Got up early today and I started a larger (38cm X 61cm) painting. It's an iconic scene of Monet's Japanese Bridge and it's starting off well. It doesn't look like much in the beginning because it's just simplified color shapes with no details, but it's more ambitious so it'll be a slower progression. I marked the time on the back of the canvas and will be returning each morning to work gradually towards completion. It's really a constant race against the sun and my own fatigue.
Bur it feels good to tackle something like this and I want to go even bigger in the next few weeks. I have some big stretcher bars up in my studio that I want to use. Of course, larger paintings require more time, more paint and more planning than smaller ones.
Oh, and while I was painting this morning, I dropped my brush and it very nearly went into the pond! I wonder if Monet ever had that happen..
Beautiful morning here so Jan and I walked to Vernon for the Saturday market. Between Giverny and Vernon is great scenery so it makes the walk very pleasant. Walking along and crossing over the Seine is also always quite a sight as well.
The market was everything that I hoped it would be and there was such a wonderful sense of community. It's really a shame that we don't have more of these things where I live back home. The fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and other items are mostly local and there are signs that say where they're harvested from. We got some really amazing strawberries that taste like candy, fresh cherries, tomatoes, melon, etc. I plan to go back as often as I can on either Wednesday or Saturday.
Before and after the market, we had a rest at a local cafe with great coffee and some croissant and pain au chocolat (which I incorrectly called a "chocolate croissant"--the crescent shape is what makes something a crescent). I sketched at the cafe and then we headed back along the Seine.
I'll be going out painting in a bit to make the most of my Saturday. I can't believe I've only been here for one week!
Beautiful sites between Giverny and Vernon
Fresh produce from the market
Tomorrow will be the end of my first week in Giverny so I decided to share the work that I've done so far. I've never felt so artistically satisfied in my life and I'm proud of the work that I'm doing. I've also been having a lot of realizations and it's given me a lot of confidence as an artist.
I've settled into a nice routine of getting up at 6:30, eating breakfast, entering the gardens at 7 to paint for 2 hours; I break for lunch to rest and do some sketching and maybe a watercolor in the afternoon. In the evening, after dinner, I paint again since the sun sets around 9:30/10.
Painting has been great, but I've also been drawing a lot. My sketchbook is acting like a visual journal for what I see around me. In the future, I know that I will really treasure these sketches and the memories they depict.
My next step is to plan some larger and more ambitious works. I'll need to do some sketches and maybe a color study in preparation. And I really want to do some portraits also! My motto: Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.
The weather has been really nice so I've been painting every day in the morning and the evening. This morning, I was in the clos normand and working on a painting of my favorite flowers: irises. While in the garden, a photographer named Jean Gaumy came to see what I was painting and he even took a photo of me (see below). He's visiting to take photos and I saw him last night in the water garden also.
In the afternoon, I took my first solo trip to the grocery store which is in a town called Vernon. It's not too far by bicycle and the scenery is amazing.
I'm also picking up some french and able to order fully in French at the Boulangerie. I gotta say that this residency has been absolutely amazing. Every single aspect of it is beyond belief. So grateful right now.
The bike trip to the grocery store is pretty spectacular.