Back to my beloved France for spring and summer, I sensed an unexpected theme emerging around me: Searching for Monet, the great Impressionist painter and father of abstraction in art.
I visited the remarkable exhibition in Paris of the collection of Léon Monet, Claude’s brother. The tourists were at other blockbuster shows in Paris, so following a lunch in the Luxembourg garden with an old friend, we saw the show unencumbered by the throngs. Léon Monet was a chemist and made paint at a time when synthetically made colors were just appearing on the market. He also collected paintings of Claude and his entourage. The three final paintings in the show were some of Claude Monet’s last works where his cataracts affected his eyesight; he was painting by memory because he couldn’t see color. This is when abstraction was born of both genius and determination to keep painting.
Then I was off to Bordighera, Italy on the Italian Riviera, to walk the little-known path above the old town where Monet spent 79 days painting 30 canvases in 1884. The beodo (happy) path inspired me to start the small painting, Bordighera seen under More Images above.
I will be able to see another exceptional Claude Monet exhibit in Monaco this summer at the Grimaldi Forum. This exhibition focuses on his time in Bordighera as well as other sites on the French Riviera, a little known sector of his vast painting catalogue. [Note: for an extraordinary immersive experience in Monet’s works go to WikiArt and scroll through his chronological catalog of 1,367 of his works: it shows how his style evolved over time and the places he painted…it’s wonderful!]
This summer I will also be in Venice for a short week to collect a pastel piece I did there in 2021 that I truly love. It is a water scene, Pond, that some people have compared to Monet. You can view Pond under More Images to the above. It will be available after June for purchase; contact me for price.
Still Searching for Monet, I pulled out a 2007 copy of a Monet painting of a water scene that I completed at an atelier Old Master painting class in Paris 2007. Then, I found a large canvas rolled up in the corner of my studio that I painted at the vineyard Clos Cristal in the Loire Valley in 2012 just after the death of my dear husband Patrick. The piece embodied all that I was feeling at the time, despair, hope, pathways…and I remembered Monet’s famous poppy paintings and wondered what he was thinking when he painted his version of red poppies with his famous luminous colors, barely sketched details and brush strokes that divide the light and space? Red Poppies in a Wheat Field, oil on linen, 114x146cm, contact me for price before it goes to my dealer in St. Tropez in July.
Monet is timeless. He was with me then and is inspiring me still.
Yours in art,