Monday, September 09, 2013

Vernon - Giverny

Saturday we painted behind Hotel Baudy in Giverny
Sometimes painting in Monet's gardens, Giverny is overwhelming. But in this quiet spot down the road you can forget the magnificence for a bit and focus on the paint.
I caught Caroline coming through the hedges
And my mind's eye was remembering
This wonderful detail of a Monet painting.
The Baudy, formerly a grocery store in Monet's time turned into a hotel to accommodate all the artists flocking to Giverny. There's a charming 'museum' of sorts - a studio of the times where they did life studies (drew the nude) and various and sundry.
Earlier in the day we went into Vernon for the weekly marché and general exploring.
The church Collégiale Notre-Dame is quite impressive in scale.
Caroline pointed out rainbow reflections of the stain glass windows on the stone pillars...
Caroline pointed out rainbow reflections of the stain glass windows on the stone pillars...
Vernon is full of Normande split-timber houses
I could live here...
The Saturday country market seems huge
Often you're buying direct from producteurs or the farmers themselves.

I've been eating as many Mirabelle tartes as possible during their brief season of August-September.
The mirabelle is a specialty of the French region of Lorraine, which has an ideal climate and soil composition for the cultivation of this fruit. This region produces 15,000 tons of mirabelle prunes annually, which constitutes 80% of global commercial production.
There are two main cultivars grown for fruit production, derived from cherry plums grown in Nancy and Metz. The Metz type is smaller, less hard, and less sweet, and has no small red spots on the skin. It is very good for jam, while the Nancy type is better as fresh fruit as it is sweeter. Since 1996 the mirabelle de Lorraine has been recognized and promoted by the EU as a high-quality regional product, with a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). This label guarantees a minimum fruit size (22mm) and sugar content, and can only be used in a specific geographical zone of production.
The city of Metz dedicates two weeks to the Mirabelle plum during the popular Mirabelle Festival held in August. During the festival, in addition to open markets selling fresh prunes, mirabelle tarts, and mirabelle liquor, there is live music, fireworks, parties, art exhibits, a parade with floral floats and competition, and the crowning of the Mirabelle Queen and a gala of celebration.

Merci Wikipedia
At the same time each tartelette offers the opportunity to solve the mystery of the pyramid.
Caroline, of Art Colony Giverny, along with teaching us color and form in Monet's garden is helping me personally learn to make a pastry pyramid out of paper. What more could you ask?


  1. Carol Im so impressed about everything...Monet is one of my favourite painter with Van Gogh ,Leonardo,Raffaello ,Michelangelo, Giotto ,Caravaggio..

    Have You never been to visit Van Gogh village ? Its only 30 minutes far from Paris , Auvers sur Oise...wonderful place...

    Your post make me dream today,thank You!

    1. Auver-sur-oise is on my to-do list!
      A Must

  2. Mirabelle tartes appear to be a work of art in themselves! As is the light inside the churches. How wonderful to be surrounded by so much art and inspiration.

  3. Well, as ever, this all goes to prove that France is much prettier and more interesting than NY.
    We miss you.
    Claudia is now in Tuscany having git back from Montpellier last week.
    She is organizing a museum show in Montpellier.
    Maybe I will have to go there to see it......

    Buster says hi!

  4. I have been to France twice, but have never made it to Vernon. Hopefully one day, I will.
    Thank you for sharing your journey. You are so inspiring, Carol!

  5. I agree you are always so inspiring..This whole painting getaway seems absolutely wonderful.
    I see the hollyhocks are spent there lso.Such grandes dames of a cottage garden.

  6. Patricia9:00 AM

    Am loving this whole visit to Giverny and Vernon. Thank you for taking us along wiht you!

  7. Your sedimentary washes are lovely, Carol. This place looks to die for--I could definitely live there. Sigh...enjoying your escapades.

  8. Carol, it's grand to see all those hedges...and how you are exploring greens. It seems remarkable to me that even though Giverny must surely be an immense tourist draw, your views of Vernon suggest a very laid back atmosphere, full of natural beauty, and sophisticated pastry. What a great combination.

