dearly x


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Mike, you say the most wonderful things - your words have great impact and fill me with joy, in fact you remind me of my art teacher....

Many, many thanks, Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Gail, my sister was quite incredible, she was the wind beneath my wings....

Your visits and comments mean so much to me, thank you for your continued support and votes.

Take care and best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Ruby, I turned a corner with my art teacher's words - little did he know the impact of what he'd said!

Thank you for your fabulous comments, they mean a lot to me!

Take care Lesley


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

Hi Lesley,

Interesting story of your life. You are a strong and talented woman. Your sketches are so beautiful. You should probably also sell them over ebay.

I wish you loads of more success and joy, my friend!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Stessily, Claude Monet's water lily series is amazing, I hope to visit and experience Giverney one day, that would be so awesome!

We visited the Louvre, yes it is a very special place, I could have quite happily spent days there!

Thank you for your wonderful comments, take care and best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Hayley, thank you for stopping by and your very kind comments, it's much appreciated.

Best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Ruchira, thank you for visiting and your lovely complimentary comments! You are very kind and it's much appreciated.

Best wishes my friend, Lesley


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love art very much and I really enjoy your Claude Monet story. I love your pencil sketching as well. All your works are beautiful. Very inspiring hub, Lesley. You got my vote again and press all buttons here, except funny. Have a good day!

Prasetio


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I enjoyed your hub story and the pictures. Your designs are also very creative and reflect artistic talent.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

Wow Movie Master, what a Treasure this Hub of yours was to read. I Loved the Pictures, he was such a Talented Artist...And your pictures were Pretty Impressive too... lots of Talent there my Friend. I'd Vote this one UP!


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

You are indeed a lady of many talents! I've always loved your photography; now I know you are an artist, too. voted this UP, etc.etc.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

I really enjoyed your art here. Very nice hub.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

What an awesome and inspiring story Lesley.

I love your artwork, now we know why you have such a good eye for photography.

Voting up across the board.


Kamalesh050 profile image

Kamalesh050 4 years ago from Sahaganj, Dist. Hooghly, West Bengal, India

Hello Lesley, I have very much enjoyed your story which is so inspiring. It's Awesome and I have liked your beautiful art. You are a lady of so much talents my dear! Keep up your good work.

Very Best Wishes to you. Take care. :)


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi prasetio, I'm so pleased you enjoyed my story and thank you for your very complimentary comments and votes, enjoy your week and see you soon.

Best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi teaches12345, thank you for stopping by and your lovely comments, they mean a lot to me.

Have a wonderful day, best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi b.Malin, yes Claude Monet was an incredible artist, his work inspirational, the large lily paintings I saw in the museums were breathtaking!

Thank you for your fabulous comments and votes, have a good week, best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Mary, you are so kind thank you, I shall be smiling all day:-)

Take care and see you soon, best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi SweetiePie, thank you for stopping by and your comments, they are much appreciated, best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Rosemay, how are you, I hope your RSI has improved.

Thank you for your wonderful comments and votes, they mean a great deal to me, take care and see you soon, Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Kamalesh, thank you my dear friend for your very kind comments, glad you enjoyed my story.

Take care, have a good week and I will see you soon, best wishes Lesley


bell du jour profile image

bell du jour 4 years ago from Ireland

Hi Lesley thank you for sharing your lovely story and pictures. Your art work is beautiful, Monet has always been my favourite artist. My Dad has always enjoyed painting and has copied some of Monets work for me and I treasure it.

Noreen


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Noreen, how wonderful that your Dad has copied some of Monet's work for you, they must be so precious to you.

Thank you for visiting and your comments, they are much appreciated, best wishes Lesley


DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 4 years ago from USA

Your pastels are incredible - especially the one of the red high heels! Monet is one of my favorite impressionist artists and you have captured the heart of his style, tone and mood. How awesome that you have actually been to France and seen his paintings:) Voted up.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

What a beautiful story. And your artwork is exquisite. Monet is a favorite artist of mine and now you are too!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Lesley - you are a lady of many hidden and awesome talents! I really was moved by your story and how after being widowed you enrolled in lots of courses - I've heard of a number of people doing this and it does seem to be therapeutic, I think the art class more than anything. You seem to have a wonderful sister and kids! What would we do if we didn't have family with us through the toughest times in life?

Now to your art - stunning and beautiful! If there is one thing I always wanted to be able to do was to draw, sketch, paint, whatever - but I'm totally useless at it. But this doesn't stop me from appreciating the talent that others have - and boy, you do have talent! I loved all your work, but the two that captivated me most of all was the 'Sail Boats' and 'The Owl' - these are beautiful pieces of work and you should be proud of being able to produce this stunning art work.

