I walked to Notre Dame this morning because I hadn't really been there yet, and it's a place I really like. Specifically, I like the garden along the side and behind it, but there was absolutely no line to get in (it being an October midweek morning), so I seized the moment.
I'm always drawn to stained glass and then unhappy with how I capture it, but I had fun sketching the lady chapel anyway. And I've been challenging myself to draw in pen and marker this trip without using pencil first. It's making me think harder. And sometimes draw worse. But the perspective here worked out not too badly.
I did a couple of more quick ones inside. I'm not theologically a fan of Marian worship, but she did look lovely against the blue banner.
Then I headed outside and saw this sky...
I tried sketching Notre Dame from my favorite spot, along the side, but here's where not laying it out (at least basic placement) with pencil first came back to bite me. I lost a central element to the center of the page split. Live and learn....
Finally I had my tea and almond croissant in the garden at the back and sketched the fountain that I always seem to draw or paint when I'm here. It's a lovely spot, quiet and under the trees. It also had marvelous amenities for the traveller --- wifi and (most importantly) a bathroom.
Memphis has got me spoiled in that department. Every public business is required to have a public bathroom. Here in Paris, most of the businesses I go to (bakeries and shops) do not. The cafes do, but tea is twice as expensive as coffee (generally upwards of 4 euros), and I don't want to have to pay that to justify using their bathroom. So periodically an embarrassing amount of my day is planned by figuring out where I can go to pee and is there somewhere near there that I might want to paint. Not ideal, but there it is.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
Get studio email updates from Gideon and me.
To subscribe to this blog, by email: