Sunday, June 29, 2014

Monet's Gardens at Giverny

Today we took a train to Vernon where we rented bikes and rode to Monet's home and gardens at Giverny. The beautiful views as we rode our bikes through the little towns of Vernon and Giverny were enchanting.

As we rode through the small village of Giverny we could understand why Monet choose this as his home and artists' commune, beauty and inspiration were around every turn as we made our way
to his home.


Our first stop was the Musée des Impressionissmes.

Here, we viewed paintings by several American artists who had gone to live and paint at Monet's home in Giverny. By this time Monet was a very famous artist and he taught many younger artists how to paint in the Impressionist style, using short, quick brushstrokes that show the essence of their 
subject, rather that details; often these artists painted en plein air (outdoors) showing the effects of light and shadows. 

After visiting the museum we made our way over to Monet's gardens where it takes 8 gardeners to 
maintain the 5 acre garden. 

Next, we made our way to the waterlily pond where we walked across the Japanese style footbridges and lingered while taking in the sites, imagining Monet in his later years painting those very large waterlily paintings that we saw a few days earlier at L'Orangerie.

Next, we toured Monet's home where they have stet up his studio to look like it did when he would 
have  been working there. There were sixty replicas of his paintings hanging on the walls.

As the rain clouds rolled in, we hopped back on our bikes for the ride back to the train station. Riding our bikes across the Sienne taking in the beautiful views in the rain is something we will never forget.

French phrase of the day:
We'd like to rent two bikes. / Nous voudrions louer deux vélos. /noo voo-dree-ohn loo-ay duh vay-loh

Stay tuned...

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Painting the Siene

The Siene river flows right through the epicenter of Paris. For centuries, poets, painters, philosophers, and novelists have been inspired by the river.

There are 32 bridges that connect the Left and Right Banks of Paris and together they constitute one
of the major themes of Impressionist art. Renoir and Monet, often sharing canvasses, painted side by
side along the river. Today we followed in their footsteps and spent the morning painting side by side along the river Seine.

We took a workshop through Studio Pessemier and painted with Blair and Laurie Pessemier who helped us understand how to set up our supplies and the correct technique for plein air painting, which is painting outdoors. Plein air painting was started by the Impressionist artists and is a popular style of painting for many artists still today.

After our paintings were finished we walked over the Pont de Arts, which is a very popular bridge in Paris because couples come here to put a lock with their names on it from all over the world. The bridge sections get so heavy from all the locks that they break. They take down the panels when that happens and replace them. So, what happens to all those locks, well, Paris is known as the city of love and they couldn't possibly get rid of those couples' locks, so they store them in a warehouse forever. 
Next we took a boat tour along the Siene and can understand the artistic draw of this river. It was a beautiful day and the Parisians were out sitting along the river, eating their lunches, going for strolls along the river and sunning on the banks. We took many photos of the bridges so get ready, there just may be a "bridge" project of some sort in your future.

French phrase of the day:
Excuse me.          Pardon.         par-dohn

Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Museum Marathon

I am writing this after a whirlwind day of touring three art museums. Needless to say, we are very tired and have to get up early tomorrow for a painting workshop, so this blog will be quick, but check out the links to the museum sites for more information.

We started our day at the most famous art museum in the world...The LOUVRE to compare the Classical painters of the 19th century with the precursors to Impressionism then we walked through the Tuileries Garden to Musée de l'Orangerîe where a collection of Impressionists paintings are housed. Next, we crossed the river to the Musée d'Orsay; here, the world’s finest collection of Impressionism as well as important precursors such as Courbet and Millet are displayed. 

After a very wonderful but tiring day, we ended in the perfect, peaceful spot, sitting on the lawn in a park, eating a baguette, under the Eiffel Tower.

We have been greeted with warmth and hospitality from the people here at every stop we make, so today's words are all about manners and we have heard them everywhere we go.

Hello, Good Morning, Good Afternoon.           Bonjour.                 bohn-zhoor
Please.                                                            S'il vous plait.            see voo play
Thank You.                                                          Merci.                    Mehr-see

Now, time to get some sleep, so we will be ready to paint tomorrow. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bonjour Paris!

We're on our way, next stop, Paris!
Our flight took 9 hours and 35 minutes, we had trouble sleeping on the plane because we were so excited of the adventure that was ahead of us, but we did not let that stop us, we hit the ground running. After making it through the busy Paris traffic, we made it too our hotel.

It is in the Montmartre district in Paris where many famous artists have lived. We walked around the beautiful winding cobblestone streets and stopped at a french cafe on the hill where we enjoyed our lunch and this view.

We meandered through the streets of this beautiful arts district taking in all of the beautiful sights as we made our way to the Montmartre Museum.
This was the home and studio of the Impressionist artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The house is surrounded by beautiful gardens in the center of Montmartre and being there made us feel like we had entered one of his canvases.

Everywhere we went today we were surrounded by French sights and sounds. Listening to the French language is magical, so we have decided to add a French phrase of the day to each blog, and since Mrs. Aromy and Mrs. Cook neither one speak any french our first phrase is 

 Do you speak English?              Parlez-vous anglais?              par-lay-voo ahn-glay

ps...As we were falling asleep last night we heard a lullaby of a Parisian song being played on an accordion   from the street below our room, and we wandered if we were dreaming, if so, please don't wake us. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Au Revoir

Mrs. Cook and Mrs. Aromy were very excited to see an OKE Koala at the Houston airport before we caught our plane to Paris on Monday. We saw Ferdinand and his family as they were heading to Norway for a visit back home. Wishing everyone safe travels this summer, stay tuned.....

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Have paint, will travel.

We are one day away from our departure! We are busy packing our bags and getting ready for France.
I've got all the necessary art supplies packed and ready to go, but wait, where am I going to fit my clothes? Stay tuned as our adventure begins tomorrow...