This was one of my favorite buildings in Paris. It's overdone and very Baroque, which is not usually my taste, but the form of it is lovely, with its aqua dome, and it's so delightfully playful that I liked it very much. I sat outside and painted it from across the street first. It's on a busy plaza, and I had trouble finding somewhere I could work. Then a bus stopped in front of me for a good ten minutes. I had done everything possible from memory and was just thinking I would need to move when it finally turned on its engine and took off. The trials of sidewalk painting.
I hadn't been inside the Opera until my friend Caroline joined me, but I liked it so much that I went back to paint the day she took the train out to Versailles. I painted from the balcony down into the plaza below.
And halfway through that one the sun got to me, so I took a break and painted the inside lobby before finishing from the balcony.
I also ran across an outside performance walking home one day and stopped to paint that as well. I was amazed at how easily the street musicians move full pianos around the sidewalks of Paris.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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