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.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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