Saturday, July 25, 2015

Painting Paris: Impressions of France

'Paris Along the Seine'               8x10             pastel               ©Karen Margulis
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It was an epic adventure. I've been home a week now and starting to digest it all. It is going to take some time. The first thing I did was put together a book of my daily Facebook photos from the trip. I used Blurb.com and I will share the finished book here when it arrives. Next I unpacked the paintings I did on the trip. I  displayed them in my studio so I can enjoy them and be inspired by them. Then I downloaded all 3600 photos onto my iMac.

The next thing on my agenda is to review my trip day by day. I would like to write about each place visited and paint from my studies and photos. I did this last year after my trip to Iceland and I am glad I preserved the memories while they were still fresh! see my Iceland story here.

I will be posting my stories and paintings from this adventure here over the next month or so as they are written. Today I invite you to Paris.

The BatoBus.....my favorite way to sightsee in Paris!
Paris, France...the City of Lights. It had been 25 years since I visited this city. I was in high school and in love with everything French. When I found out that Stan Sperlak and his Painter's Passport group would be going to France, I knew I wanted to join them.  It was time to return to France this time with the eye of an artist. I was thrilled when Stan offered me the opportunity to join the group as a guest instructor.

My arrival to Paris was not the best way to start a trip.....well it actually did start with a trip! The shuttle bus dropped me off blocks from my hotel and the wheel of my suitcase got hung up on the cobblestones sending me sprawling into the crosswalk.... Skinned knees and bruised I somehow found my way to the hotel where the group was waiting. read the post from the first day here

We were only in Paris for one and a half days before heading to Normandy but we sure did fit a lot into that time. The arrival day was jam packed with sightseeing and pastel shopping at the Sennelier store and the Maison du Pastel for Henri Roche pastels. We stayed up past midnight enjoying dinner overlooking the Seine.

My Impression of Paris.....I loved the Seine. It is what I remember most about my time in Paris.

A couple sitting on the banks of the Seine. What is their story?  
We began the adventure after our group meeting at our hotel...Villa Mazarin. (excellent) with a tour by Stan. He had arrived a few days early and knew the ropes. He bought us all two day passes for the BatoBus. These were long flat boats similar to the famous Bateaux Mouches boats that tour the Seine. These  boats were like a taxi service. They went up and down the Seine in the area of the major attractions. You could get on and off as much as you wanted. It was the perfect way to save some steps when sightseeing.

But for me the BatoBus was an attraction itself. In fact it was one of my favorite things about our time in Paris. As we cruised down the river there was something to photograph everywhere I looked. I was especially fascinated by the people along the river. People where everywhere....sitting, walking, sharing wine and picnicking. People in boats. People on bikes. People with dogs. As we passed them by I imagined their story. Did they live in Paris? Were they in love? What was the story unfolding in front of me?

I could have cruised up and down the Seine all day writing stories in my mind and capturing photos for my memories.

Today's painting is a studio piece from one of those photos. It is 8x10 on Pastelmat
Here are a few of my photos from my time aboard the BatoBus

Under the Bridge

The Eiffel Tower from the Seine


Now here is a story!

Under the bridge we go

Early evening along the Seine


2 comments:

robertsloan2art said...

I love how you handled the water in your painting of the Seine. Those narrow looping strokes across the reflections are gorgeous, almost like the path of a figure skater. They help flatten the water but as far as I know aren't literally descriptive of anything. Just really effective!

Curious why you made the bridge so blocky instead of using the graceful arches of the bridges in your photos? Or was that one actually different and you painted it as-is?

Karen said...

Thanks Robert! Good observation. This particular bridge was blocky so I painted the way I saw it!