Sunday was sunny and warm, and the weather forecast is not promising for the next few days, so I spent the day outdoors in two of my favorite gardens. I started earlyish in Les Tuileries to beat the crowds (and get a chair more easily). It's right in the center of things and a bit touristy around the edges, but there are spots and views I just love.
I painted at first right by the touristy bit. I'm usually a little put off by the vendors who line up at the narrow spots and try to sell trinkets to tourists. But that day one came over to admire my sketch, and we chatted a minute or two. I was completely surprised when he reappeared as I was packing up with the painting below. As a gift. Just because I'd chatted and smiled and he liked my work.
I'm going to try to remember to be kind the next time I'm a little uncomfortable around anyone. People really are largely kind. I think I'll hang this as a reminder in my studio, near the luggage tag written by the porter in Greece who reunited me with my backpack and refused to accept a tip. And with the rug the groundskeepers innTurkey gave me to sit on when I paint. So many people have surprised me and shown me kindness on my travels.
I also really love the green chairs. I'd had them in mind to sketch for this trip. Several of the bigger Parisian parks have these chairs sprinkled around, and they charm me, as well as being hospitable. I wish we could do this in America, but I'm pretty sure they would walk off. It helps that most people in Paris are on foot instead of driving, and carrying one of these any distance at all would be a total pain.
I walked on down the park to the place where I sit most often. The sculpture is questionable, but I love the square of trees surrounding it, and this particular spot is just opposite Angelina's, which sells the best hot chocolate in Paris. I buy mine and bring it here to savor.
I must have sketched a lot. Weebly wouldn't let me upload my post with all of them, so there will be a part two to follow.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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