I loved this hub totally! Voted up awesome + beautiful + bookmarked as a favourite!

Ps - meant to mention that Monet is one of my favourite artists - for me he evokes so many emotions and memories.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia

MM, up and all across but funny. What a great story my dear friend. You are quite the artist. I am sure your love for nature and art make great pieces:) These are beautiful. You are so creative my friend and it is always a pleasure to view your photos and art Lesley. Another great article.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Hello Movie Master, Congratulations on reaching your A level qualification in art! From looking at your art you share here, I can see why!

Thank you for mentioning my own piece, that was thoughtful and I want to put a link to this hub in my Monet hub as well if yo don't mind. This is very special and amazing, and I think it should be shared.

I think your story is special, and will be something that other's can somewhat relate to. How wonderful that art became such a part of your life, and that you could travel and study when you did, how you did. It did seem like a lifeline indeed. I am a true lover of art, I can't ever seem to get enough of it.

Your Impression Sunrise and The Cloud, and the Owl, etc, are simply amazing. Sailboats at Argenteuil just amazes me too, they all do! You have great talent, and I loved your story. Thanks for sharing, and I voted up,and across the board except for funny. Lovely hub. :)


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Donna, although at the time the trip to Paris was very daunting it was an incredible experience to see Monet's work, standing next to Monet's Lily paintings 14ft wide was quite surreal!

Thank you for your lovely comments and votes, best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Hyphenbird, thank you for visiting and your very kind comments, they are much appreciated, best wishes and take care Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi seeker7, my sister and children were so supportive, they gave me the strength and courage to do things I thought impossible...

Thank you for your very complimentary comments on my art work!

So Monet is one of your favourite artists too! I notice you visited oceansunsets hub, what an amazing article, brilliant writing on a wonderful artist.

Many, many thanks for your comments and votes.

Best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Ricky, thank you for the compliments and the votes. Your visits, continued support and friendship are much appreciated, take care and see you soon, Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi oceansnsunsets, I thoroughly enjoyed your hub 'His path to painting' so thank you, because it inspired me to write this!

I was so proud of achieving that 'A' level qualification, it just goes to show it's never too late to have a go!!

I love all Monet's Lily paintings and 'Sailboats at Argenteuil' is my favourite 'reflection' painting.

Many thanks for your comments, votes and adding my link.

Take care, best wishes and see you soon, Lesley


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Lesley, I am so glad it was an inspiration to you. You are an inspiration to me as well, and I hope to write more on Monet in the future, and I have some ideas that have been brewing for some time. I always liked Monet, but it was my husband that really liked him even more. This caused me to look more deeply into Monet and learn about his past, etc. I just love his work.

I truly enjoyed seeing what you have done and what you learned. Take care, and best wishes to you also! I will be seeing you :) Paula


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago

I always admire your photography skills, didn't know you can paint so well too. Love the one on the owl (i believe) and what a story of your life. I remember taking "A" levels too. Singapore has such a British influence. Enjoyed reading this and your art work is simply spectacular. Rated up.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Paula, it seems we have quite a bit in common, I am a big fan of your photography!

I look foward to your next Monet hub and thank you again for your lovely comments, I'm so pleased you enjoyed my hub.

Best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi anginwu, I'm so pleased you have enjoyed reading and thank you for your kind comments regarding my pictures. My 'A' Level qualification is definitely one of my best achivements!!

Many thanks for your votes, take care and see you soon, Lesley


SanneL profile image

SanneL 4 years ago from Sweden

So wonderful to get a glimpse of your life, and take part of a very emotional and important turning point in your life. Lesley, you have so many talents. And by looking at your work, either it's writing, photography or art you do it so well! This story shows once more - Giving someone few words of encouragement, could make a huge positive impact in that persons life! I have always loved Monet and your impressions of his art was just spectacular and very impressive. Thank you Lesley for sharing this beautiful hub with us!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello SanneL, after 22 years I still think about my art teachers words, little did he know what an impact they had on me! I was feeling so insecure and lacking in confidence, they gave me a real boost!

Thank you for your very kind comments, they too have given me a boost!!

Best wishes, take care and thank you again, Lesley


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Loved your hub - packed full of important life lessons. It's interesting what just a little encouragement can do when someone is struggling with difficult things. Please accept my belated condolences on the loss of your spouse.

