I love Paris in the springtime. I love Paris (almost) every moment. I've had three scant days here and have packed in so much. The first evening I had dinner with dear friend Tara of Paris Parfait and her precious daughter Jordana. I was jetlagged but managed to keep going, with the help of their scintillating company and a couple of coupes de champagne.
Yesterday, I walked through seven arrondissements, made some sketches and happened upon one of those fabulous events you do when you're in Paris. There was a huge ceremony at Luxembourg gardens, honoring and giving medals to several army officers for valiant service. There was a miltary band that numbered in the hundreds, there were several hundred soldiers in dress summer uniform, there were all sorts of governmental officials bestowing medals and two-cheek kisses, there were the families and friends of the honored soldiers, and there were many, many raggle-taggle onlookers (like me), who just happened to be there when the stately, martial music and procession began. It was thrilling to witness. I made a quick sketch of some of the band members and it is below, with the rest of the day's sketches.
Vive la République!
Another gorgeous spectacle were the flower beds at Luxembourg gardens, all scarlet, violet, bright yellow, orange, so many greens, planted in castor bean, verbena, swiss chard, zinnias and more. Amazing aesthetic those French have!
I'd spent all of October last year in Paris and it was interesting to see how different the light and colors of September are. Comparing this year's Luxembourg garden fountain with last year's will give you an idea of what I'm talking about.
Today was a marvelous day! I met Casey of rue Manuel bis, who lives in Amboise and whose energetic and robust drawings and paintings I'd long admired. She took a three hour train to meet me in Paris and we spent SIX hours together, sketching, art supply shopping, checking out the street where we both to want to live in Paris (rue Vavin), having lunch at la Coupole, sketching more, having poems read to us by a pétanque player, and getting on so famously, I miss her already! I made a quick drawing of her, which I gave her and she's going to post, along with the incredible sketches she herself made today. Be sure and check her out if you're not already familiar with her work.
I will post mine, too, as soon as I can.
I have lots more to say about Casey and about today, too, but these words will wait.
I leave tomorrow for a week watercolor workshop in les Bassacs, in Provence.
See you there!