I always seems to do self portraits in Paris. I walk a lot on my own and think, and self portraits seem to be an instinctive part of my self examination process. I did several watercolor ones while I was there, but I had the idea for this one near the end of the trip and took a few photos to help me do it in oils when I got home. My November show is called "Skyward" (a collaboration with Melissa Bridgman), and I decided it would be neat to have a figural piece or two as well as just landscapes. I've been enjoying oils on paper tremendously since I got home.
I took some photos as I painted, as I have been remembering to do lately, so here's the behind the scenes peek.
I got home and had a frenzy of painting, but I haven't been keeping up here. Here is my favorite sky so far, a view from the place where I stay in Paris. I've also got two that are partly done but not fully finished yet below.
Oils on Paper
I'm working towards my fall show, Skyward, that is a collaboration with Melissa Bridgman, a potter and sketch artist. It's fun to be home to my easel and doing oils again. I've been doing watercolor sky sketches and collecting photos all year, but I haven't been home with my easel to really dive into the paintings. It felt good that reviewing my photos and sketches and thinking about this show as I walk or go to sleep has kept these images ready for me to dive fully into right away. I started painting one day after getting home from Paris, and they've been pouring out. For fun, I've taken some process photos for you to see the progression. The one above is a Memphis scene, but given my travel, there will be plenty of Paris and Washington skies as well.
My Memphis 2018 calendar
It's that time again! Calendars are going to the printer this week. I'll have them in time for the Pink Palace Crafts Fair, as well as all my fall shows. They'll be at Burke's Books, of course, and likely other places through the fall. I'll keep you posted here.
The easiest way to get one, of course, is to order it off my website and have it come right to your mailbox. You can order one right now for $18 in my online store (operated by Square) at https://squareup.com/market/martha-kelly-art/
If you're in Memphis and can pick one up at one of my fall shows (Pink Palace, my Friday, November 3rd opening at Eclectic Eye, or my holiday open house Dec. 15-16th) or from me sometime in midtown, choose the pick up option to avoid shipping. Otherwise, I'll be so happy to send it right to you.
Last Days in Paris
I had a couple of quiet days on my own at the end of my Paris trip. Some of that, of course, was packing madly, because I acquired too many art books plus a framed print plus a little bit of breakable tea crockery, so it was more challenging than usual.
I knew I would be coming home to working hard on my fall shows, so I gave myself permission to really have a little bit of vacation --- sleeping in and lingering over tea in the beautiful apartment I stay in and going to the Musee d'Orsay to sit with my favorite pieces. I also had tea a couple of afternoons in Le Lithographe, the cafe just across from my building there. I'd been wanting to paint inside (usually I would sit out on the sidewalk to watch Paris go by) where there was a lovely tiled Art Deco piece next to the bar. I painted it small the first day, and since I'm thinking about Art Deco ornamentation a good bit at the moment (thanks to one of the art books I bought), I went back and painted a second time with more detail.
I also did a couple of more sketches in the Orsay. They move their paintings around a lot and swap things out. One of my favorite Odilon Redon pieces was gone (one of my favorite pieces period there), but this double panel was new to me this year, so I sketched it. As was the Vuillard, who painted a woman sketching with that hallmark "sketch face," as a friend of mine calls it.
One other thing I did was got myself one last cup of Angelina's hot chocolate and carried it into the Tuileries to sit and drink and (apparently) sketch. It was a lovely send off from a city I love and hope to return to next year.
I've taken a little more vacation time than usual the last week or so. I'll have a big fall push for shows, so I'm relaxing and only drawing what I want to here. I couldn't resist this sweet couple on the bus, and I wanted to draw at my "local" down south. I love the name of Le Lithographe, as a printmaker, and it's just across the street from my building. I've enjoyed going there to hang out at the end of a day of walking around Paris.
Needless to say, I've also been drawing some music (as well as my fellow listeners). Rene played a solo gig at La Liberte, and then I caught him and Stephen at the Marche d'Aligre, my very favorite market since it combines street market with a brocante (second hand/flea market kind of space).
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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