Years ago, my garden muse, Carol, did not paint a pretty picture of Giverny. She found it unimpressive, for some, now-forgotten reason or other which followed her to her grave. But her prejudice deflated any intrinsic interest which had grown in the fertile soil of my imagination. I finally visited it for the first time three summers ago. On returning this summer, I was once again speechless as I walked out the doors of Monet’s huge water lily studio into the man’s private world, now public. As I told the television interviewer who stopped us on the steps as we exited the artist’s home, each time I visit, I’m overwhelmed with a sense of one person’s creative force. It’s one of those phenomenon which is so much more than the sum of the parts. Even in a crowd, I’m alone inhaling this man’s genius.
Imagine my childlike glee at being truly alone in the garden for two hours this past summer to paint at will. Just my little trio of artists and Jim. That privileged gloaming all rushed back to me this weekend, as I painted some fresh, small Giverny panels at the request of a client.
Who wants to join in next year?