A Plein Air Retreat with Claude Monet

Monet's Giverny in Athens, Texas

Sunday presented me with a bounteous gift.  I received a surprise phone call while in the studio Saturday from a long-time teacher friend/colleague.  Back in the early 1990’s we team-taught French Impressionism to her French classes and my art classes at Lamar High School.  Though we had not seen much of each other for nearly two decades, we continued to share a common thread in French Impressionist art.

She phoned Saturday to say she had just driven past a site in Athens, Texas that reminded her of Claude Monet’s gardens in Giverny–a pond on some private property that was glistening in the morning sun with a large body of water lilies.  My friend contacted the owners and secured permission for us to go on to the property.  I arrived the next day, and we went directly to work.  The owners of the property were extremely gracious to us, and I cannot recall a more splendid plein air opportunity than the one I experienced as the sun began to set on this beautiful body of water and lily pads.

I was out of my element, which is always fun en plein air.  I had never before attempted to paint lily pads, and found myself scrambling on this one.  But the sight of the sun, back-lighting the trees behind the pond, proved just as scintillating a subject as the shimmering water surface itself, and I found myself getting lost in this composition.  I have been invited to return when the lilies are in bloom, and I cannot wait for that day to happen.  The two-hour drive was well worth the experience, and I welcome the return.

I loved the connection I felt to Claude Monet as I studied the light playing across the water surface, the flickering leaves on the trees, and the bending grasses.  I did not want to leave the site.  I cannot thank my friends enough for giving me this opportunity.

Thanks for reading.


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2 Responses to “A Plein Air Retreat with Claude Monet”

  1. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    Giverny in Texas – isn’t America grand? Nice work.


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