Friday, January 28, 2011

"Travels in France" Moleskine drawings (vol. 4): Paris, France - Jan. 18-25, 2011

all photos copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong.
all rights reserved.
Me drawing in my small Moleskine in the
Musée National du Moyen Âge (Musée Cluny). 
Yes, that's my small hand and my small Moleskine. :o)
Paris, France ~ January 2011

Oi! this post took me all day to put together, what with the scanning and resizing and thinking of something to say's kind of long, hope you enjoy it. On with the drawings ...
drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
The Blue Grave in Montmartre Cemetary
Paris, France ~ January, 2011
Small Moleskine , Pigma Micron pen & ink, with watercolors

We spent just over 3 hours in the Montmartre Cemetery. This particular grave stuck out from all the others on "the street",  because it is entirely painted in blue - had to draw it.

The Montmartre cemetery is  not as large as the Père Lachaise Cemetery (the largest cemetery in Paris), but still, it's quite an expansive cemetery. Many famous entertainers and writers are buried in Montmartre and of course, several famous artists. And here are my Kermits paying tribute, as they do, at the grave of Edward de Gas ...
When I was holding the Kermits up to have their picture taken, I accidently touched the door of the grave and it opened a little! Scared the, uhmm, you-know-what out of me!!
 I apologized, in French ... "Excusez-moi!" :o)

drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
small Moleskine (5"x7"), pen & ink, with watercolors
Paris, France ~ January 2011

We had many lovely pastries in Paris. Yummy ... a warm croissant and a cup of café crème. This was in  a small bistro near our hotel.

drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Heads of the Kings of Judea -
Musée  National du Moyen Âge , Musée Cluny
Paris, France ~ January 2011
Small Moleskine, Pigma Micron pen & ink, with watercolors

On the 20th of January, we spent the morning in the Musée National du Moyen Âge (Musée Cluny). This museum is in the oldest part of Paris (the building sits atop the foundations of old Roman baths) and the building itself dates back to the 14th century. Among the more important pieces in the museum are the six La Dame à la Licorne (The Lady and the Unicorn) tapestries, from the late 15th century, which is considered one of the greatest works of art of the Middle Ages in Europe. While you could take pictures of the collection, (without flash), The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries are in a very lowly lighted room, to protect the colors in the piece - not possible to take a pic in there or to draw.

There was a nice bench to sit on in the room where the sculptures of the Heads of the Kings of Judea were, and the room was well lit, so I decided to draw a little. I wasn't the only one sketching in the Musee Moyen Age that day ...

There were several art students in the museum, mostly sketching the Roman sculptures. La Sorbonne, ( the original and oldest University of Paris) is located in the Latin Quarter, just across the street from the Musée National du Moyen Âge.

drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Metro Stops
Paris, France ~ January, 2011
Small Moleskine, Pigma Micron pen & ink, with watercolors

One evening, my husband wanted to take an open boat tour down the Seine river, and I did too (albeit it was quite cold). We had to go from one end of Paris, to the other, to get to where the tour boats were docked. So, of course I wasn't about to walk all that way (walks are not short in Paris)- best solution, take the Metro! But first, figure out what stops you need to change trains at and where to get off!! The only paper I had on me was my Moleskine, so I jotted down our "plan of action" in order of what trains we had to catch. I thought this would be a cool part of a drawing in the Moleskine - so later on, I drew the Metro sign on the right of the page and added the colored Metro lines from the map I had. :o)

drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Egyptian Amphoras in the Louvre
Paris, France ~ January 2011
Small Moleskine, Pigma Micron pen & ink, with watercolors

We went to the Louvre on Friday night, Jan. 21st, to see the collection in the Egyptian wing. I've seen most of the rest of the Louvre on other trips to Paris, but I never had time enough to see the Egyptian collection. Having a Fine Arts degree in pottery & scuplture, and living most of my adult life as a professional potter, I loved the Egyptian collection with all the jars, statues, beads, etc., made of clay. What always sings to me when I look on ancient pottery, is that potters so many centuries ago work the same way as potters do today ... I love that deeper connection with the past that I am fortunate to have. This display of wine amphoras I found particularly interesting, not only for how it is displayed, but for the elegant forms of the jars and touches of color, from the fire, on them.
Edit to add: I should mention here that I was sitting on a bench in a secluded part of the collection, out of sight of anyone, back to a wall. I was able to do the all the line work in the drawing, but only a really tiny bit of the coloring - didn't want to take any chances of getting kicked out of the Louvre if I made a watercolor mess. So, from memory, I colored the rest of it back at the hotel.

drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Left: Tickets, Passes, and Metro Stops
Right: The Dome of Les Invalides
Paris, France ~ January 2011
Small Moleskine, Pigma Micron pen & ink, with watercolors

On the left: I had a pocketful of brochures, passes, metro tickets, maps, restuarant cards, etc., so I drew a few of them. The background is a tiny part of the Paris Metro map... it's so amazing and huge. :o)
On the right: The Dome of Les Invalides is actually a lot more intricate than my drawing of it, but I tired to capture it. Even in gloomy weather, the golden top glows. The building itself is enormous and so beautiful inside with all the gorgeous marble. This is where Napolean and other French military elite are buried.

Ok, I'm tired now...think I'll go have a glass of wine. Santé!

tot ziens,


Threadspider said...

I hope you enjoyed your glass of wine-you deserved it! Great journal from your trip to Paris and it brought back memories of our trip last January.It is staggering how long it takes to post a blog entry of this quality-thank you so much for sharing it.

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Hey there Threadspider (Judith),
Thanks so much for commenting!
I was beginning to wonder if all my writing was for naught, but regardless, I'll soldier on ;)
Glad it brought back some memories for you. I simply love Paris :o)


Meisie said...

Wonderful drawings! Love the map and the tickets/passes page. Such a snapshot of the more 'mundane' bits of travel....I shall always remember your wonderful travel sketchbooks!

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Thanks Meisie :o)
I'm weighing up the options of getting a book together of my French Travel sketches.
If I do it, I'll post a link on the blog.

Robin Dalton said...

It is now March 2013. I have only just discovered your blog. It was a completely accidental discovery. I am an American Expat in the UK. However, my British husband and I are going to Paris in April. While researching hotels, museums and maps and things, I happened upon your drawings. That was 7 days ago. I keep going back to look at them again and again. I wanted you to know that someone somewhere still admires them.


J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Hi Robin,

Thank you so much for the lovely comment and I wish you a wonderful trip to Paris ; enjoy every minute! :)



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