Whoops. I got behind and forgot to post yesterday's work. I'm trying for four a day, and the last two days I've managed that.
I was into statues today. I started with the horseman and ended with an I identifies writer in St. Georges' square. Anyone?
In between I took my lunch break in a sweet little park just across the Seine from Notre Dame. I stop in there for the shade and the wifi sometimes, and I love the copper beeches. Today I finally painted it.
I was walking across the bridge behind Notre Dame to Ile de la Cite when I spotted Stephen, an upright bass player I'd met last week. He and his partner were doing some great southern blues and a little jazz, and it was lovely to have that authentic sound of home, so I settled in to listen, paint the, and chat with them on their break.
Here's what they really look like.
Yesterday I stopped and painted on my walk downtown. I was sitting on the sidewalk, as usual, when I got mistaken for a street person. Someone actually dropped 62 cents right beside me despite my protests. Sadly it only took one block for me to find someone really needy to give it to. There are a heartbreaking number of homeless people here.
I also painted the Musee D'Orsay again. I love those big clocks. And I met a lovely couple from Strasbourg who stopped to see my painting. He's an artist as well, and I was pleased to be able to carry on a longish conversation in French about various media, plain air versus studio painting, and the urban sketching movement. I'm sure my grammar was appalling, but it's lovely to be able to converse a bit.
I had promised myself lunch and a painting at the marvelous Bistro de l'University. It's the best restaurant I've found in Paris, which is not surprising since my Cordon Bleu graduate friend took me there in April. I was just in time. They're closing for the holidays today. I'm glad I got to sketch the rich red walls and mirrors. It's the perfect Parisian place.
I went home by way of the small park and Metro sign I'd found in my last trip but hasn't painted yet. It's another shady small park tucked just off the bustle of a big Paris street, and I'd taken refuge there for lunch in April.
I had walked into town, so I gave myself permission to hop on the Metro and ride home on a day that topped 90 degrees.
Two satisfying days of painting with some lovely and unexpected social encounters as well. Perfect.
It was a chopped up day because I had to take Kosmo to the vet at 11:00. I was proud that I got up and out in time to paint the above sketch with the morning light, only 8 minutes or so from the apartment. I also managed grocery shopping on the way home before appointment time.
Then it was hot, so I gave myself permission to nap in the absolute height of the sun and went back put later in the afternoon.
I've been sitting right on various sidewalks all week to paint, so undecided to treat myself and paint from a cafe table with a glass of wine.
I started a second one too, but a van illegally parked in front of me, leaving me staring at this.
The light was moving anyway. I'll stop some evening on my way home to finish it.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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