Aaahhhh…a day in Paris. It is like no other! I started my day in a Patiesserie…. and had a full on love affair with this chocolate eclair. The food here is so amazing. Every bite is like an explosion of flavor. Each morsel something to savor. It was raining out so my plan of painting in the streets was out….so I decided to just paint right in the Patiesserie!
The beginning of a page
I had been playing with my watercolors on the way to Paris. This page got started on my layover between Omaha and Chicago. I was just mixing colors and wanted to get a background down on a page in my art journal.
Supplies out and ready to go!
I got some of my supplies out and started to create. Using paint markers, stencils and some ephemera I created the next few layers on the page.
An Art Journal Page emerges.
Look closely at the middle of the page. The part that says Brioche Doree was torn from my napkin at the very place I was eating! I thought that would be a fun reminder of where I was when making this. I still want to add some type of centralized image or overlay to this when I get home….. but for now it is complete.
Just down the road from where I stopped to eat and paint was the Moulin Rouge!! I am going to have to watch the movie again to see what little bits of reality I recognize in it. I walked by singing the song “Voulez vous coucher avec moi?” in my head. The funny thing is that the district this club is in is really a bit risqué…sex shops literally line the street. So I am pretty sure if I had sung that out loud someone would have turned around and said “yes!”. The attitudes about that are so different here. I heard it described as follows “It’s great to be Catholic here. You fill your life with pleasure and sin, and then you go to confession. Then you sin again!” Hilarious!
After my breakfast and mini painting session, it was time to take myself and my cute new shoes for a walk around Montremarte.
UP many stairs…
Paris is not a city for the weak of foot. You walk everywhere. From Pigalle to Montremarte there are several giant staircases like this. I wandered around and made my way closer to the artist village – what some would say is the heart of art in the city of Paris.
Making my way there…
A few steep staircases later and I was about to enter into a fairyland of art….
Local artist painting a girl
I turned a corner to find an entire square filled with artists painting portraits of passerby’s. It was so fun to stand there and watch them work. What amazing talent was right there all around me. Even in the rain, they worked. They simply set big umbrellas up over their work stand to keep their subject and their supplies from getting wet.
The portrait of me
I found an empty seat and gave my poor feet a much needed rest as this portrait was created. It was so funny to watch the people milling about watching the artist from my new perspective. People would look at me, then look at the picture he was creating, then look back at me. Some would pause and watch for a few minutes. Some would barely glance at it. And some even took pictures of me, just as I did of the little girl in the picture above. It struck me as kind of cool that I will be in someone else’s photo journey of Paris. They will be saying “look at this girl getting her portrait done”. How funny to think that my experience will be something that a stranger mentions when talking about their experience!
My artist – Steve
This is my artist. Steve. I was expecting something like Francois or Germaine….but no. His name was Steve. However, Steve was from America and now is an artist living in Paris. Fascinating!!
The Sacre Cour
As I made my way back towards a metro station to head back to my hotel, I looked up to see this wonderful sight. The Sacre Cour in all of its glory.
I had my first Parisian experience with “pay toilets”. I got a huge kick out of the fact that you can purchase pretty toilet paper. I was dying laughing to find this toilet paper as an option!!
My next stop was a local art store to pick up some paint. I had stopped by the day before, only to find it closed and not open until 2pm! (I want to run a store with French hours!) Le Senelier was a little bit of artist nirvana. Paint and art supplies were stacked floor to ceiling. The place was packed with people, all crowded around. I quickly realized I was not the only artist in Paris who feels like paint in many colors is like a drug in my veins.
It was quite interesting to purchase things there. If you notice in the pictures, most of the paint has only one bottle or jar out. So you have to ask the sales person for what you want and they fetch it for you from places unknown in the back of the store. I had not brought any acrylics with me as I had gotten mixed information about the ability to bring it on the plane – even in checked luggage due to flammability issues. I also must be honest, the idea of buying paint in Paris was a bit fabulous itself!
Our group then gathered at a perfumery, Jovoy. This gentleman taught us the many nuances of perfume and how it is made. In the picture he is spraying a scent on a paper stick for us to smell. The amazing thing about a high end perfume shop is that it does not smell like perfume at all. I was expecting to be overwhelmed and not be able to distinguish the different scents, but it was not so. Part of the reason is that the tester bottles there are not for spraying. You sniff the lid of a little bottle and that gives you enough of the scent without a spray and without burning your nose.
As we listened to the gentleman talk about the scents he was showing us, we were treated to this lovely assortment of treats and champagne! I learned that perfume has 3 motes to it…the top note lasts about 10 minutes. The middle note lasts about 10 hours. And the bottom note can las for a couple of days. I also learned that people used to wear perfume on their clothing and not their bodies, so the game of perfume making all changed when it started being applied to skin and a person’s body chemistry came into play.
As in life, in perfume there is a difference between seduction and sensuality. Seduction has bolder notes of vanilla. Sensuality is a soft note of vanilla with a bolder note of amber. I did purchase a new scent to wear…. I will leave you guessing what one it was!
We gathered in the evening for a salon at the apartment Tonya Leigh is staying in. Our discussion surrounded desires – what desires we have already created in our lives, and what desires we have yet to attain. I shared with the group that one of my desires is to have my art displayed in a gallery in a major metropolitan city some day.
What better to accompany a discussion on desire than an assortment of the world’s best chocolate! As I ate each piece I closed my eyes and let the flavor just seep into my mouth. The succulent flavor washed over me – each piece with different tastes and texture then the last. It was paradise in a tiny bite!
What a day….what an adventure…..what a city!