Bridge Over Boring Waters.

This is Candy, on the job:

She is clearly OK with the change to Daylight Savings time. Me, I’m still getting adjusted. I don’t know why it’s hitting me harder this year than previously, but I am still constantly surprised that the day just doesn’t feel right.

Candy’s patch of sunshine is at the bottom of the stairs on the ground floor, in front of the archway that leads to the entire right-hand side of the house, so we have to tip-toe the long way around (hang a left and go through the dining room) because Candy is very skittish (after nine years of living with us) and we would wake her and freak her out if we got too close and you know Rule No. 1 in Cat Land:

Never Bother a Sleeping Kitty.

She’s near the pot of grass I bought for the cats, which no one even tasted, but which someone did sit on.

Last week, Dear Reader Jeanie asked about the bright green paint I used in my Monet lily pond painting. Here it is:

This wonderful picture of the Grumbacher 24-pan watercolor set is from the place I buy all my Grumbacher paints  from — Blick’s (on line and in person) and I was tickled to see that their photo featured the exact bright green paint that Jeanie asked about. It is called Leaf Green and it’s one of three greens that you get in a Grumbacher 24-pan watercolor set (the others are Sea Green and French Green).

My current working set of Grumbacher paints looks a lot less tasty than those spotless new ones:

And, if you remember from last week, here are those various Grumbacher paint colors in use:

We left off with me thinking that the water bits that make up the entire lower half of this picture look boring, and with Coco in the animal hospital getting teeth pulled so she could eat again. Coco is home, with far fewer teeth and great pain meds, and she is eating (YAY!). Look away from the next photo if you do not want to see the souvenirs the vet gave me when she sent Coco home (take note, cat people):

That’s a diseased incisor on the right, and a hunk of tartar on the left. It’s as hard as stone. Yikes. That is one huge hunk of tartar for one kitty. My vet said it was the biggest chunk of tartar she’s ever removed. My vet didn’t see the rotten incisor and molars and broken side teeth and tartar until Coco was out cold. Feline dentistry must be done when the cat is knocked out, because those wascally wabbits will not let a vet get a good look if they are awake and pissed off at being at the vet’s. You have to take the chance and put your old cat under, just to make sure he/she isn’t hiding a great deal of pain in their mouths. FYI.

But cat care is only part of my job description. Let’s get back to what earns me the big bucks, which is rescuing a  picture of Monet’s garden from deadly boredom.  Here’s is what I did about it:

Oh lordy, the pic looks ten times worse now. It’s even MORE boring than before! This is a terrible, criminal waste of paint. This picture totally and whole-heartedly sucks.

There are a lot of things wrong with this pic, but the one that jumps out at me now is the bridge. How did I not notice, before this, that I got it all wrong? Totally wrong. Amateur-hour wrong. It’s embarrassing. It’s like I wasn’t even looking at the bridge and just slapped in something that looked “bridge-ish”. I hate myself.

It’s my job to steal ideas from other artists  stay informed of other artist’s renderings of this scene, so a quick search of the inter webs yielded this:

painting credit: Carol Gadek Skapinetz

Yes, that’s Monet’s bridge, and it’s perfect. Seven upright railings and four supports to the over-head canopy. Well done. But if something looks a-miss here, something that looks like we’re  not in Kansas France anymore, you would be right. This is a painting called Monet’s Bridge but here’s the catch:  it’s Monet’s Bridge in the Gibbs Gardens in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

So there you go: There’s an exact replica of Monet’s bridge in Georgia. They even planted a Copper Beech next to it. Well, La-Di-Dah.

No, wait. That was Annie Hall. The culturally appropriate Scarlet O’Hara is who I’m going for. Wasn’t her catch phrase, “Christ on a cracker”, or am I remembering someone else?

Dear Readers, I think you deserve to see a great photo of Monet’s Bridge in Gibbs Gardens in Georgia:

Photo credit: Randy Clinkscales.

Beautiful. (Awesome reflection, too.)

If you ever want to paint Monet’s bridge, it behooves you to take a look at this beauty in the Gibbs Gardens in Georgia is all I’m saying, because it’s the best look at Monet’s bridge that you’re going to get. Trust me. The real bridge is hard to see because it’s hemmed in with a lot of flowering plants and verdure. Yes. I said “verdure”.

