In the Gymtime art studio, we highlight the work of famous artists’ to teach our young students the basic elements of art – line, shape, color, texture, form and space.

Springtime and flowers bring to mind the impressionist painter, Claude Monet. He preferred to paint outdoors, capturing colors, light and images from everyday surroundings. Impressionists use color to define their subjects without drawing lines. Monet used short brush strokes and splashes of color to create his images.

Monet was an avid gardener who believed that flowers were great inspirations for his paintings. He settled in the French town of Giverny where he planted gardens with attention to variety in type, color and size of plants. His popular paintings of water lilies came from the water garden he created at Giverny.

Art Activity: Tissue Paper Stain


  • “Bleeding” tissue paper (can be found at art supply stores)
  • Cup of water
  • Paintbrush
  • Heavy paper (such as watercolor paper)



  • Look at paintings of Monet’s gardens in books, on the internet or at the MET or MoMA. Talk about the colors and how these do not look like photos, but rather “impressions” of how the artist sees things.
  • Take a walk in the park to see flowers blooming, or even the array of colors at a florist or front of a bodega!
  • The all over pattern created is reminiscent of Monet’s gardens.


  1. Cut or tear the tissue paper into small pieces, including shades of green.
  2. Lay a piece of tissue onto the white paper and put water on top.
  3. Remove the tissue and see the color left on the paper.
  4. Continue this technique, experimenting with overlapping colors.

Coming Up at the New York Botanical Garden: Monet’s Garden
May 19-October 21

“This stunning tribute to French Impressionist Claude Monet showcases a seasonally changing interpretation of the gardens that inspired his art.  In addition, two rarely seen paintings by the artist – one of which has never been shown in the United States – will be on exhibition, and films, concerts, poetry readings, and hands-on art for kids will provide rich insight into the life and work of this renowned master.”

NY Botanical Garden Calendar of Events Spring-Summer 2012

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