It was a cloudy day yesterday, so I decided to do an indoor painting I'd had in my mind. I did a couple of journal sketches of Les Nymphees last time I came to Paris and decided I'd like to do one for the fall show as well. It's a stunning place to sit and paint for a while.
I moved to the other side of the room to do a quick journal sketch afterwards, and I met some lovely people in the process. An elementary school teacher with a small flock of students asked if she could show them my work, so she talked a bit, and I got to practice my French with the kids.
As that was happening, a budding young artist from Wisconsin was looking on and very interested, so I offered him my sketch journal (carnet de voyage in French, as the teacher was saying) to look through. He sat for ages, asked me questions about various ones, talked about the museums he'd seen here (he's just spent a year in Spain with his family), and promised to send me a drawing or two of his own. That meant a lot. I love seeing young people excited about art, and his dad was really supportive. I was lucky that way too.
I took a late afternoon/early evening walk after the museum, which felt great. First I stopped and sketched from my favorite bridge over the Seine (pedestrian with benches, so nicely quiet except the guy hawking the padlocks that sadly damage the bridge as they're left by tourists) and then sketched a couple of statues on the way home. One in a gallery window and one in Luxembourg gardens. I keep sketching this one. I find that one of the ways I say hello to "old friends" is to sketch them again as I return.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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