I'm not in Paris, but I was earlier this year. I thought I'd close out 2016 by posting one of the best parts of the year. We took a two-week trip to Paris and did as little as possible. I filled a sketchbook, but just picked a few favorites to share.
Here's one from the park around the corner.
I like to make really unhelpful maps of the places I visit.
Our first full day included a trip to the Pompidou followed by a lovely leisurely dinner around the corner at a charming restaurant.
I took a fat pen and it was so freeing!
Spent about an hour standing on the Pont Neuf looking at the Seine.
We also spent several hours at the Musee d'Orsay. This painting, Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, is the whole reason I wanted to go back to Paris. I needed to put my eyes on it again. So I spent about 40 minutes with it. It is magnificent.
More fat pen sketches - little kids at the Louvre.
Useless map with amazing tree at the Cimetière du Montparnasse.
Useless map from our last day in Paris. We walked to Shakespeare and Company and had an amazing lunch at a Basque restaurant then strolled past Notre Dame on the way back to our apartment. It was a magical day and a magical trip.
That thing where you made the decision to put away all of your in-progress oil paintings because it just isn't oil painting time for you, and you're all ready to just work on small things and experiment, and then you accidentally think of how to make those in-progress oil paintings into the kind of work you want to see. That's what's going on here.
I recently experienced the joy of a weekend in Hot Springs, AR, with a bunch of my girlfriends. If you live near Hot Springs but haven't been, you should rectify that situation. Right now would be a great time, as they were putting up all kinds of Christmas decorations throughout the downtown while we were there.
We stayed at The Arlington Hotel, which is very quaint, with a bar and bandstand in the lobby, and right in the middle of everything so you are in close proximity to the baths and the Pancake Shop. What more do you need?
What you need is six other smart, funny, fun women to share the experience with you. That is what we had going on.
After a relaxing and therapeutic experience at the baths (seriously, my masseuse was more like a therapist), we ate at Ronaldo's on the patio that is built into the side of the mountain. And drank margaritas - we had to replenish those toxins post-bath.
Then naps, then coffee. This was sketched from a nice little place called Kollective Coffee and Tea.
We wandered down Central Avenue to the Copper Penny Pub, and were entertained by this guitar and cello duo called Rozenbridge.
Sunday we went to the other pancake place, Colonial Pancake & Waffle house, and later walked around, stopping at the Superior Bathhouse and Brewery for a growler to take home.
Sketched in watercolor from the parking lot at work. That building in the distance is one of those Memphis places that changed names so many times I have no idea what the name of it is. The funny thing is, I think it's had the same name for about 20 years, but it had so many names before that I can't remember it.
This random collection of things ended up in my sketchbook over the course of a few days. I arrived at a restaurant earlier than my dinner companions and sketched the handy helium tank in the corner.
A few days later was my first Fast Sketching class at Flicker Street Studio, and I brought flowers, nuts and candy for the class start by sketching small things. The flowers had great texture, the nuts had great patterns, and I loved pairing those with the hard edges and lettering of candy wrappers.
I recently taught Fast Sketching at Flicker Street Studio. One thing I love about that class is showing examples of work by other sketchers - all the different techniques and styles and materials are so inspiring! I even found the stack of sketching books inspiring and sketched them!