Your art project was a masterpiece! I remember those days of college well; researching all that info in the library, using those old copiers. Different than today when everything is so accessible.


itakins profile image

itakins 4 years ago from Irl

What a wonderfully inspiring hub-thoroughly enjoyed it -well done to you.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Peg, thank you for your very kind comments.

Yes, twenty years ago it was hard work and time consuming doing the research to produce a project, I remember those 'copiers'!! a whole lot different to today! Looking at my project I thought it looked so 'basic' but it was packed full of special memories!

Take care, best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi itakins, it's nice to meet you, I'm so pleased you enjoyed reading, thank you for your comments, best wishes Lesley


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain

That pencil sketch of Monet is fabulous. Wow! You sure have a gift. I thought your gift was the lovely way you write, but it seems you are twice blessed.

Wonderful hub.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Dim, thank you for your wonderful kind comments, they mean a great deal to me.

Take care and best wishes Lesley


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

Sorry about your early loss. Art was the perfect thing to guide you through the grief. Nice hub. Ann Davis


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Ann, thank you for visiting and your very kind comments, they are much appreciated.

Enjoy your day, best wishes Lesley


Reves-diary profile image

Reves-diary 4 years ago from Dhaka

Wow! I loved it completely and feeling quite inspired. hopefully it is never late for anything. Lovely images! :) Congratulations and good wished to you.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Reves-diary, thank you for visiting and your comments, that's great to hear I have inspired you!

Enjoy your weekend, take care and best wishes Lesley


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

What a wonderful story. I love all of your pastel drawings and I so envy people that can draw or paint. You have so many artistic abilities with your writing, photography and art work. You shine on all levels.

Up +++


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Susan, thank you for stopping by and your very complimentary comments that have made my day!

Best wishes Lesley


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Lesley,

I don't have an artistic bone in my body, yet I very much appreciate something as passionate and beautiful as the work of Claude Monet. I remember standing in the Philadelphia Museum of Art with tears just streaming down my face at the sight of his work. It was hard to tear myself away from the majesty of it all.

I am so grateful that you were afforded this opportunity in your healing process. What a turning point for you/ what a lifelong impact/ what a boost of confidence to bring out the talents and blessings you had inside you all along, inspired through Monet and this amazing instructor. Age has absolutely nothing to do with our capacity for growth and learning; what a testament you are to this.

I ADORE your red high heels piece... what a symbol of freedom and independence. You are amazing! UP & ABI.

Love, Maria


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Mar, I must admit looking at Monet's work in the museums, I too was filled with emotion, he was an incredible artist.

Many thanks for your fabulous comments, they mean a lot to me and are much appreciated.

See you soon and good luck with the 30/30!

Love Lesley


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Dear Lesley,

You are an amazing woman in so many ways! Being widowed at that young age must have been devastating and yet you not only persevered for the sake of your family...and especially with the help of your sister...but excelled in so many ways, as is evident with what you share with us on HubPages. Your talents are obvious but it is your spirit that shines through this electronic medium that makes me happy every time I see one of your comments or read another one of your hubs.

Here is to a wonderful artist, photographer, writer and all around good person! Up votes and sharing this hub.


onlooker 4 years ago

Thank you, for the wonderful hub Lesley. You're truly inspiring and your pastel drawings are beautiful. I've learned a lesson here, life and its uncertainties i shall face them..thank you.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

SHAME! I echo Mckbirdbks sentiments, you've been holding out Leslie! I wouldn't be surprised if you had your own studio.

Beautiful story. We all knew your were special, and now our feelings and thoughts have been validated. Please, no more holding out on us; share ALL your tales with us.

SHAME!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Peggy, thank you for your wonderful comments, it's taken me longer to reply than to write the hub!

I'm struggling to find the words to express how much I appreciate your very kind comments - they mean so much to me thank you.

Best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello onlooker, thank you for visiting and your comments they are much appreciated, take care and best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi A.A.Zavala, your comments made me laugh - own studio....

Thank you for your very kind and encouraging comments, maybe there will be some more tales!

Take care and best wishes Lesley


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Lesley,

This is such a feel good and inspirational hub.

I am in awe of your talent. Your pastel drawings are spectacular.

Voted up and away!

Best wishes

Sue


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Sue, I hope all is well with you my friend, thank you for visiting and your very complimentary comments.

Have a wonderful weekend, best wishes Lesley


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

Thanks Lesley for bringing us through your journey. Your sketching is amazing. I so wish I could do that. What a wonderful thing that you went to school during a hard time. It sounds like it was beneficial and healing for you. Your very talented.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Minnetonka Twin, thank you for visiting and your lovely comments they are very much appreciated.

