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Paint Fox, Daffs (Read 1200 times)
Reply #1 - Apr 11th, 2004 at 11:38am

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Makawao,  Maui, USA, HI

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Pansies, I would love to paint some, but I haven't seen one for years.
Were the gardens really great or almost great?
Your paintings great.
 
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Apr 11th, 2004 at 11:32am

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Makawao,  Maui, USA, HI

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We rented a van and five of us trekked to Giverny to see Monet's gardens.  I've never taken big notice of pansies ("pensee", in French, the same word as "thought"), but the greatest variety of the little flowers I've ever seen were in bloom.  Striped, blue and purple circles, dark faces:  like hunchbacks, Blair and Quentin and I bent down to examine each one.

The hyacinths perfumed our walk through the garden -- a few brave azaleas glowed purple.  For the first time, I visited the interior of Monet's house.  He had a large collection of Japanese woodcuts -- perhaps 100 hung on the walls throughout.  They gave me great inspiration, just as they did Monet, maybe as much as seeing the garden.

Americans have start to return to France.  Despite the flagging dollar the call of April in Paris is too great to resist.  There have been more Americans in the restaurant; friends of our have begun to appear.  "John Kerry is your new president?" the cabbie asks, as he drives from the airport.

We visited the American Museum at Giverny.  It is a splendid bit of modern architecture, landscaped perfectly.  The white blossoms on the tree were brilliant against the French grey sky.  We happened upon a show of Edward Hopper's work in Paris.  It turned out he lived on the same street, rue de Lille, that we used to, just one block away.  His images were ones we painted ninety years later: little change.

With a sense of immediacy to see flowers in bloom, we took another group of American/English friends to the Parc Floral.  For three years I've been waiting to see the wild tulips: we rushed through lunch to get there.

The wild tulips are mainly from Persia and Turkey, their original homes.  Tulips only grow wild in very specific latitudes, and last for only a few days.  They are a more delicate type than we normally think of -- these have thin, short stems, and pointy petals that flare outward.  It is the flower that decorates so many ancient Persian fabrics.

The field looked like a fabric, or a Christmas tree, with multi-color lights:  deep green with little flowers in variegated shades. A clump of magenta here, beside two red flowers; six peach blooms with deep maroon centers, along a line of white -- the perfect spectacle.

The trees, bare of leaves, allow enough sunlight to urge the flowers out of the ground.  A month later, no one will ever know they were there.  Already the daffodils I painted in this weeks painting have disappeared for another twelve months.

For years, I lived in the Northwestern US, upholstered in conifers.  Although there is a certain comfort to seeing green all year, I love to see the form of the deciduous tree beneath its leafy cloak.  It gives the shape of the tree more meaning: x-ray glasses.  Before we left, we visited the bonsai in the Parc Floral, some more than 100 years old.  I felt like a giant, inspecting the roots, the trunks, no larger than my wrist.  I imagine them exhaling and growing one grand leaf after we go.

Laurie (painting and text) and Blair PESSEMIER

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