Last week I sat in a garden and painted the pond.
The thing is it was Monet’s Garden and it was his waterlily Pond
Oh my goodness what a treat it was.
I'm lucky enough to have been to Paris many times over the years.
But I've never done the day trip out to Giverny from Paris.
I'm not entirely sure why but I just haven't done it.
But last Friday Phil and I got up and got on with it, and caught the 8.20 train from Paris to Vernon. From Vernon we hopped on the little shuttle bus, like one of those little trains you find on the seafront, which took us to Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny. And I was transfixed.
Monet spent the second half of his life at his home in Giverny. And I can see why.
Monet is famous for his series paintings where he painted the same scene again and again and again in different lights, different times of day, different times of year.
I made my way to the waterlily Pond first thing knowing the the organised tours and coach trips tend to start with the house. And it was a good decision.
You get to walk over the famous Japanese bridge and right around the whole of the pond. It's vast. I managed to find a space on a little bench an the back of the pond looking towards the bridge. I thought to myself Monet has definitely stood or sat in this spot and painted.
He has stood here thousands of times and painted the scene.
Shivers ran down my spine. I was so excited to paint then and there.
And that's what I did.
I got out my sketchbook and my watercolours and started to paint.
I instantly drew a crowd!
People love watching artists create, it's very personal but it's wonderful too.
I had such a good spot created a second version.
The sketches took less than an hour. And my goodness had the light ever changed!
In one hour. What must it have been like day after day, season after season.
So many people stopped to watch me while I painted and I was amazed by the number of other artists exclaiming..."I should be doing that, why didn't I bring my sketchbook?"
Later in the day, we crammed ourselves into Monet’s home, I gasped at his studio.
I found a another little bench to sit at and paint part of the gardens.
Monet said “I can’t do anything much except painting and gardening”
He was rather brilliant at both.
Will this adventure get me painting landscapes again, yes probably, but it is far more likely that you’ll see some "Monet-esque" colour schemes in any number of subject matter.
I can't wait to get back to my easel and see what emerges next!
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