Paris by Sketch

My husband and fellow traveller Tom and I spent a month in Paris in an apartment North and West of the Pompidou Center, about a 10 minute walk. It was a great month. We walked and metroed and bussed, and drank cafe au lait, and ate and saw almost everything we wanted to see. I had planned to do 4-5 or even 6 paintings, and only did one. We learned a lesson, being don’t expect a lot of yourself when you are in a fabulous city like Paris.  Every day was too interesting and too full of new experiences to find time, say 3-4 hours, to sit down and paint. Next trip will be planned with a section of time in a fascinating city, and a section of time in a delightful town.

So, the only painting is of the Ile Saint Louis.

Paris painting

It’s an ink (pigma micron) and watercolor, 10″ x 15″. I sat on the banks of the Seine in the same place I had sat and sketched back in 2006 when we first visited Paris together.

It took me a few days, really two weeks, to forgive myself for not painting, but I did sketch everyday. I took my Moleskine watercolor sketchbook, 5″ x 8″, with me everywhere. Used pigma micron pens, some watercolor pencils and watercolor graphite pencils, and filled the book with items we collected, sketches and daily journal entries. I love doing this.  It adds a lot to our trips for me, and serves as a good record for Tom when he creates his videos of our travels for youtube.  His youtube name is Graygeek.

So, here are the pages from my book.  Hope you enjoy them.

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The sketch on the left is from our dinner table the first night in our neighborhood. On the right is from our coffee break near the Pompidou.

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There are always things to draw. Left is shelves from a creperie on Ile St outs, and right is a market on Rue Montorgueil in our neighborhood.

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Left is a wonderful Sicilian Restaurant near our apartment, and right is a very quickie after visiting the Musee du Quai Branly. Place de la Contrescarpe at the head of one of our favorite streets, Rue Mouffetard.

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Left a trip out to La Defense, and right Rue Cler.  So different, both fascinating sides of Paris.

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One of our favorite hidden treasures, Saint Paul Antique Village in le Marais, and the Eglise Saint Eustache at Les Halles for a 5 pm Sunday organ concert.

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A quick, very quick and unfinished sketch, during Richard Sack’s walking run, not far from Palais Royale, and a leisurely dinner sketch at Restaurant Le Taxi Jaune, a favorite.

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Musee Rodin, Paris, though under reconstruction, still a glorious place, and our back view out the kitchen window on Rue Saint Martin.

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At Metro station Abesses at the base of Montmartre, and a quick view from the top of Georges, the restaurant on the 6th floor of the Pompidou.

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Another quickie, this one from the steps of Sacre Coeur. Another sketch over coffee at Rue Montorgueil, our market street of choice.

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Our only day trip, to Giverney, and a sketch from the rooftop cafe at Musee Picasso.

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The magazine stand by our coffee stop one mid morning in the 2nd arrondissement, and a beautiful fountain, Fontaine de Louis Visconti at Square Louvois.

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We loved our metro ride to Saint Denis.  The basilica was wonderful, being lovingly restored, and we lucked into the Festival of Saint Denis, the town!

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Wandering through the sun dappled Cemetery Pere Lachaise. Quiet except for the gathering at Jim Morrison’s grave. Our view from Cafe de la Paix after being amazed by Opera Garnier.

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I loved Centre Pompidou, especially reconnecting with Sonia Delaunay. We understand why Parisians love Luxembourg Gardens, especially the Medici Fontain.

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The view from our balcony on Rue Saint Martin.  This is the church that has been adaptively reused as part of the Musee Arts et Metiers across the street.  We took many photos of this view and down toward Centre Pompidou whose rooftop we could see. A wonderful airbnb apartment we recommend to anyone thinking about a week or more in Paris.

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Our last night we stayed in the hotel on the Left Bank that I stayed in with friend Yvonne and her mom, 2001. The Hotel Pas de Calais has been renovated and is perfect, especially the living wall in the lobby.

So that’s it. We had a time unlike any other, and hope to return to Paris someday. Here’s a picture of me sketching, and another of Tom and me. Now that I’m home I have much to do.  Will post again soon!

t&c3c sketching

7 thoughts on “Paris by Sketch

  1. Well, maybe you only did one painting but you were busy writing and sketching. It’s beautiful, Carol and a joy to read and look it. Thank you for sharing your trip and your talents.

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