I learned about Honfleur from my art studies in college. This fishing port in France's Normandy region was a favorite spot for the Impressionists to spend their summers. Eugene Boudin grew up in Honfleur and has a remarkable museum in Honfleur with many of his masterpieces. Although Claude Monet is popularly thought of as the father of Impressionism, Boudin was painting plein air (outdoors) well before Monet. In fact, Boudin was outside painting when Monet saw him and became a mentor to Monet.
I had wanted to visit this idyllic city since first studying about it. In May 2006, I rented a car for two weeks and painted my way through Normandy. Unfortunately, I first drove through Honfleur on May 1, a French holiday. Because of the masses of people, I kept driving knowing I would return when I could experience it without the crowds. When I returned a few days later, I spent two days paintings various harbor scenes. The painting at the top of my blog is one of the paintings from that trip. Two other Honfleur scenes from that trip are in this post. It was surreal thinking that one of the original Impressionist might have set his easel up at the same location where I painted.