Garden At Hotel Baudy (Giverny, France)

Garden At Hotel Baudy (Giverny, France)






“All art is but imitation of nature.”

~ Seneca the Younger



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It may seem odd that I would choose a quote about art in a painting about a garden at a hotel.  I assure you, it’s not.  The Hotel Baudy in Giverny, France is a very special hotel and it’s especially important to many artists.  This hotel originated from the nineteenth century and it was nothing special at the time.  It was small and owned by an ordinary husband and wife – it was just another place to eat just like so many like it throughout France.  It was a simple restaurant with two tables for visitors.  But what the Hotel Baudy turned into was a destination for artists; its grounds became the inspiration for hundreds if not thousands of paintings.  The hotel’s name and reputation spread by word-of-mouth and from artist-to-artist.

 

Many artists painted here, ate here, slept here, and even loved here.  One of the most famous of these artists was Claude Monet.  He actually lived nearby, but his reputation and work drew artists from everywhere to Giverny and subsequently to this special place.  Hotel Baudy grew to accommodate these artists, but what set this hotel apart was its gardens.  There was no real plan to them, no landscaping, and no theme.  They were a mix and match of everything; in spots, reminders of the vineyard they were built upon may still be seen interspersed among the growth.  Since artists came specifically to these gardens from all around the world, they contributed to the garden with flowers and plants from their own native lands – in a way, the garden represented the first League of Nations long before the first rumbles of World War I (If only the world could have remained as peaceful!l).

 

Paths naturally appeared throughout the gardens and often they were edged by flowers that naturally wouldn’t appear together like roses next to daylilies, daylilies next to ferns all marking a path forward.  Even the colors of the flowers residing together were not necessarily complementary on the color wheel.  It was an eclectic mix of everything; yet somehow it all worked together.  Artists like Camille Pissarro came there as the gardens called out to them, “Paint me!”  The flowers and greenery of that year’s garden was preserved forever in oil and water and charcoal for that season even as the make-up of the gardens at those moments succumbed to the inevitability and wonders of life as it renews itself from season-to-season and year-to-year.

 

American artist Willard Metcalf and French painters Paul Cezanne and Pierre-Auguste Renoir used the gardens in many of their most popular works.  Many of these artists were impressionists and being near the home of Monet also inspired them along with the theme of “garden” being a perfect subject for impressionistic painting.  Although my paining is not impressionistic, I wanted to try and capture in my interpretation the beauty and wonder of that energy, that uniqueness, that special quality that drew so many wonderful artists to the Hotel Baudy.  The founders never planned for it to become what it became, but it became the source of inspiration for hundreds of artists across time, including me,  as these gardens challenge us to attempt to capture their true essence on our canvases.

 

I hope I show you the depth of what a simple two table restaurant became to hundreds of artists.  It has even been rumored that these gardens became the settings of numerous romantic encounters over the years.  Doesn’t that seem so fittingly appropriate for a group of impressionistic artists?  Art truly is the imitation of nature and nature often is the inspiration for art.  I wanted to show you what an artist sees in a garden and I hope you can see him or her setting up their easel and painting what is in front of them: Simpleness, Chaos, Beauty, and Potential.  And, perhaps, you can imagine him or her meeting their model back behind the roses and daylilies after the sun sleeps for the night; tomorrow you will find them full of new inspiration as he or she moves their easel and paints those roses and daylilies in the Garden at Hotel Baudy with new interpretation!

Height25"
Width19"
Depth1"
Weight5lbs
MediaOil
SubjectLandscape
FramedNo..Wooho I can have my own framing
GlassNot Needed for Oil Painting...

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