Wednesday, July 8, 2009


[Click on pictures to enlarge].

Giverny is the country home of Claude Monet, the French impressionist painter.

Located 80 km West from Paris, France, in the village of Giverny, 4 km from the town of Vernon, Claude Monet House and Gardens are now open to visitors who can amble through the gardens that inspired his paintings: the water lily pond, Japanese bridge, Grande Allee, flower garden and more.

Above, you may recognize his most famous painting of the Bridge in the Japanese Garden.

Below, I am posing on that same bridge.

Impressionist painters have a specific way of using colors. Impressionist art is based on the use of color, which has to "draw" the motive without resorting to line.

At the beginning of his career, Monet used dark colors. From 1860 on, Monet abandonned dark colors and worked from a palette limited to pure light colors.

In 1905, answering a question about his colors, he wrote : "As for the colors I use, what's so interesting about that ? I don't think one could paint better or more brightly with another palette. The most important thing is to know how to use the colors. Their choice is a matter of habit. In short, I use white lead, cadmium yellow, vermilion, madder, cobalt blue, chrome green. That's all."

The color analysis enabled to identify the colors he used and the binder of the paintings : poppyseed oil and linseed oil. The former dries off slower and yellows less.

I promised you an extravaganza contest. Here are my questions:

1- In To Love A Hero: what is the name of the colonel who is Sergei's close friend?
2- What is the name of the American contract director who travels with Cecile?
3-In French Peril: what is the name of the Chateau's butler?

4- What is the name of Fran├žois' former French girlfriend?

5-In Babies in the Bargain, what is the baby's name

6- What is Marc's brother's name?

Are you ready to play?I will post this until the end of July to give you the time to find the answers. I need all the answers for a winner and two runners up.

Tomorrow I will post the prizes

If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with heat.


Jane said...

Ooh, I recognize that bridge. I've never been to France, but hope to someday soon. Giverny is beautiful.

Eva S said...

France is a very beautiful country, I saw some of it when I visited my sister in Andorra. Would love to spend some more time there.

Emma Lai said...

I love impressionist paintings. Thanks for the post, Mona!

Cindy K. Green said...

Wonderful pictures! I love Monet and the whole Impressionist movement. Thanks for posting this Mona.

LK Hunsaker said...

Monet is one of my favorite artists! I've been to Paris but missed Giverny. What fun it had to be to stand on that bridge!

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Mona, what beautiful pictures! I majored in art in college and Monet has long been a favorite.

Thanks for the great post.


Debra St. John said...

How lucky you were, Mona, to walk in Monet's footsteps. The Japanase Garden Bridge print is the focal point in my bathroom, and the rest is done with his waterlillies. It's almost my favorite room in the house.

Cate Masters said...

Thanks for posting those gorgeous pics! Hard not to be inspired in a place so beautiful, though Monet captured it so well!

Mary Ricksen said...

What a beautiful place it must be to see in person.
And there you are right in the middle of it!

Historical Writer/Editor said...

You have a lovely blog, Mona. :)

P.L. Parker said...

Beautiful. I enjoyed every second.

P. L. Parker

Shelley Munro said...

I loved the photos and would really like to visit in person. Hubby and I went to a Monet exhibition a few months ago. We both really like his paintings.

Francesca Prescott said...

What a great idea for a blog, Mona! Monet is one of my favourite artists. Last year, there was a big exhibition of impressionist artists about an hour and a half away from where I live in Switzerland. We kept meaning to go (it was on the way to our chalet in the Alps) but never actually did. So silly! I didn't know about this place outside of Paris; the next time I'm there maybe we'll go and take a look.

StephB said...

Those pictures were gorgeous and I can see why Monet's impressionist art was so successful. Thank you for sharing with us. I just recently picked up "To Love a Hero" but I haven't had a chance to tackle it yet. Looking forward to it. I think it's a great quiz - wish I could particpate. Maybe soon.


Mona Risk said...

Thank you for stopping by. I am glad you like the pictures.

liana laverentz said...

The most important thing is to know how to use the colors. Their choice is a matter of habit. In short, I use white lead, cadmium yellow, vermilion, madder, cobalt blue, chrome green. That's all."

Amazing what he did with only seven colors. Truly amazing. Sometimes (most times, actually) less is more :)