Water lily pond
Gardener cleaning out dead leaves. Monet kept the garden very pristine for his painting.
These photos are from Claude Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny, where he lived and painted for many years, and his and wife Alice’s children played. He would paint in his boat en plein air and trees were planted for different kinds of light settings. When we visited the fragrance was wonderful, and the bees and spiders were free. It was like everything was caressing the atmosphere, genial and at peace.
I enjoyed the bright-colored rooms of Monet’s house, with numerous Japanese prints whose influence you can see in his work. His home was filled with the works of Cézanne, Pissarro, and many others in the Impressionist movement. I wonder if he traded like me with other artists.
Giverny has chickens!
I painted this side street
during our return visit
Critiquing my use of values (Jo, Adeline, Marie, Agnès; photo courtesy of Bonnie Dix)
During our studio visit on the weekend, we were invited back to La Page Blanche to paint. New friends Agnès Dévé, Marie-Antoinette Girard, and Adeline Gouarné all studied in Paris. It was a good opportunity for me to receive their critique!
View from a top-floor apartment above the studio, with cathedral view — amazing shapes and unique perspective
Last weekend nearly 200 artists in a variety of media opened their studios for the fourth annual Visites d’ateliers d’artistes (“Visits to artists’ studios”; link is to a machine-translated page), a chance to talk with the artists and see their artwork and where it was created.
Bonnie and I had several adventures on the way to finding the painters we’d decided to visit. One studio near our apartment was off of a tiny street or walkway where no horseman could ride. In another area we found buildings numbered haphazardly, with the odd numbered 30’s across the street from the even numbered 40’s. The artists were gracious and enthusiastic, and though our French was more like a pidgin mix of speech, art is the universal language.
(Many thanks to Bonnie Dix for co-writing this post, and taking the photos!)
The charming Francis Caudron, an artist in many media whose work includes calligraphy-like figures
Gracious host and acrylic painter Lionel LaGrange, in his studio right on the Seine
Saturday night we went to the “Cathedral of Light” (Cathédrale de Lumière) outdoor sound and light show, with video projected onto the front of Rouen Cathedral. It was spectacular standing with Rouen families, looking 100 ft. in the air and experiencing going through time, starting with the story Joan of Arc who was martyred in Rouen. The cathedral was all in flames with the sounds of wood burning, and the wars were depicted with the clanking of swords and and cries. Later a show of Impressionist art turned the cathedral into a Monet painting.
Scenes from the “Cathedral of Light” sound and light show
(Many thanks to Bonnie Dix for these photos!)
You can see more of the “Cathedral of Light” show online:
The website Projection Mapping Central has more information about this type of show.
Lately I’ve been sketching people in the new journal I’m taking on my trip, drawing the people at an outdoor cafe in Iowa City and pretending I am in Rouen, as sort of a warmup. I’m drawing what I see so that later I can compose a painting. I have a little palette I take with me to add local color right away using the water from my water bottle.
I got my sewing machine out and angled all my 1990’s skirts, added some chic tops, and I am ready for Paris!
Drinking water in Iowa, pretending I am in Rouen drinking French wine
(still gotta wear my Nikes for mature feet)