25 March 2010
The Jardin des Tuileries is one of my favorite places in Paris (if not the world) and home to a plethora of my favorite subject: chairs. Hundreds of green metal chairs are scattered throughout the garden that stretches from Place du Concorde to the Louvre.
No matter where my wanderings took me during the day, I somehow always found myself back in Tuileries. I woke up early one morning to sketch and paint while the garden was deserted. My hands went numb in the cold, but I had the chairs all to myself. The next day was warmer and windy and crowded. In the late afternoon light the chairs cast long blue shadows. I was contented to sit and sketch.
I was acutely aware of the light in Paris. I think I finally allowed myself to slow down; to absorb the blue shadows of green chairs in the afternoon or the ambers of evening in the city. I had forgotten how to pause. I cannot think of a better place to do so than amongst the endless green chairs of Jardin des Tuileries.
sketchbook page 03.10.10
4.5 x 5"
copyright Kate Castelli 2010
23 March 2010
21 March 2010
15 March 2010
Lundi/ breakfast in Munich / Paris by noon / Rue Notre Dame de Lorette / walking up the butte to Montmatre / hundreds and hundreds of steps to Sacre Coeur / catching my breath and lighting candles / Au Lapin Agile / Place de Tertre and the portrait artists / walking downhill / the bright lights of Pigalle / dinner on Rue des Matyrs / Mardi / early morning in Jardin des Tuileries / painting and drawing the green chairs until my fingers went numb in the cold / crossing the Solferino / chocolat chaud and roasted chestnuts waiting in line to get into the Musee D'Orsay / the magnificent station clock from 1900 /Degas' bronze horse studies / drawing chairs from the Art Noveau collection / Les Balayeurs by Maurice Denis / down the Quai Voltaire /browsing the green bookstalls along the Seine / vintage Rolling Stones records / window shopping in the antiques district of Rive Gauche / Des Ecoles de Beaux Arts / Laduree at 21 Rue Bonaparte / bowtie clad waitstaff / 26 different flavors of petits macarons / treating myself to chestnut, spiced fruit, blueberry, chocolate, coffee, rose petal, raspberry, and pistachio / Sennelier / supplying artists including Picasso since 1887 / reed pens, bone folders, handstitched sketchbooks, and violet ink / Place du Concorde / watching them erect the white tents for Fashion week / swarms of photographers laden down with gear / the famous and the skeletal teetering around the jardin in 4" heels/ dust storms blowing in / Librarie Galignani on Rue de Rivoli / Playmobil exhibit at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs / divine dinner at Les Progres in Abesses / baked Camembert with Provencal honey, field greens vinaigrette, and rosemary roast chicken / Mercredi /finding the Musee Picasso closed in Marais / disappointment / the inside out Centre Pompidou / breakfast and people watching at the musee cafe / L'autre noir / exhibition of work from female artists of the permanent collection / two small exquisite ink drawings by Eva Hesse / accordion books by Kiki Smith / panoramic views of the city from the 5th floor / first Lucien Freud retrospective since 1987 / his brutally honest self portraits / getting lost in the maze of the Metro at Place du Chatlet / the skeleton of Les Halles / iron and glass awnings remain / ribbon, yarn, buttons, beads, and notions at La Drougerie / found myself back in Jardin des Tuileries with my beloved green chairs / the apricot sunlight of late afternoon casting strong shadows / pony rides and toy boats to sail on the ponds / crocque madame and Orangina in Pigalle / Jeudi / when the metro doors opened at Saint Lazare I could hear the opening chords of "Layla" being played on an electric guitar/ morning walk past the heavily guarded American and British embassies / a quiet corner of the Champs-Elysees / Marche aux Timbres et Cartes Postales/ the stamp market made famous by Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in 1963's Charade / ephemeral treasures to be found amongst the stalls / a bundle of letters from the early 1800s / browsing the orderly and indexed post cards / the Louvre / 35,000 works on exhibit / navigating by memory to find Albrecht Durer's self portrait with a thistle in the Richilieu wing / fragments of Egypt in the gilded salles of the Sully wing / sketching in the Italian salles of the Denon wing / Mona Lisa / Winged Victory / Venus de Milo / tarte aux pommes at Cafe Mollien / overwhelmed by art history / Vendredi /Pere Lachaise Cimetiere on the outskirts / 2 Euros well spent on a map of the 105 acres / the only grey day and a monotone color palette of stone and sky / a fascinating array of doors on the family crypts / wrought and rusted / dense pathways of stone / wandering the avenues with crows flying overhead / Marcel Proust. Honre Balzac, Apollonaire, Gertude Stein, Amedeo Modigliani, Max Ernst, Jim Morrison, and Oscar Wilde's kiss covered gravestone among the famous dead / feral cats roaming among the graves / the unexpected treasure of Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris / impressive collection of early Fauvist works / Raul Dufy / Andre Breton / Femme aux Yeux Bleus by Modigliani / Jan Dibblets playing with the geometry of horizons / Palais de Tokyo / sitting on the steps of Trocedero waiting for the sun to set / the Eiffel tower faintly amber and glowing brighter as the sky darkens / crossing the Pont Iena and watching the electric glitter of the light show / Samedi / the nightmare of Charles de Gaulle airport / barely catching my plane / home to a soaking wet Boston
14 March 2010
07 March 2010
There are crocuses blooming outside my front door.
There is a particular joy in the first warm days of early Spring, they make me suddenly aware that I am alive and grateful for the air in my lungs and the sun on my face.
And now I'm going to Paris for a week to wander, draw, and eat.