Day Trip to Giverny

“Day Trip to Giverny”
mixed media drawing 325 x 415 mm. January 2018

“Day Trip to Giverny” is a drawing of a scene I photographed in Monet’s garden .  I have often looked at the 2012 source photo but it looked a bit daunting to draw.  However in January 2018 I decided to try.

At first I stared at my page thinking, “I have no idea how to begin”.   I started at the back and over time gradually moved forward.  The drawing process with brush and pencil was an enjoyable and stimulating adventure.  (I use a bristle brush to transfer the pigment from oil pastel to paper.  Then I work the pencils over/into the pastels.   I call this method ‘dry painting’.)

Working on the drawing brought back the feeling of quiet ecstasy I experienced while taking in the sights, sounds and perfumes which Monet’s garden offered me.  As I had visited the garden in late October, there were only one or two days of viewing left before the garden was closed for its winter rest.  It wasn’t a riot of extravagant colour as it is in high summer – consequently there were just a few visitors besides me.  Rather, it was a subtle wilderness beneath a gentle grey sky.  It was – heaven.

The drawing as a work-in-progress with my photo on the left.


14 thoughts on “Day Trip to Giverny

  1. anna warren portfolio

    Being in Monet’s garden without the hordes of visitors truly must have been blissful, even if the riot of summer colour was mostly over. When you can visit any significant place without the distraction of many other people, that place always can resonate more. This is a wonderful drawing and you do communicate that sense of bliss. The distinct layers draw you in, from the crisp red flower in the foreground, taking you across the water to the distant figure (maybe Monsieur Monet himself, just visiting …). This drawing has a sense of deep thoughtfulness, a moment of time stopped.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Ah ha – yes exactly – in my brain it IS Monet on the Japanese bridge. After all – pourquoi pas??!! I’ve also been there with Matt at the very beginning of spring (also no tourists). The only time the garden has been inundated with people was when we visited in August. True, the flowers were at their best but I liked the garden better in autumn and spring. Both the autumn and spring visits were (how can I put it?) religious experiences.

  2. rhodjoy

    Once again, your understatement, subtlety and fail-proof method of combining your mediums flawlessly just shines, Julie. I think this is wonderfully tranquil and somewhere I would like to wander very often……just beautiful!

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Oh thank you, Joy. I feel this could be a popular piece because so many people love Monet’s garden and the green Japanese bridge is iconic. So I’m thinking of having prints available of it for the September exhibition. I’m going to look at getting a scan done tomorrow.

  3. occasionalartist

    Lovely drawing Julie, I like this latest series with the combination of focussed foreground and blurred background. They give such a depth to the work. I have Monet Garden envy, as I have not yet had a chance to get there. I visited Versailles in September and the crush of the crowds did undermine the experience and wild stormy weather forced us to miss the gardens there. I too it must have been Monet on the bridge. Speaking of the Impressionists did you see the movie Loving Vincent? Totally amazing animation done from oil paintings of his work.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      I sure hope you do get to visit Monet’s garden one day, Karen. If anybody deserves to visit, it’s you. Even when it was busy (the time we visited in high summer) the garden was still large enough to accommodate everyone. The only thing that was annoying was having to queue up to go inside the house (which I didn’t bother doing). Whereas the other two times I went it was easy to go inside.
      I also visited Versailles on a stormy day. It was 2012 in spring. It was an awful experience and I’d never want to go back. What a ghastly throng of people, we could hardly move and went with the herd from one room to another – at a thoroughly surrounded-by-bodies slow shuffle. We did get to see the fountains doing their thing but it was in a wild gale!!
      I didn’t see “Loving Vincent” but I saw the trailer for it a couple of times. There was something about the animated paintings that didn’t gel with me so I avoided the film. Glad you enjoyed it though.

      1. occasionalartist

        I can understand your avoidance and I had trepidation’s when I went to see it. I just looked up my Paris trip and it was actually in May 2012, were we there on the same day, I was there on the 15th. Freezing cold, rain and gale force winds and the crowds inside were horrendous as you described.

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