It is May Day in France, which means that little bouquets of muguet du bois (Lily of the Valley) are exchanged and enjoyed. Vendors with muguet lined the streets of Rouen, where we traveled today to visit Rouen Cathedral, site of 20+ Monet paintings, and also to pay homage to Joan of Arc, who met her fiery demise in that city.
It is cold and rainy in Giverny with turn-your-umbrella-inside-out wind. . . And it is still beautiful! We arrived yesterday afternoon after a wonderful last morning in Paris. Starting the day with the beautiful Waterlily panels at l’Orangerie was inspiring. The special exhibit at that museum was a juxtaposition of later Monet paintings with Rothko, Frankenthaler, Pollack, Mitchel and more, intended to show the connection between Monet and the Abstract Expressionists. It was quite convincing!
A drizzly walk through Monet’s garden last night reminded me of the beauty of Spring in this beautiful place. We enjoyed a fantastic multi-course meal at the Inn, le Moulin de Chennivieres, the remarkable 1761 mill we call home in Giverny. Despite the 35 degree weather and the wind and rain, we braved the Garden at 7am. It was really too soggy to work so we are camped the Inn to paint and draw. The weather is predicted to improve from here, so we will be back among the flowers soon!
Easily my favorite Paris museum for the works of Monet is the Musée Marmottan Monet. Housing the largest collection of Monet’s work in the world as well as a large portion of his personal collection of works by other Impressionist artists, it is a quiet sanctuary of art a bit further out from the rush of the city and the hordes of tourists. We had the pleasure of a 2 hour art history tutorial from my favorite French art historian, Mme Joelle Valette Coat, whose encyclopedic knowledge of Monet and his era brings the period and the artwork to life. It is always interesting to consider the Impressionists as the Damien Hirsts of their era, breaking the rules of the art world and suffering the criticism of art critics and society. I happen to love the work of Berthe Morisot, who is also well-represented here. A special exhibit of Courbet was icing on the Impressionist cake. We followed our long visit to the Marmottan with drawing and painting time in le Jardin de Tuileries, where Sue Ann was filmed and interviewed by prominent blogger Cory Frye #AFrenchFryeinParis. A fabulous bistro meal, and the day is complete.
A beautiful Friday in Paris began with extended time at the Musée d’Orsay and the vast collection of Impressionist artworks. The number of Monet and Manet and VanGogh and Sisley and Cézanne and Pissarro and. . . Make my head spin! My secret obsession with Art Nouveau was satisfied here as well, with furnishings and paintings and glass defined by those sinuous whiplash lines and subtle color palettes. A special exhibit of Baltic art from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania evoked the dark history of that region, but offered hope in some lovely landscapes. We gathered for some urban sketching in Le Jardine de Tuileries overlooking the Louvre. I love Paris.
arrived in Paris yesterday! Easy flights included an empty seat next to me all the way from Denver. Sue Ann and Rick Hum were waiting for me at the airport exit. We spent a wonderful evening at the Café des Homnes at the Trocadero, overlooking the Eiffel Tower. At the end of our meal, the tower lit up, offering a sparkling BIENVENUE!
Our delightful group of artists arrived today, weary but eager. We took them to Au Vieux Paris, a restaurant since 1594 that was built along with Notre Dame, just a block away. After lunch we walked back along the Seine, stopping at both Charvin and Sennelier to buy art supplies!
I am returning to Paris and Monet’s Garden with a wonderful group of artists on MyArtTrip. From April 25 - May 5, we’ll be drawing, painting and soaking up French culture. Can’t wait to see what’s in bloom! I invite you to follow along and then join us in May 2019!
UP to the top of Montmartre early in the morning to paint and draw near the resident artists on the Place de Terre near Sacre Coeur. The red tablecloth was Polychromos 126 #pencilscolormyworld.
DOWN the long hill with engaging guide Corey Frye (A French Frye in Paris--blog) who filled us in on the wild lives of the artists who lived there in the early 20th century--VanGogh, Renoir, Toulouse Lautrec, Utrillo, Seurat and more.
UP to the Musée de la Vie Romantique and a lovely exhibit of JP Rédouté--a rock star of the 18th C botanical world.
DOWN to the Seine and one last
UP to the top of the Eiffel Tower, which never ceases to thrill with the sheer height and spectacular views.
DOWN to a recap dinner with friends old and new.
All in, the day was a huge UP!
A fine Paris day began with a morning at the wonderful Museé d'Orsay. Our tour of the VanGogh collection was part art history, part color theory, part technique analysis. Sue Ann retains an amazing guide, Mme Joelle Coate, a quintessential Parisian woman of a certain age, whose encyclopedic knowledge always impresses me no end. A beautiful lunch at the museum restaurant as well, with a limoncello sorbet in color 104 by Faber Castell. #pencilscolormyworld. Took in a special exhibit of Cézanne's portraits. Of course I liked the drawings best. We took a late day trip to Montmartre to scout drawing/painting locations for the morning. I may take on Sacré-Coeur. I provided a lesson in urban sketching. Some great results!
our artists arrived throughout the day. We took the travel-weary lot to the wonderful restaurant, Au Vieux Paris d'Arcole for a late lunch. Its wisteria covered building was the original clergy quarters while Notre Dame cathedral was being built in the 1500s. We walked through the stunning Notre Dame and even located Lilith at the west portico (first wife of Adam). Lace balloon clouds were being installed at a nearby gallery. Ended the day with a long walk along the Seine.
An atypical tourist day scouting teaching and painting locations on Montmartre. Visited the "I Love You Wall", took in the ubiquitous graffiti and street art and enjoyed the 6'5' accordion player in unicorn head and white high heels #bestbuskerever. The artists arrive Monday morning. Allons-y!