Monet Inspired a Pilgrimage to Giverny France
A trip to France is hardly complete without a pilgrimage to Claude Monet's garden. Early September this year we choose to make our travel recovery time at Giverny.
This year is especially thrilling as I knew his garden would be lush this late summer.
My last visit was in early March several years ago. It was a bare bone affair that offered structure and thrill of fresh buds, a stark contrast to the treat that unfolds this time. Flower stocks way over my head, blooms feasting, competing in delightful organized abundant chaos. As crowds were still light I headed to the huge pink house verdantly trimmed in that Monet green that says lively fresh. I love enough history to sift through the old back and white photos of this man of stature, his wife, gardens and village. I then single file meander through t rooms marvelling at his Oriental Art Collection in vogue in his life time, kitchen and dining room, but, my favourite was the window views to his beloved garden. This was his source of constant inspiration. I marvel at the years he dedicated to organizing, changing flower beds to maximize colour, size and view he was searching for. His love of garden through his awareness of colour, texture and reflection becomes my infection as I search his home and garden imagining my view through his eyes.
The long garden beds lead me to his pond my favourite. By this time a back entrance had been opened to the grounds, hoards from buses were already ahead of me. Slowly I make my way along the mossy paths round the deliciously draped pond in lush canopy. I am able to find quiet views for moments of contemplation seeing reflections as he might have. As I make my way back to our Petit Giverny accomodation I reminisce on Monet's paintings remembering as far back as the early seventies when I lived for a year in Paris and while atttending The Sorbonne I spent every other moment at The Jeu de Paume the museum that houses The Impressionists. It was Monet's soft mauves, lush greens and gentle rose colours set in dreamy horizontal waterscapes bordering on abstract that attracted my attention. Gone were the heavy ochres, siennas and inky blacks that so many artists had used. Claude’s light touch was uplifting like a summer sky. Two decades later I took Tara my eldest daughter to a monumental exhibition of Claude Monet's work in London. Rooms filled with huge masterpiece, each horizontal surround unfolded while we walked into his giant dream. It is Claude Monet's painted world of dreamy story that over the last 50 years of my life shaped my way of seeing the world. I too invite the viewer into my intimate dream life. Thrilled with the pattern, colour and vista of my inspirations. My pilgrimage to Giverny is to pay homage and give thanks to this great artist and once again allow that infection in real life get under my skin.