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  • Writer's pictureWayne Sleeth

Vernon à Giverny aller-retour

PAINTING STORY No.1 :

Vernon à Giverny, aller-retour

134 x 75 cm

2021-2023


Some works are far from simply buying a readymade canvas and painting to a clear or semi-clear idea or composition. A recent example: Vernon to Giverny and Back (2023).

In 2021, between covid confinements and travel limitations, l worked mostly from the studio, but continued my weekly trips to the local rubbish tip (déchetterie). Occasional finds such as old frames, wood and decorative objects serve as a base for different approaches to painting.

Summer of 2021 a large frame ( 1m34 x 75 cm ) caught my eye. The canvas it framed l took for a reproduction, but saw that it was an original, in oil paints, but damaged. The artist's signature, Vernon.

So this was a Vernon original, worth a small sum, but immediately the idea to transform the painting came to mind. In previous years l had been visiting Claude Monet's estate in Giverny, Normandy, a village within walking distance of the town of Vernon...

Voilà, within the time it takes to walk between the two and back ( 1h 15 mins ), l had to personalise the painting.

In 2022, areas were reworked in spraypaint, the sad-looking shack on the lake shoreline tagged 'Monet' with poscas, waterlilies added in the wayer, and in 2023 a warm orange setting sun as a 'clin d'œil' to another of Monet's leitmotifs, or pictoral elements ( which, by the way, had been borrowed from JMW Turner ) was added.

The rent in the canvas was just the right size to insert a used can of orange spraypaint, the Molotow logo 'M' turned upside-down to give me my 'W'. Reappropriation to the end...

The frame, solid and in quite good condition, was 'tagged' as is my custom, with the word Monet in colours respective of the local colours in the painting.

A 1.25 hour round trip that took me, unusually, almost 2 years to complete !


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