Giverny and Poppies

//Giverny and Poppies

Giverny and Poppies

Dawn Boyer standing on Monet's Japanese bridge

Me stand­ing on Monet’s Japan­ese foot bridge. Hard to see, but I’m the one in white shirt and green sweater.

A cou­ple of years ago, my hus­band and I took a trip to Paris. He’s a musi­cian and was just about to go on tour. When I heard Paris was part of the trip, I said, “This time, I’m going!” An air­line had giv­en him a vouch­er for a pre­vi­ous botched flight that I could use, plus all hotel expens­es were paid for, which meant I could afford to do it, so off we went.

Monet's painting of Water LIlies and Japanese Bridge

Water Lilies and Japan­ese Bridge (1897–1899) by Claude Mon­et

Since Monet’s home in Giverny is only a 45-minute train ride away, well, let’s just say that it took about two sec­onds for it to become part of the Top Five Things To Do While We’re in Paris list. (Oth­er items were muse­um-relat­ed as well: vis­it the Musée D’Orsay, vis­it L’Orangerie, vis­it the Lou­vre, vis­it the Cité de la Musique, because it was only fair he get to vis­it a music muse­um if I was drag­ging him to see all the art. And, of course, the sec­ond tier of our list had to do with food, because you can’t go to Paris and not enjoy the food. If you’re a have-to-count-your-pen­nies artist like me, I high­ly rec­om­mend doing sim­ple things like get­ting baguette sand­wich­es and crepes from street shops and sit­ting in places like the Jardin du Lux­em­bourg to eat them. It’s heav­en­ly. But that’s for anoth­er blog.)

photo of tourists walking in Giverny

Tourists milling about the vil­lage of Giverny

Giverny is a qui­et lit­tle vil­lage tucked away in the coun­try­side by the Seine, and Monet’s home and gar­dens are noth­ing short of breath­tak­ing. When I came upon the Water Gar­den, the first thing I thought was, “Now I see why he paint­ed the way he did.” I had to walk the Japan­ese bridge and mar­vel at the wis­te­ria branch­es that curled over­head. I got lost in won­der, and that con­tin­ued through­out the rest of the day. Gar­den upon gar­den through­out the grounds, room after room in his home, I felt myself walk­ing in Monet’s foot­steps, and I was in awe. In his bed­room, I looked out the win­dow upon the vil­lage and imag­ined myself wak­ing to a day of paint­ing the way he must have. I tried not to be too much of a wide-eyed, all-agog tourist, but the man has had a pro­found influ­ence on me, and I couldn’t help it.

It will be a day I’ll always remem­ber, and I’m still paint­ing from my mem­o­ry of how the gar­dens felt to me.

Since pop­pies are one of my favorite flow­ers (no sur­prise to those who know me), and spring is my favorite sea­son, “Blaz­ing Glo­ry” came from that trip. The trick was to pay homage to Mon­et but not copy him or be deriv­a­tive. Eas­i­er said than done! I decid­ed to play some Djan­go Rein­hardt and Edith Piaf in the stu­dio and paint on a real­ly big can­vas to loosen up and do it my way.

photo of "Blazing Glory," poppies in a gardenBlaz­ing Glo­ry”

30 x 30 inch­es, oil on gallery wrap can­vas

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By |2017-03-02T20:20:59+00:00June 3rd, 2014|Musings on Painting|1 Comment

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One Comment

  1. Donna June 5, 2014 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    Your Ter­rif­ic!

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