We drove to San Francisco today (about 70 miles from home) to see the Monet in Normandy exhibit at The Legion of Honor (links in yesterday’s post). Home in the Central Valley was, of course, sunny, as we get no rain from mid-May to late October at the earliest. But over the Coastal Mountains and heading into the city over the Golden Gate Bridge, skies were overcast and the fog hadn’t lifted.
That was a nice change. Don’t get me wrong, I like sunny weather. But day after day of dry, blazing sun makes this native Midwesterner appreciate some fog and clouds.
The exhibit at the Legion of Honor was spectacular. Monet lived as a child in Normandy, and Giverney, his adult country home with extensive gardens, is also in Normandy. The exhibit started with early Impressionist paintings of the landscapes Monet did while visiting various towns, mostly during the summer (late 1860s). Many of these are just branching into Impressionism and maintain a great deal of realism. Some of the early paintings foreshadowed his later works by using more abstraction and capturing reflections in water. It was clear how Monet always worked to develop his talent and skill. He was absent from Normandy for the 1870s, and returned there after the death of his beloved first wife, Camille, in 1879. The early 1880s paintings in the exhibit not only show a large jump in Monet’s artistic vision from the 1860s, but also seem to show how his paintings of thrashing ocean waves and sea storms helped him work through the loss of his wife. The final room of the exhibit showed several paintings from the gardens at Giverney, including several of waterlilies or wisteria. They were simply sublime.
Afterward, we did not linger in the city, but went back across the Golden Gate Bridge to San Anselmo to have a late lunch at Insalatas. Even though it was only 1:30 in the afternoon, I had a Passion Drop cocktail (orange vodka, peach infusion, lime and a little vanilla bean). It was sweet but tasty, and I wasn’t driving. When we arrived home, I found this in the mail:
What pretty colors! My order from TheKnitter.com. I haven’t been able to find Trekking XXL in LYSs, so I was glad to find it online. Shipment was very prompt and FREE!! A pity I can’t take a few weeks of vacation and just knit. Ah, well, the anticipation will have to suffice.