PAINTING THE MODERN GARDEN EXHIBITION-Some thoughts from Flower and Garden Artist Charron Pugsley-Hill

As an artist inspired heavily by flowers and gardens it was with excitement and trepidation that walked up the steps of The Royal Academy of Art in London towards the exhibition Painting The Modern Garden Monet to Matisse.


The excitement is probably well understood, the trepidation probably less so. When a huge part of your emotional psyche is tied up in a subject it is always possible that an exhibition can potentially be disappointing in the emotion and subjects that it portrays to the viewer. There will always be paintings or objects that do not trigger any emotional response in an individual in any exhibition, and that is completely understandable as we all know that art is totally subjective with every individual viewer. It is the balance of how much of that neutral  or negative ( that which evokes a negative emotion) art that is present in any exhibition.When an artist is passionate about their subject it can be sometimes difficult to view another’s interpretation or response to that subject.

IMG_7810           THE FLOWERS OF BARNSDALE GARDENS original painting by Charron Pugsley-Hill

Unfortunately but as is usual no photographs are allowed nor can I publish any pictures from the book of the exhibition due to copyright restrictions-not that I am complaining about this!

If you like gardening or painting flowers and gardens I have to say I would be amazed if you didn’t love this exhibition full of well known artists and for me several of whom I am unfamiliar with their work but will now be looking up more of their work. I was incredibly happy with the number of Monet paintings- so many more than I expected and it was inspiring and enlightening to see so many of his works in the same exhibition.

My favourites of the exhibition  and you can of course look all these up on the internet to see their gloriousness, are:

Water Lillies with Weeping Willows 1916-19 Monet

Japanese Footbridge 1895 Monet-various depictions

Water Lillies 1904 Monet in fact most of the Water Lillies….

Apple Tree in the Garden Edvard Munch of The Scream fame 1932-42 -love the colour and simplicity

Cottage Garden Gustav Klimt 1905-07 usual gorgeousness

Glorieta VII 1919 Santiago Rusinol-the background colours are absolutely on fire!

Poppies John Singer Sargent 1886 bright poppies against a black background and as we know I have a special affinity for poppies through my WWI Commemoration series of art.

Large Poppies Emil Nolde 1908

Murnau Garden Wassily Kandinsky 1910 stunning colours and abstract interpretation.


I would highly reccomend  this exhibition which was brilliant  although for me did not hit the dizzy heights of The David Hockney Exhibition in 2012. Theres that subjectivity kicking in again!

This is a popular and busy exhibition so I would advise booking tickets to avoid queuing and actually getting in on the day you go. Patience is needed as I like to think people are so wrapped up in the art they do not realise that they are walking infrontt of you as you tale in the magnificence of the art.

And for me the revelation that came from my visit was TO TRUST IN PAINTING WHAT I SEE IN FRONT OF ME MORE. Thats more gardens and landscapes and flowers and more gardens and flowers………following on from my own garden, BBC Barnsdale Gardens, private gardens of Burghley House………..

Prints are available of some of my garden paintings from

IMG_4710   IMG_7597

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LONDON-A new Original Painting by Peterborough Artist Charron Pugsley-Hill