Parisian Treasures

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An afternoon museum hopping is not a bad thing to do when you’re alone in Paris and it’s mighty chilly outside. This treasure of a portrait in the Petit Palais by Chales Giron was a real treat. I wish you could really get your nose up to it like I did. The mood created by such juicy brushwork and amazing values completely captured my imagination to the point I forgot about the chill of the wind-swept Seine outside. Now isn’t that a sign of effective art?

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Speaking of juicy brushwork and river breezes, just prior to discovering that Swiss delight, I stumbled upon an exhibit with Monet’s own plein air setup. In my mind, it was still out along the riverbank between Giverny and Vernon on a summer’s day and the man himself was busily working his magic under the shade of the linen umbrella.

But the pleasures of summer aside, this winter in France, I’ve made a commitment to learn to paint irresistibly plaintive winter scene’s, when I’m back at my own easel. It’s a message that’s been delivered through art museums and weeks in the chill of nature, herself. Misty mountains and snow-dusted trees have come to haunt my dreams. And (to quote the French), bref, if the color is good enough for the top of my head, why can’t it become the main character of my canvas, too?

But gray also brings me to the day’s end with another dusty, winter sky. Even without an amazing sunset, the City of Light offers its own brilliant sparks of joy to please the eye and soothe the soul. But can you imagine actually riding there on a blustery winter evening? The distant laughter tells me that such thrill is an art all its own.

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