Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Bit of Color, Paris 23/7/2010 Day Twelve

I am très nervous. The entire project has been a nail biter only but to prove to myself that I can deliver what is in my mind's eye, I am not really sure at all. In the end, I am so pleased with the way the sketches evolve. They are complete joyful fun! Just what I envisioned. Reindeer are my new best animal friend. Santa's girls are a delight to sketch. They have such personality. And Santa has been very cooperative.

For the color my plan is to use the pastels with the huge colors variety at my fingertips, adding a bit of water to the larger areas to create a smooth effect.

I get started on the first sketch and am not unhappy with the results but am not sure. I work with the second sketch and then the double page spread I call the Goodwill Tour. I show Donny what I have. We both feel that it is lacking the touch we want.

I have the watercolors and gauche that I have bought plus the acrylics and new brushes. I turn to the copies having used the originals for the first few attempts. The copy paper is heavy and such a bright white, so beautiful. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I set up the paints and start in. A few sketches later I know I am on the mark. The paper is taking the color well and the bright white enhances every brush stroke. Perfect! I breath a sigh of relief and proceed in earnest. Now that I have found my groove, I am determined to have a least one full day in Paris without any art to do, even touch up.

That means two days to go through all the sketches. My style of painting moves fast but it's the little touches that make the pictures shine which means revisiting each sketch many times and meanwhile finding places for all to dry. The flat looks like an art explosion.

To my utter delight a band has started up and their sounds drift into the open windows. They play on and on. I cannot believe what great fortune. Sure I have playlists on my iPad but live music is so artsy and Parisian.

Many sketches later, we break for one final dinner at our favorite cafe, Auberge de la Reine Blanche. I have made good progress but tomorrow is going to be another long day.

Color me a tired artist.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cruisin' the Seine 22/7/2010 Day Eleven

First thing upon arising we carefully gather up the drawings and head for the copy shop. When we get there we negotiate by gestures what we need and the young clerk indicates that he can do the job but to leave the drawings and come back in a few hours to pick everything up.

We head home to relax venturing back to the shop at the hour suggested.

Our clerk has made a few copies for us before he had to stop for another job. He shows us the results. They look really good. He points to the clock and holds up three fingers. Come back at 3.

We set off to stroll around the Left Bank stopping in at Procope for some cafe and pastry. Sorbets for Donny. Donny is impressed that Stephen Colbert is represented on the menu and iphone mails a photo of the honor, Merlan "Colbert" sauce tartare, but he never hears from the leader of the Colbert Nation.

On our way to Procope we locate a La Poste to mail a post card to a young friend at home collecting cards from around the world and to get some French stamps for our neighbor who is minding the cats. He's an avid collector and these will be fun. We send him a post card too. We have tried to do this from our own little La Poste on the island wanting an Île Saint-Louis postmark but keep finding it closed.  Finally we realize that the notice on the door tells us that it will reopen on August 2nd, not at 2pm as we first thought having only glanced at the sign since the hours are normally short anyway.

Back at Copy Self, we are unsettled to see that our copies have made no progress. Another clerk says that it will be tomorrow. We are not sure what to do. The delay will take so much of the time that I intended for the coloring.

The two clerks begin to argue, in French of course. But we can get the gist of the flow. The young clerk thinks that he can finish the job quickly. The older clerk could care less that we have been at this all day. Tomorrow is good enough. The young clerk wins. He starts making the remainder of our copies. We are only too glad to pay our $78.40 euros and scoot home. Not only has the copying taken all day but we are due to go on a river cruise that evening and want to have time to dress without rushing.

Donny has been searching the entire trip for the right river dinner cruise for us. He finally settles on Bateaux Parisiens. The line is pricey but it has such an elegant look that feels right for a river cruise. We leave from near the Tour Eiffel and while we dine, cruise as far as Bibliothèque up river and La Statue de la Liberté down river.

We are dining Service Select which gives us a window seat. Donny wanted Service Etiole which is window seating at the front of the boat but that was booked solid. We cruise through the sunset into the twilight, returning at darkness. Our boat is the Diamant. All the boats in the line are sleek and well appointed but you do not get to pick your ship. We saw the Saphir from a bridge earlier in our trip and drooled over its look not knowing which boat it was but simply loving its sexy appeal, so it was fun to see that it is in this fleet.

We have planned to pick up a cab after the cruise but did not book one figuring that there would be plenty. By the time we disembark, the plenty are all gone. We walk to the nearest metro to catch a train. We are pretty sure we are on the right track for our direction and board the first train. A group from England is trying to figure out whether they are going in the right direction which is the opposite from ours. I tell them what we have decided and we all figure the next stop will let us know who is faring better. Turns out we are, but none of it matters because we are all told to exit the train. Last stop for the evening!

We find ourselves walking home along the river yet one more time. La Seine, we love you!