My trip to Paris

It was a dream come true, to visit the places where so much history happened, where paintings were created, and to go to the museums where some of the most famous works of art in the world are on display … from Giverny to Versailles, the Louvre to Musée de l Orangerie. It was a non-stop visit and there was still so much we didn’t have time to see!

I was in Paris two weeks ago, my three adult children took me there for my birthday, and it was a wonderful, unforgettable week.

Giverny, at Monet’s Japanese Garden with family
Water lilies in Giverny

I’ve already started paintings from the photos I took when I visited, re-interpreting this amazing place and the personal feelings it has energized inside of me.

Bamboo thriving in the Japanese Garden
Bamboo in Giverny
soft pastel on Pastel Premier
9” x 12”

I was in art history heaven – our visit to the Louvre highlighted all of the “hotspots”… Mona Lisa, Venus di Milo, and so many other pre-planned tour suggestions, but I was in search of the collection of encaustic paintings located in the basement.

Mummy Portraits, encaustic paintings at the Louvre
Egyptian Mummy Portrait at the Louvre

Possibly the biggest highlight of the trip, for me, was going to La Maison du Pastel where I purchased an incredible set of Henri Roche pastels, I believe the finest pastels still hand made, in the world.

I met Margaret (pictured below) and Isabelle, and was able to choose specific colors to substitute in the Autumn Leaves set I purchased.

Me, with Margaret at Maison du Pastel
My Henri Roche pastels

Another highlight (there were so many highlights) was our walking tour in the Montmartre, knowing the blue doors were the entrance to Van Gogh’s apartment, to the Moulin de la Galette, (the last windmill) where Renoir created his famous painting, to the Sacré Coeur de Montmartre. The fabulous blue in the night sky was the main reason I requested the cobalt blue pastel, a last minute addition to my pastel box!

Sacré Coeur, at the top of Montmartre hill
Blue doors, entrance to Van Gogh’s apartment in Montmartre
Moulin de la Galette in Montmartre (the last windmill)
Renoir’s “Bal du moulin de la Galette”, Musee d’Orsay

That same cobalt blue captivated me when I saw Van Gogh’s painting at the Musee d’Orsay.

Van Gogh, The Church at Auvers, Musee d’Orsay

One unexpected highlight was being surrounded by Monet’s enormous water lilies, created specifically for the space at the Musée de l’Orangerie, it’s considered the first art installation.

Water Lilies, one of the murals in two rooms, Musée de l’Orangerie
Water lilies, another mural at Musée de l’Orangerie

I haven’t even touched the surface of all of the wonderful places we visited and the amazing artwork I was able to see (oh, and the incredible food we consumed)! This was a trip that will always be special to me and I think Paris will be a place I want to re-visit, over and over.