July 14, 2018
As I finished unpacking my art supplies, filming equipment, toiletries and my one change of clothing, I listened to the fireworks exploding in the air in celebration of Fêtes nationale (Bastille Day). Last year I took the Métro to a spot close to the Eiffel Tower and added my own oohs and ahhs to the chorus of the crowd. This year I was content to spend the evening in the garden sipping chardonnay with my neighbor, Vicki, catching up on the changes in the neighborhood since my last visit. On Sunday, the French will play Croatia in the finals of the World Cup in Russia. Win or lose, there will be a parade along th Champs-Élysées on Monday. I’m inclined to find a quiet place to sketch along the canal.
My first night was spent in a hostel about five blocks from Gare du Nord. Last year my room had a balcony with room for a small table and chair. This year I had to climb out the 6th story window and sit on the windowsill. I was on the top floor. the mansard roof extended to the right and left of me. The great view made up for the uncomfortable seating arrangement and awkward filming.
Next day, I sketched at a cafe up the block from the hostel until it was time to meet up with my landlady and settle in at my home away from home in Belleville.
View from Marcel and Clementine Cafe
Each year, when I return, I feel as if I never left. It’s a bit odd. Even my neighbors feel as if I haven’t been gone more than a fortnight. It felt wonderful to sketch in the garden again.
Hydrangea Dala Art – drawn with HB, 2B, 6B and 8B pencils