Thursday, July 25 and Friday July 26
We took a train to the countryside village of Giverny where Monet’s gardens reside and stayed at a lovely Bed and Breakfast place called “Le Clos Fleuri.” The hostess, Danielle, had a really cute dog named Darwin who loved to cuddle in your lap as soon as you sat down on one of the garden lounge chairs.
Danielle then told us that there were 3 000 visitors a day at Monet’s garden and no one was allowed to paint there unless it was very small paintings/sketches. I was bummed out. Then she said she could call them and ask if I could get in the gardens at night when there were no people…with a special artists pass. They said yes and I was in my glory sitting on one of his bridges and painting the other one. It was so relaxing. The time went so fast….2 hours from 6-8 p.m. It gets dark at around 10:00.
The first night we were there I shared the garden with a group of photographers from Seattle and a older gentleman artist. In order to get to the gardens, you had to walk through Monet’s flower gardens and then go underneath a tunnel to get to the water lily ponds. It was cool. T’was a lovely Monet night.
However, I have developed a rather nasty cough..possibly from eating something with cream in it. The next day, I was really feeling quite horrible. No voice,a cough, runny nose and a splash of a headache to boot. Boo gave me an antihistamine. It worked. I think I’m allergic to Monet’s flowers. Figures eh?
The next day, Boo and I went to Monet’s Garden during the day. The flowers were exquisite and the waterlily flowers in the pond were fully opened in the sunshine. Now I understand why Monet was so interested in the reflection of light in his pond. It was so clear and so very different depending on the time of day you were there. Normally people taking tours of the gardens would only see it once during the day, get back on the bus and drive away. It was really wonderful to see the water lily pond during different times of the day in the morning, afternoon, and night. I’m so glad we stayed for 2 days. There is a little slice of heaven at this place. The reflections in the water were magnificent.
The second night was overcast and raining a little bit. I took an anti-hisamine and slept for a while. I was a bit groggy and didn’t have my wits about me when I packed my belongings to go paint in Monet’s Gardens. I forgot my watercolour paper and didn’t realize it until I was sitting on his bridge, taking my art supplies out of my bag. I knew I didn’t have the energy to walk all the way back to the B&B to get them. However, Boo volunteered to go back and get it for me. God Bless her for that. She quickly left the place and I started taking pictures with Frick’s Ipad. In hindsight, I am so glad I had that time to take photos because I have so many beautiful shots of the place and now I can paint them in the comfort of my home! In fact, I painted another watercolour card on the train ride back to Paris using the Ipad. When Boo got back, she told me that someone closing up the place had entrusted her with the keys because without them, she would not have been able to get back in. She gave the keys to the night custodian when she saw her. I was very fortunate to paint that night.
Here are some of the watercolour pictures I painted at Giverny. The winner of my “Summer To Remember” contest was Maria Zammit. She emailed me to tell me she received it and that she is going to have it framed and put in her cottage.