Although it was tough at the time and I had to push myself, I had a real feeling of accomplishment!

Take care and best wishes Lesley


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Lesley, I really, really enjoyed this hub. You were able to use this 'distraction' course of yours to change your life in such a positive way and you also discovered a talent that you needed to express.

I love your own pastels and drawings, I love the citrus fruits one and the high heels pastels drawing, wow, the colours are great and your Monet pastiche work is just lovely.

A really interesting hub, thanks so much for sharing.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Jools, thank you for reading and your lovely comments, they are very much appreciated.

The art and Claude Monet certainly helped me in many ways.

Thank you again, take care and see you soon, Lesley


stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Wonderful sketches, and drawings. You are really gifted. Your work is perfect. I am very sorry for the loss of your husband, and you have done so well adapting to your challenges. God Bless You , and your children precious heart.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi stars, thank you for reading my story and your very kind comments that are much appreciated, best wishes to you and your family, Lesley


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I do not know much about the impressionist artist Claude Monet. In your article you etch a nice impression in my mind. Your drawings are amazing.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Vinaya, Monet has always inspired me with his use of colour and light, his reflection paintings are incredible.

Thank you for your comments, they are much appreciated, best wishes Lesley


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Hi Lesley ~ I am so glad I read this inspiring piece. I am at a place in my life that I need to keep reminding myself that it is never too late to change directions. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your beautiful artwork as well.

Sharyn


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Sharyn, thank you so much for reading and your lovely comments. It really is never too late to change direction, I wish you all the very best in any new venture you may take - my best wishes and hugs Lesley


mollymeadows profile image

mollymeadows 4 years ago from The Shire

MM, this is lovely. I'm sorry for your loss. You chose to cope with it in such a life-affirming way.

I'm glad that you rediscovered your love of art...you're good! I was an art minor in college and haven't picked up a brush in years. But you may have messed me up :-)

You go, girl!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Molly, your comments made me smile - that would be great if I have inspired you to pick up a brush!!

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments, take care and see you soon, Lesley


Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 4 years ago from Australia

Lesley, I am sorry, I am not sure where I have been to miss this beautiful story of your courage and of embracing your passion for art and growing from it.

I am so very sorry to hear of your loss and what you have been through. I feel your daughters powerful pride in you and am so encouraged by your strentgh and personal growth. Your work brings joy to so many here and your photography continues to inspire me over and over and over again.

12 years ago my marriage of 22 years crumbled. I also started a visual arts course. I began to find a self connection more powerful than I had ever known before. Why am I sharing this, well the difference is I gave up. After 18 months and with only 6 months to go, I gave up because I didn't think I was good enough. I still suffer from self doubt, though I am just starting to bring some of my work from that time out from hiding. This is because of the encouragement and inspiration I find in you and others here.

Your story is so inspiring and I have so much respect for you. Thank you for sharing this.

My best wishes from Annie. (PS, I share your love for Monet, how awesome is his work!)


Charlotte B Plum profile image

Charlotte B Plum 4 years ago

This is definitely a story that inspires and gives others strength. I wish I could draw like you - it's really beautiful, I'm so glad I got to see some of your work! =)


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Annie, we do have so much in common - even the stupid 'self doubt' thing!!

What a shame you gave up the art course, it's never to late to take up again, I hope you do.

Yes I totally agree Monet's work is awesome!

Thank you my dear friend, Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Charlotte, thank you for reading and your lovely comments, they are much appreciated!

Take care and best wishes Lesley


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

You said you were not good with a paintbrush...not true at all!! My favorite two Lesley P. pastel works were of the citis and the red high heels! I am impressed!

You should be proud of yourself!

Great idea for a hub and great story! Voted up!!!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi audra, thank you for reading, I'm so glad you enjoyed it and thank you for your great complimentary comments and votes!

Have a wonderful day and take care, Lesley


old albion profile image

old albion 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

Hello Movie Master. Absolutely brilliant hub. I am so glad that you have found such inspiration. You have passed it on beautifully. Well done. Voted up.

Graham.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Graham, thank you for visiting, your wonderful comments and votes, they are much appreciated.

Best wishes Lesley


Sonya L Morley profile image

Sonya L Morley 4 years ago from Edinburgh

What a lovely article, and the art work compliments it so well! I really enjoyed reading it and am glad you found such a creative outlet to help you, I'm always amazed at the way art can heal. Voting up.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Sonya, thank you for visiting and your lovely comments and votes.

Art was certainly a great outlet for me - I'm so your pleased you enjoyed reading.

