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Giverny by bike!

by Helen White in Painting subjects
     
Visiting Monet’s house and garden at Giverny was a bucket-list experience for me and is up there with a handful of other artist and collectors homes that I have now visited, from Charleston and Kettle’s Yard to, more recently, Cezanne’s studio in Aix-en-Provence (highlights will take you to blog posts I have written about all these experiences.
I really wasn’t sure if the visit to Giverny would inspire any of my own works of art – in fact, I felt almost cringy at the thought of the cliche such an attempt would feel like. Yet, many months later, what spiraled out of an afternoon gazing at Monet’s waterlilies, weeping willows and little bridges (how familiar they all were) was an urge to paint some really close-up, really zoomed-in studies of the patterns of light and colour on the water; because the paint-box effect of so much coloured foliage reflected into the water gardens there was really was exceptional, especially on such a bright summer’s day.
To read more about the experience of visiting Giverny – which included travel by train from Monet’s St Lazarre station then cycling from the nearby town, stopping for a picnic of Camembert, baguettes and Normandy cider on the banks of the river Seine next to an ancient watermill (what a wonderful experience) – visit my blog post Cycling to Giverny.

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