This painting is a complex tangle as to what is negative and what is positive space. It’s not clear what was painted first—it gives an impression of being made in a rush with a lot of quick strokes, but it’s careful and subtle too.
In What Painting Is, James Elkins analyzes a few square inches of Monet’s painting, The Artist’s Garden at Vétheuil:
In Monet as in other very different painters, part of the object is to work until it is no longer possible to tell what paint is on top and what is underneath. When that happens it is a magical moment because the painting stops looking like a flat color-by-number with a few added touches, and takes on a rich and confusing aspect.