Here’s my best photo of the bridge from when I was in Giverny trying to get a good look at the thing, and as you can see, you can’t see much:

As usual, if you are searching for the best of Giverny on the internet, you end up looking at photos by the Grande Dame of Giverny, Ariane Cauderlier, at, who lives in a restored 15th century farmhouse down the road from Monet’s garden and has every day, four season access to it:

Ah, what a view. Check out Ariane’s blog (in French or English) for up-to-the-minute info on what’s going on in all things Monet. She took the snow scene (above) just last week, when Europe was hit with a nasty weather system from Russia that they called The Beast From the East. Catchy, non? 

God, I love the internet. But, getting back to the travesty-du-jour here on the north shore of Long Island, something must be done with this piece of crap:

Something like this:

I want to keep the background because I am quite pleased with the way the green from (I think) an alder tree, bleeds into dark red from a Copper Beech. Yuck. That Copper Beech.

I dislike red-leafed trees. In the words of the greatest female character, ever, from Star Trek: They are an offense to my eyes.

It is hard to get red watercolor to bleed into green watercolor without it turning into a brown mush, and I got lucky here in that both colors bled into each other but managed to stay  in-tact.  So why make more work for myself?  I’m keeping the background.

I’m happy about re-resucing this pic because it gives me the chance to re-boot the square format. I’ve become bored with four corners, so this is how I’ll be re-inventing this scene:

First, I painted the bridge in white acrylic and let it dry, so I could paint in the background without losing my lines. White acrylic paint is my go-to cure-all for whatever ails my watercolor:

Right: We’re going to go for some drama here. I left that little bit of pink sky peeking out from under the canopy of the bridge on purpose (it’s not there in nature) because every picture needs a Bull’s Eye.

And this is where I am leaving it for now. I have not figured out, yet, how to do the rest of the watery bits, and I don’t have a reference photo to use because I’M MAKING THIS UP : this is a sun set view and I’ve never been there at sun set. Well, in fact, I have been there at several sun sets, trespassing, but it was always either over-cast or Winter, when I was there, and the sky was cement gray. I like a pink sky better.

Can I just say something about being a pet owner?

There is no way in hell that I would ever let a fight attendant put my animal in the overhead compartment. I would get off the damn plane kicking and screaming and acting like a crazy person all the way before I stashed my dear companion in the overhead compartment. So, as vile as it is that there’s a flight attendant who would insist that a passenger put her animal in the overhead compartment, it is even more despicable that there’s an owner/  animal’s protector who would DO IT.

Lastly, I send 113,813 smooches to the voters of Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district for YOU KNOW WHAT (the first flip of the mid-term elections): Thank you. Yay Conor Lamb, Democrat, who won a solid Republican seat in the House of Representatives.

One down, 534 to go. (I’m an optimist.)

With the help of these awesome kids, we might just do it:

I have so much respect for the students who walked out on March 14. Stay mad, stay righteous, stay strong.

Yeah, I got the T-shirt. I can’t wait to wear it on March 24.

Have a great weekend, Dear Ones. I know you’re with me, on the right side of history.

Repeal the Second Amendment.


10 Comments, RSS

  1. Elizabeth Schmid March 16, 2018 @ 7:00 am

    Love the faux bridges in other parts!
    Love your renditions of the real one.
    Will be on LI this weekend.

  2. Linda @ A La Carte March 16, 2018 @ 11:49 am

    Those colors are amazing in that pan set. I’m such a beginner painter but love to see how you work and put it all together. I’m with you about the pet in the overhead bin. I will say the woman had young children with her I think and was ‘overwhelmed’ but I would have fought like crazy against that and after take off opened that bin and removed the dog. Others on the plane would have helped I believe. Anyway, yay to the first mid term flip!!

  3. Casey March 16, 2018 @ 4:19 pm

    You know, you could show us your finished paintings and we would all think that Wow, you are the most brilliant painter ever. But you show us your mistakes and your rescues and we think, Wow, you are the MOST BRILLIANT painter EVER!!!

    I want Candy’s job.

  4. Kirra March 16, 2018 @ 5:45 pm

    I agree with Casey – I want Candy’s job too! Good to hear Coco is on the mend. That is a good point about the pet owner, but it’s still pretty shit of the airline.

    Thanks for sharing the replica Monet bridge, who knew?! I am impressed with your re-rescue, you are always persistent with you paintings. Good luck on the water/lily painting next.

