Artist, author, gardener, photographer and motivational speaker Elizabeth Murray lives on the edge of the beautiful Monterey Bay area of California in a historical artist’s cottage, which is set in a glorious garden.
She celebrates beauty daily, continually pursuing her own passion for nature by digging in the soil, which she acknowledges is integral to her soul and helps her to live her own life in full bloom.
Elizabeth is living proof that we can all attain the goals we set for ourselves and want to achieve in life if we only believe that we can and make a plan to do so. She has also grown to understand, based on her own wealth of experience, that if you are prepared to give back something to society good things can and will happen
During late 70’s and early 80’s Elizabeth was part of a thriving gardening business and took some time out to go travelling overseas viewing historical gardens. One encounter, and the first impressions she received, would change her life forever.
Elizabeth Murray visited the garden of French painter Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) one of the fathers of modernism, renowned for his horticultural wizardry and for leaving lasting impressions. His garden at Giverny, Normandy was the central motif of his creative life.
At the time of her visit, following years of neglect it was being restored having been left to the French people through the Academie des Beaux-Arts by Monet’s heir.
While she was there an opportunity arose for her to be part of the Monet’s Garden restoration working team. So Elizabeth went straight home to America, sold up her possessions, and some would say her security, and went back to France.
It would be fair to say her family at the time did not understand her wanting to leave her comfortable horticulture job in California to work in exchange for only a room and board. However she says once she had made the decision she never looked back.
She was mesmerized by the gardens and their luminous enchantment. Her best selling book Monet’s Passion became an important account of working on the restoration.
While she was there she photographed the gardens extensively, beginning an annual tradition she has adhered to throughout the rest of her life.
In the years that followed, her photographs travelled often with Monet’s paintings throughout America and have visited many museums and galleries.
In 2012 they became integral to a landmark summer exhibition ‘Monet’s Garden’ at the New York Botanical Garden. She revived Monet’s Passion that year for a 20th anniversary edition, and today it still continues to inspire others.
In her lecture and workshop career in California Elizabeth has continued to encourage and nurture her participants to explore four personality attributes – gardener, artist, lover, and spirit weaver.
Her experiences and life mapping suggestions will be detailed in her new book Living Life in Full Bloom.
She is sharing her insight and unique gifts by detailing 120 daily practices to help motivate us to deepen our passion, inspire our creativity and improve our relationships.
Elizabeth Murray says we can all learn how to unleash our potential and embolden our communities when we discover through the power and pleasure of gardens to observe and grow.
Since her experience of Monet’s passion first hand Elizabeth has lived her own life in a way that honors the earth, the spirit, and other people.
She believes that
As artists we can discover our own particular kind of creativity and open the way for new possibilities.
As lovers we can learn how to embrace the heart and learn how too commit to things we’re passionate about.
As weavers of the ‘threads of our society’ we can remain in touch with our spirit and create rituals that express our gratitude.
The book will be accentuated throughout with her own exquisite nouveau vintage photography, as well as drawings she has taken great delight in doing.
Elizabeth wants to help other people identify and define their own purpose in life. If they do she believes they can take action to align their heart, skills and purpose.
Living Life in Full Bloom is all about helping others to define the purpose of their busy lives.
Elizabeth is often invited to speak and teach. No doubt future promotional opportunities surrounding this book will see many more people wanting to explore her insights into what empowers the creative spirit.
There is nothing that we cannot attempt in our imagination when viewing a garden, even one we don’t own. It is beneficial to the mind and body.
The most important freedom it offers is to help the viewer to allow his or her emotions to come into play, particularly dispersing grief and melancholy.
Monet’s friends Camille Pisarro, Alfred Sisley and Pierre Auguste Renoir and their followers were in their own day sneered at and snubbed by society and yet they literally starved for their art.
Their paintings were refused at all the fashionable Paris salons.
However this only served to strengthen their determination to succeed.
Monet’s short sharp brush strokes completely beguiled the onlooker, as he plumbed the depths of his own emotions to provide an image of a living still life, one we would all relate to in some way or another.
He’s certainly still guiding Elizabeth’s hand, helping her to capture the illusionary mesmerizing moments that original artists, and their first and lasting impressions so brilliantly convey
Monet claimed the ‘poor palettes’ of the painter could not capture fully the colour of flowers.
In his own part of paradise in Normandy, Claude Monet explored new ways of interpreting the world, just as Elizabeth Murray does in hers today.
He left a legacy that still makes a lasting impression on all who visit his magical home, that it was perhaps the creator himself who guided his imaginative genius, as well as his hand.
Seems to me the one thing Claude Monet did without ever knowing it was to inspire Elizabeth Murray to take risks to explore what creativity is and to understand why it is important for us all to endeavour to pursue our own passions in life, especially if we want to achieve both inner peace and fulfillment.
Who wouldn’t want to live their life in full bloom!
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2014
Watch an Interview with Elizabeth Murray interviewed by Max D Baer, Town Television Program Monterey, California
Special thanks: Elizabeth Murray for allowing us to use her wonderful images.
120 Daily Practices to Deepen your Passion, Creativity and Relationships