Painting in France, Italy and Elsewhere!

I’ve been fed; fed more than I can eat.  I am speaking mostly of inspiration.  I am so ready to make space to paint I am ready to burst!  Fed not only incredible food but incredible art and atmosphere.  Those who know me know that I am an atmosphere junkie, preferring to eat junk in a gorgeous room than gourmet in a fast food environment.  Europe provides both and I am well sated and ready to return home (not) but ready and chomping at the bit to paint.

We visited wonderful museums including one of my favorites, the charming Musee Gustav Moreau one a French symbolist painter.  The museum is his home – 4 floors of incredible works set in such an intimate lovely environment.  We went to see Monet’s water lily panels and lots of other impressionist works, my favorite.  I’m a painter that prefers a “loose brush” so those guys really do it for me.

My last day was spent with an old painter friend that I knew when I lived here 30 years ago.  We had not seen each other in 17 years and it was a huge treat to be able to see in person what she has been working on and to share where we are in our lives compared to what we had mapped out for ourselves 30 years ago.  Did things work out as we expected?  Certainly not in my case. That’s another story. If you are interested I wrote about it in my book Painting Outside the Lines.

My new mantra is “leave room for the element of surprise”.  Lately every time I find myself making an assumption about anything or anyone- especially if it is negative, I return to my mantra. My recent journey to Italy and France was full of surprises. The places I expected to be my favorites were not. The places I thought I would love I was indifferent about.  The challenges that arose sometimes seemed insurmountable but we made our way through.  Traveling without a map or GPS created predictable problems that ended up being not that difficult to resolve.  Parisians have the reputation for being notoriously rude but with each encounter in Paris people were more than kind. Maybe the world is changing?  I’d love to think so.

I am continuing to savor every morsel of my time away.  It’s been a long time since I was in Europe and I’m very grateful for each moment I spent – even the difficult ones.

Till next time,  Blessings, Melissa