    I am off to vote in our South Australian state election today, the result can’t be predicted and we could end up worse off than we currently are…..over here it’s compulsory to vote so therefore very easy too. I literally just walk 2 minutes down the street to my polling station at the local school. Anyway, hurray for the first of many Democrat wins and good on you for getting the t-shirt! The kids are brilliant and strong and it’s very encouraging to see.

  5. Susan March 16, 2018 @ 9:35 pm

    The students are our heroes and the hope for our future. Loving the evolution of your painting. Very interesting to see various interpretations of the bridge. Glad to hear Coco is doing well after her dental work. Candy, basking in the sunshine, is one happy kitty. Shame on that airline. Like you, I would have taken a strong position.

  6. Judy Jennings March 17, 2018 @ 12:42 am

    Of all the many many times that I’ve seen photos/paintings of that bridge, with and without M. Monet standing on it, I didn’t realize that it has a “roof.” I’ve never ever seen that, brain didn’t recognize it. But brain does recognize excellent photography–that Candy Cat photo needs to be framed!

  7. Becky March 17, 2018 @ 2:33 pm

    We were so excited about Connor Lamb’s win. I’m not in his district but was hoping he would win. Step one in the right direction.
    That was a terrible story about the dog that was put in the bin and died. I would have fought with the flight attendant over that and probably would have been thrown off the plane. Also, I think she should be fired for this.
    Candy has the life. And isn’t it funny that furry being can rule the roost. I always think as I walk my dog of a quote by someone who I can’t remember now…if you see someone walking a dog….carrying a bag of poop….Who is the higher life form…! In my household I know who it is and it is most definitely not me. So glad Coco is doing well.
    Thank you for sharing how you rescue a painting and the thought processes in choosing colors. It is so interesting to watch you go through the steps to reach a finished picture.
    The changes to gun control lies with the vocal youth. Here’s hoping they can keep up the fight.
    We think the idiots theme song should be not Hail to the Chief but Another One Bites the Dust…..oh yeah.

  8. Gigi DeVault March 17, 2018 @ 8:10 pm

    This post if brimming with happiness, except for a few sad happenings:

    -The puppy and the passive pet owner (who did not USE HER VOICE or HER BRAIN!)

    -The need for an anti-violence / anti-gun march by young people. But a pivot change from these young leaders is exactly what America needs, so – if these students have their way (and I believe they will) some good may come from the wreckage and tragedy.

    -The boulder of tartar and the infected molar (Are the colors for better visibility, or did something odd happen at the vets?) But even that episode had a happy ending because you – dear pet owner – are intrepid.

    Happy Candy in the sunshine!
    Happy Coco, now healing!
    Happy cat owner, now relieved for Coco.
    Happy Leaf Green.
    Happy inspirational artist who is rescuing the painting of Monet’s bridge rescue. Truly amazing, and as some say…BRILLIANT!
    Happy Democratic victory in Pennsylvania’s 118th!

    Closing with Happy St. Patrick’s Day, only because we are edging closer to spring…and summer!

  9. jeanie March 18, 2018 @ 9:30 am

    Wow — even Coco’s incisor looks like one of your watercolors. Great purple but bad for the teeth. (The tartar chunk — not so much!) But I’m glad she is on the mend.

    Thanks for the color and look at the whole palette so I know what the heck to get. I was pricing about. Amazon actually h as it cheaper than Blick by mail when you count in postage (which is free on Amazon, even though I still have to buy something else… like a Holbein turquoise I have been coveting — to get me to $25. I think they were $18.26. A penny saved is a penny earned. Wish I had a nearby Blick to run in and pick up things. Anyway, thank you! Such a four-star color!

    Good news everywhere else — PA and the FL gun pass. Not perfect but boy — what a step for those guys. Of course, the rest of Washington is going down the tubes but we won’t go there. And yes, unforgivable on the plane story. If Lizzie ever has to fly — God Forbid! — she’s sitting right with me.

    Thanks again, Vivian!

  10. Marilyn March 19, 2018 @ 11:13 pm

    I love all the colors in the paint box and yes, I agree with Jeanie on that green. It is terrific. Now I wish I asked my vet for my cats tooth when it was pulled last August. That is alot of tarter. What fun to follow your Monet painting adventure. Clever to use the white acrylic. I love the pink sky too. And politics I can’t even say, but for sure agree with you on all of it. Please, please make it go away soon. Can you paint a picture that makes it go in the dumpster and crushes it?

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