Artnotes Italy Daily

Thursday, October 13, 2011

 Giverny:  Fuschia Tree  Laurie Fox PESSEMIER  Acrylic on canvas  12 x 12 inches
 Montmartre:  Vines   M. Blair PESSEMIER  Acrylic on wood  7 x 10 inches   SOLD
 Luxembourg Gardens::  Lavender Trees  Laurie Fox PESSEMIER  Acrylic on canvas 12 x 12 "  SOLD
 Notre Dame Park:  Romance    Laurie FOX Pessemier  Acrylic on canvas  12 x 12 inches 
 Luxembourg Gardens:  Fall Weather   Blair PESSEMIER   Acrylic on canvas  11 x 16 inches 
Ile de la Cite   Blair PESSEMIER  Acrylic on canvas  21.5 x 15 inches 
 Pont Neuf  and Henry IV   Laurie FOX Pessemier   Acrylic on canvas12 x 24 inches   SOLD
 Luxembourg Gardens:  Orange Sweater   Laurie FOX Pessemier   Acrylic on wood  10.25 x 5 inches SOLD
 Luxembourg Gardens:  Queen   Blair PESSEMIER   Acrylic on wood  9.5 x 7 inches
 Montmartre:  Vineyard   Laurie FOX Pessemier   Acrylic on wood 5 x 9.5 inches 
Giverny:  Creek   Laurie FOX Pessemier   Acrylic on canvas  18 x 15" 

ARTNOTES:  Smell the Flowers

A friend called on Sunday night to see if we’d like to paint at Giverny, Monet’s gardens, on Monday.  It turns out that the gardens are open after hours (and before hours 6AM) to painters.  If we arrive after 5:30 in the evening, we can paint until 8.  We packed up our supplies and headed away from Paris at 4.
We paid our (artists’) entry fee as the guards chased out the stragglers.  Blair set up his easel in the main garden, and I crossed beneath the road to the pond.
Giverny is a wonderful place, but in summer is chock-full of visitors;  this painting opportunity was like a dream.  It is a good reason to take my painting class – you, too, can inspect the dahlia up close and personal.  I took this week’s two students to paint: both chose the water lilies.
I am looking at a deep yellow petal-ed flower, its edges beginning to turn brown.  In this fading light the withering  border looks purple.  A small snail makes his way toward the center of the flower.  I suspect this flora to be a sort of sunflower variety.  The sunflowers are magnificent – the entire garden is a riot of yellow and purple.  For the first time ever here, I can smell all the flowers as the dew begins to form.  I can almost taste the nasturtiums which line the main allee.  A pink rose shocks my eyes with its brilliant color.
I feel tremendously lucky to have had this experience.  It’s not that I don’t like painting in the nether-reaches of the garden on a regular afternoon, but this day I am one with the water lilies.  There’s a photographer also present –  she sells her photos in New York.  She sometimes arrives here very early to capture the fog on the pond.
The sun streams across the water – picking up just the edge of a lily pad.  I can’t do it justice in my painting.  The reflections in the water and the water lilies are really too much for me.  I paint quickly, almost madly, trying to freeze time as the light changes.   Every time I visit this place to paint, I bite off more than I can chew.  Monet was truly a master.  I am just a page.
Blair has more luck – painting in oil – with his overview of the flowers.   Our painting companion makes several gouaches – she paints longer than we do.  Blair and I collapse on a bench, in a daydream :  after just one hour and a half I am “all in”.  I want to go home and drink red wine and plan on another day with the flowers.
On Tuesday evening, our students are happy.  We pack up our tools and take one last longing whiff of the flowers before the trip back to Paris.

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