|"Water Lilies is an extension of my life. Without water the lilies cannot live, as I am without art." (Claude Monet)|
I recently went searching through photos for something (and I found it), but was enticed down a rabbit hole with photos from our trip to France and the UK in 2016. One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to Giverny where Monet lived, gardened, and painted.
|"I must have flowers. Always and always." (Claude Monet)|
The garden was a riot of colour. Roses, poppies, sunflowers, agapanthus, phlox, hollyhocks - all the lovely flowers mingled together in generous beds between straight paths that led round to the house.
|"Everyday I discover more and more beautiful things. It's enough to drive one mad. I have such a desire to do everything; my head is bursting with it." (Claude Monet)|
Although most of us would think a pink house with bright green shutters garish, it fit perfectly in Monet's garden.
|"Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment." (Claude Monet)|
Most of the walls in Monet's house are cool neutral whites and pale shades. It was quite startling to walk into the dining room where vibrant, clear yellow dominates. Notice how even the furniture is painted the same colour. And the red checkered floor. Blue and white tiles. Amazing. This is a room for lively conversation, for good food, for friends and family. One feels revitalized just walking into the space.
|"Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love." (Claude Monet)|
The kitchen is a riot of blue and white tiles, turquoise and white cabinets and those shiny copper pots that instill admiration and the desire to whip up a souffle or omelette. There have been a few books published about Monet's appreciation of good food, and how much he entertained his friends at Giverny.
The photos of Monet's house got me thinking about my own. Like Monet I favour cool, clear colours. I have never liked the beiges and earth tones that were so popular a few years ago. Wherever we lived, if it was possible, I painted walls light and cool. The collage above is composed of photos from the Cotswolds and Wales, and you can see I have a tendency to blue. Clear blues of almost any shade are, and always have been, my favourite.
I even have a hard time taking photos of flowers that are orange or pale peach. They just don't appeal to me like the pink roses and blue delphiniums. Above is a collage of roses from the gardens at Sudeley Castle. I forced myself to take photos of those orange hues.
This brings me to my current dilemma. Our living/dining room needs repainting. I've been thinking about it for a couple of years. It's very pale blue. When we lived in the jungle of Ecuador, the living room was painted white with the barest barest hint of pink - cool, clear pink, not swine-colour. I've been looking around and talking to paint experts and I think I'm ready to take the plunge.
|"Try to forget what objects you have before you - a tree, a house, a field or whatever. Merely think, "Here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow," and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape, until it gives you your own impression of the scene before you." (Claude Monet)|
I painted a test splotch on the wall today and I think the colour will work (can't remember the name, but the clerk at Benjamin Moore said it was the palest pink they make). We have the best of guests for the weekend (Baby Iris and her parents) so painting will wait for awhile, but it feels good to start.
I'm so happy the sun is shining this afternoon after a rainy, cloudy week. Hooray for summertime!
Linking to Friday Bliss, hosted by Riitta of Floral Passions, where she mentions that Finland has also had a cool and rainy week.