Giverny, France, 1993Yesterday I started a new sketchbook. Starting a new book makes me think fondly of the ones that have gone before it, and this is the one that started it all.
It was a fabulous trip. We painted in Monet's garden in the evenings after it closed. We stayed in a rented house and did our own cooking and had to get groceries in the next town - we didn't have a car. Once we hitched a ride on a vegetable truck. A little old grandma lived downstairs, and sometimes she would come up to see us. She always had a dog and two geese following along. She didn't speak any English but somehow we managed to communicate. One of her geese would make a bee-line to our pantry and pull out the bread. I went with two artist friends and the house was full of artists coming and going. We stayed about two and a half weeks - it was beginning to feel like home. Every spring I get a little homesick for the place. I've never gone back. It was one of those experiences that couldn't be duplicated. Maybe because they wouldn't want those crazy Americans back in the neighborhood.
Okay - back to reality. Back to cooking. Back to digging out the table linens.