Best wishes Lesley


Suelynn profile image

Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

Dear Lesley

I loved reading this hub and what wonderful art you produced - love it! I have always been a fan of the Impressionists. As I read your story, it completely echoed the experiences I had, although I was older than you were when I went back to study. Sometimes I question my choices because I have always loved the arts and participated in so many of them growing up. I know the emotions of which you speak intimately. Thank you for a wonderful hub. Voting across the board! xx


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Sue, I am sorry to hear you have experienced these emotions - it seems we have a great deal in common....

I'm so pleased to have met you and I look forward to your company here on hubpages, I am especially looking forward to hearing about your experiences when you move to Canada!

Thank you for your comments and votes, see you soon take care and best wishes Lesley


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Wow! Look at your talent! I had no idea. Up and awesome!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Will, thank you for making my day!

Take care and best wishes Lesley


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

I am truly in awe. Rarely have seen such wonderful creativity and artistic skills combined with the ability to share a personal story. That too with depth, emotion and redemption and then to put them together and sharing them in a hub like this... Take a bow, Movie Master, this is one of the best hubs hereabouts I have seen for a while.

I keep looking at those wonderful pastels ( my favorite medium) reading your personal journey in getting an art degree and my spirit lifts. That's the sign of a good article- it lifts spirits and makes me glad of being human and be able to appreciate such beauty and courage. voted up up and away!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

A comment floated to my email basket, which brought me back to revisit this hub. It soars in every way.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Docmo, Thank you for stopping by and leaving such complimentary and thoughtful comments, you are very kind - they are much appreciated.

Take care and best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Mike, thank you for revisiting - it's always good to see you!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

Lesley: Your artwork is beautiful and amazing. I can't believe how talented you are and your talents know no boundaries. What a wonderful story you have written here also. I took some drawing/sketching lessons at our Cleveland Museum of Art, but I am nowhere as good as you are. Arent you so glad you took that course at that time in your life?


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi suzette, yes I am! taking the artcourse was the best thing I could have possibly done, it boosted my confidence and I realised my love for art again!

Thank you so much for your lovely comments, they are very much appreciated, best wishes Lesley


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

Wow I picked the right hub to contemplate in awe! Those photographs taken at Musee L'Orangerie in Paris took me back to the 1880's. Claude Monet was a genius in his own right. Your pastels and your drawings make me want to start drawing myself. Dad would draw with not much schooling and I guess I inherited some of his art. Wow! Lesley I didn't know you widowed so young. The support of your family was key. I know you have many anecdotes from your 17 years inside a bank and that safe. Thanks Movie Master!


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

This is absolutely beautiful and I can't imagine the courage it took for you to get on that bus. Your sketches are lovely and so well done. You're right, it's never too late to learn or change direction. Thank you for an awesome and beautiful hub!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi lord, I agree Claude Monet was a genius - his work has always been an inspiration to me, in drawing and also photography, especially his work and love for reflections.

Yes my family has always been my support system - thank you so much for your comments, take care and best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Glimmer Twin Fan, yes it took a lot of courage to get on that bus and when I think about it now, I just can't believe I did it!!

Thank you for your comments, they are much appreciated, best wishes Lesley


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

Lovely drawings. I love using pastels too. I mainly prefer oil pastels, but those look to me like soft pastel drawings?

Your story is lovely too, so great that what the tutor said helped you see the value in your drawing, and boosted your confidence. I liked what you wrote about how we all see differently. I used to teach art years ago, and often told the kids that we draw with our eyes as much as with our hands. Looking is so important - in art and in life.

Wow, this is such a thought-provoking hub!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Melovy, yes they were soft pastels.

My tutor was great, he filled me with confidence, I never forgot his words!

We draw with our eyes as much as our hands, how true!

Thank you so much for your comments, take care and best wishes Lesley


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

So glad I found this. Sorry for your lose even if it was so long ago, but pleased you got on so beautifully with your life. We really don't know what life will hand us. I went to college as an older adult too and three years ago I would have laughed at anyone saying I would be writing poetry and so involved here. I came here screaming about things that enraged me and now all the rage is gone. (Well most of it, lol)

Thank you for sharing. Love your artwork. I will share this too.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Wow Lesley--these are gorgeous! I think you have discovered a whole other way to express yourself--sharing!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Jackie, I agree, we just don't know what lies ahead in life......

I was so pleased to hear that you too went to college as an adult student! your poetry is a delight to read and I wish you every success for the future as a writer.

Your comments are much appreciated, thank you Jackie, take care and best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Audrey, thank you for visiting, your comments and for sharing.

It's much appreciated, enjoy your day best wishes Lesley

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