“I Must Have Flowers”

My husband and I have recently planted a lot of flowers. Some were plants we bought, others we’ve planted from seeds. We enjoyed making this little garden area beneath the apple tree.

Under the Apple Tree

I love flowers. I love sitting outside each morning, listening to the birds, and seeing this beautiful display of color. It’s a lovely way to begin each day.

Claude Monet loved flowers, too. “I must have flowers,” he said. “Always, always.” Maybe that’s why he’s always been one of my favorite artists.

Recently I came across this video of Monet painting in his garden. Watching this brought tears to my eyes, to think that I was actually seeing one of the greatest artists of all time as he put paint on a canvas! I only wish the film — made in 1915 — could have been in color.


Like Monet, I must have flowers, and one recent morning as I sat outside enjoying the beauty of the flowers around the apple tree, I knew I wanted to paint flowers. I rushed inside, grabbed a canvas, and looked at my palette. I’d finished a small little landscape painting the previous day and still had little dabs of paint there. I looked at the colors and all I saw were flowers, flowers, flowers.

The colors were nothing like the colors of our flowers around the apple tree, but this is the thing about inspiration — it moves us to create in different ways. I knew I could never capture the beauty and glorious colors of our flowers, but I could take my own vision and put it on the canvas.

I thought about Monet, recalled him standing before his canvas, and imagined him making those brush strokes. Maybe I even imagined him standing beside me, looking around my studio, and encouraging me to pick up this brush or that brush and just make marks.

I know nothing about painting florals, but it didn’t matter. I knew what I wanted to do. I dabbed colors here and there, made bold, impasto brush strokes. I played with greens, played with fan brushes, and I painted my flowers — not the ones around the apple tree but the ones I saw in some imaginary garden on a bright summer’s day.

Later, I came back and added more colors, more imaginative flowers. This was a totally spontaneous painting, no thoughts about where or how or even why I was putting paints here and there. It was simply about what I felt. I love flowers. I wanted to express that love with my brushstrokes.

Bouquet of Flowers (3)
Bouquet of Flowers – Impressionist Oil Painting by Judith Kraus

As I look at it now, I’m a bit uncertain as to whether I went too far with this, or if maybe I haven’t quite gone far enough. I think that’s probably a good place to leave it.

I loved doing this as a purely intuitive painting, simply trusting myself as an artist to put down the right colors in all the right places — and all the while re-assuring myself that if anything looked wrong I could always go back and change it.

That happened a time or two, and that felt good, too. This painting was all about knowing what to do without knowing… you know? It was instinctive, impressionistic, and, I hope, expressive.

I hope, too, that you enjoy my bouquet of flowers.





  1. Nice painting of flowers, I really like the loose feel to it. We also planted a lot of flowers this year but found there was less selection at the Garden Centre due to the Corronavirus. My puple hydrengea is blooming right now, and it looks amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. We planted a hydrangea bush along with a lavender “Rose of Sharon”. I hope they make it. It’s been fun having a large yard to landscape. I love hydrangeas of all colors. 🙂


  2. Glad you were able to find yourself in what is called “the zone”. When the painting pretty much paints itself. It’s a wonderful, yet sometimes humbling, experience. The only downside, at least for me, is that every one of the few paintings I have created while “in the zone” has been a one-off, never to be duplicated. Just have to wait around for that elusive next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Watching the clip of Monet painting was so inspirational! More than that… it was an experience I can’t even describe. I had to grab a paintbrush, and I could really feel his spirit with me telling me to just paint and not think about it… to just see flowers in my heart and put brushstrokes down. Truly an unforgettable experience.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s one of my favorite art quotes. When I was young I saw the film “Funny Girl” with Barbra Streisand playing the role of Fanny Brice. When Fanny became famous, she insisted on having fresh flowers every day. I said then, “Someday I want to do that.” For a long time, I made sure I always had fresh flowers. I’ve gotten away from it over the years, though. Now I’m happy to have flowers in our garden. I like them there maybe even more than I like cutting them and putting them in a vase.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s the way I’ve done it, too. Over the last year though, we’ve been doing our grocery shopping online, so we’ve skipped the flowers. I do have a few plants inside though, so that adds a bit of “life”.

        Liked by 1 person

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