    (Please let my notion survive, and do not tell me that you were surrounded by tourists, just outside your picture frame!)


    1. You are absolutely right on Frances
      It's all pretty manageable traveling around here
      And very well organized
      Though it is September

  9. How wonderful to take in the atmosphere of Monet's idyllic life !!! and the food secrets of Vernon.... Carole's Giverny... Stay there a while so we can see more!

  10. Bonjour,
    Un lieu que je connais bien et que j'affectionne.
    Vos photos m'ont fait du bien... les admirer m'ont fait revivre des souvenirs agréables...
    Gros bisous

    1. So enjoyed this tour of Giverny and Vernon. Your day trips are always informative and interesting. Next move for you could be Vernon??

  11. I want to come back and spend more time on all your Giverny posts so I can better digest them. They are beautiful -- both the work you do and the photos of the places you are!

  12. Thanks for this. I've never explored Vernon, but hope to in future.

  13. Anonymous1:10 PM



  14. Anonymous1:12 PM

    How delightful and calming environment ......I could live there long as there is bakeries and ice cream...

  15. Anonymous1:13 PM

    Your water colors are my favorite part of your blog. So pretty. How do you keep your paper flat, expecially when you are painting en plein air as below?

    Always enjoy the blog. Glenna

    1. My paper is very lightweight...only 90 lb
      But i do use those metal clips so it doesnt fly away when i'm painting

  16. Anonymous1:23 PM

    Those gravel walkways in Giverny brought back memories. My toe apparently crossed the line and I swear a person appeared out of no where, scolding me. Then, Leslie being a good rule follower stayed on top of me for fear I would get in trouble again. I think it is good to get in a little trouble, don't you!

    So are you having meals with the other artists and having classes or is it more free flowing? I do wish you would tell all the details!!!!
    Have fun, wish I could pop in! Carolyn

    1. Yes we eat together
      Free flowing and structured at the same time

  17. Carole; I SO enjoyed doing one of my all-time favourite walks again with you and your wonderful watercolours. Honestly, if my guests would have to choose just two visiting options, I'd offer them the bateau-cruise on the Seine and Giverny... This is a lovely post - Thank You so much.

  18. Sorry, my itching finger pushed publish before I could add that, of course, I also adore Vernon - goes without saying - and we had some pretty decent meals too - and it IS laid-back even when we were last time in hot June....

  19. Anonymous1:29 PM

    If you haven’t already encountered it - Eva Figes wrote a wonderful novel about Monet in Giverny. Light: With Monet at GivernyThanks for your wonderful blog.


  20. I feel like Linnea meandering through Monet's garden, following your steps and eye! Love your color swatches and the aged yellow on the studio walls, and the pastry pyramid, The tomatoes, the mirabelle tartlets, the split timber walls and the bike leaning there, as well as the spent hollyhocks.

  21. Buying directly from farmers is ALWAYS a good idea :)

  22. It looks like such a beautiful spot; I'm glad that you are spending so much time there! The pictures are so beautiful......

  23. Anonymous9:51 PM

    Fantastic post, great photo shots and loved the blob paintings,

  24. Anonymous5:51 AM

    Are you going to start wearing a straw hat and smock now that you are tight with the ACG?
    The church pillars look like I took my pastels to them or maybe spray can graffiti?
    and finally...
    What the heck are Mirabelles???

    1. Yes i wore a straw hat...I did not want to get sunstroke.
      No smock yet.
      Mirabelles are tiny sweet yellow plums, here for just an inhalation and then gone so celebrated in all the boulangeries

  25. valerie s.10:41 PM

    Hurray! Many thanks Carol for the info on folding a patisserie pyramid, so happy!

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. Chocolate Caramel Cookies - Stop Motion
    Sorted Food

    if You like amazing easy double chocolate salt caramel cookies receipe,I know You will love it,give a look on youtube to this !!Sorry but they let me think about You Carol...

  28. I've seen these posts but had back problems so hard time commenting. now I am trying to catch up.. How cool to see Monets studio. wow a dream of mine. He wasnt afraid of color was he? I would have a hard time painting while there too. would just want to soak it all up and paint it later. :)


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