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
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.