Monet Challenge

Monet Challenge

I’ve always been a fan of Monet.  I don’t think there are too many of his works I don’t like, but I particularly like his irises, bridges, weeping willows and water lilies.  But I decided for this challenge I would step out of my comfort zone and try something different. So, I chose his “The Seine Near Vetheuil – Stormy Weather” for my challenge.


Since I have a new drum carder, I decided to make a batt for the base from the domestic 56s I have. I used merino, pieces of unknown wool batts I had purchased to paint the picture and some mulberry silk and throwsters waste for accents. It was harder than I thought to simulate the brush strokes and capture the color subtleties and layers in this piece.  I could have stopped here and put it under glass, but I kept going.

before felting

When it dried I noticed the coarser domestic 56 wool had migrated thru and made the piece very hairy.  It definitely needed a good shave. I wondered if I had wet felted the base first if I would have had as much migration.  Next time I’ll try that.

before shaving

After shaving it, particularly in the darker areas, I felt it still needed something.

after shaving

So, I put it on the floor and looked at it for awhile to decide where I could needle felt some of the areas to give it more definition.  I added some wool to some of the tree lines and needled around others.

Seine final

Since its my impression of this work, I’m satisfied with the outcome.  There are a few places I would have done things differently when laying out, but they weren’t obvious during that stage as they were after the felting.

Have you found your Monet challenge yet?


21 thoughts on “Monet Challenge

  1. The pre-felting layout is pretty. Glass isn’t the only answer to preserving it – take a high quality photo and have a life-size print made of it.

    The finished ‘Monet’ is beautiful. You’ve mirrored the sky with the water well, great colour choices, and the final needle felt touches are just right.

    How big is it?

    1. Thanks Lyn! I will try the life size photo. That’s a great idea. It’s 17 x14″ (43 x 36cm).

  2. Hello Marilyn, you did a beautiful job of laying out the landscape it really reflects Monet work perfectly. Your final art piece is gorgeous.

  3. I agree with Judy. The end result is very nice. Good job Marilyn. I enjoy seeing how you challenge yourself. It’s very inspiring.

    1. Thanks Ann! I did lose the definition of the spikes I had but needle felted over them and added a few. 🙂

    1. Thanks Zed! In this case I agree. I’m going to try Lyn’s idea of making a life size print and compare them side by side. 🙂

  4. This is a beautiful piece, Marilyn! Love the colors, textures, the flow of the sky and water.
    You did a great job of capturing the art of your favorite painter.

  5. I love both, Marilyn! I’d have a hard time wet felting something that looked so pretty pre-felted… I’ll be honest though, I couldn’t see the difference pre- and post-needle felting, I’m sure it’s the photo 🙂

  6. I love the finished piece, needle-felting some details into the foreground has worked very well. I’d be interested to know the results of your experiment to see if wet felting the base helps limit migration of the courses fibres, the theory sounds very promising….

    1. Thanks Teri! As a matter of fact, I laid out some domestic 56s to prefelt tomorrow to test it. 🙂 more to follow…

  7. Your Monet turned out great, Marilyn. Good idea to do some needle felting to improve the effect. Unfortunatelly, coarse wool always sticks out and spoils the final picture. Grrrr…

    1. Thanks Nada! I guess I’ll have to figure out what kind of hairy pictures I can make with all that coarse wool I have. 😉

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