A Perfect Day

I planned to sketch at the Tate Britain. . .  but in the end my one sketch was a two minute quickie in the Turner interactive room.  If you haven’t already read Paul’s blog about today, please do, for the details about that wonderful room. 

In the morning when we arrived at the museum I did learn that the Tate has folding chairs that you can borrow if you want to sit by a painting and sketch.  Perhaps the next time we’re there, either between now and Tuesday or next fall when we’ve decided we will spend one of our two England weeks in London before we head home.  But today I wondered through the rooms without being able to pick out a painting to sketch.

I was moved again, as I was a week ago, by the amazing full scale sketch by Constable of Hadleigh Castle.  It is a dark, powerful piece, and in tone quite unlike the eventual finished painting.  The sketch was done at the time of his wife’s death and is thought to reflect the turbulent emotions he was feeling at the time.  Below is my photo of his ‘sketch.’  This is a link to the finished painting:  http://www.oilpaintingsmarket.com/imgs/86/000224.jpg

Finding nothing I wanted to sketch, I went outside and walked by the Thames.  It was an overcast day, not unlike the Pacific Northwest, and the Thames moved darkly past me, powerful and timeless, recalling Heraclitus to my thoughts.  It was a meeting with an old friend, long known, now seen face-to-face.  It was powerful magic.

Later, Paul and I went to Westminster Cathedral which is magnificent.  I am not particularly religious, but I was moved to light a votive candle and say a prayer.  It turned out I lit the candle at the Chapel of The Holy Souls – the holy souls being those who are in purgatory but are assured of forgiveness and life eternal in heaven.  The Solemn Vesper service was primarily music, sung by the Choir and Clergy of Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.  The voices and the pipe organ were sublime.  It filled me with a sense of peace.

Afterwards we ate a fine meal at an Italian restaurant, sipped some wine, and talked about what we had seen and learned today. Katrina, our beautiful Argentinean waitress seemed to sense the magic.  We were fortunate that there was a lull in the custom of the restaurant and she had time to talk with us for a while.  She gave us the gift of her cheerful spirit and love of Argentina.

The day was a gift from the gods.

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7 Responses to A Perfect Day

  1. katty says:

    Hello Jean and Paul!
    How is life over there?How are you?Just one week left…OMG!Many things to do still but thinking in such a beautiful couple!!!Thank you so much for the email that you sent to Bella Italia with such a great references about my service when you went there.You made my month and the rest of the year with your lovely words!God bless our ways,whatever we are.We keep in touch definitely.Big hugs!Katty,xx

    • Jean says:

      Thanks, Katty. Only one week to go? Is that for you and your return to Argentina? It is also true for us. We leave for Paris in one week. If I remember correctly, you will be gone when we return to London for two weeks in October. If by any chance you will still be there, let us know. It would be brilliant to see you again.

    • Jean says:

      Hi again, Katty,

      I forgot to answer your question. Dingle was wonderful. We love Ireland, but the Dingle peninsula where we stayed for three weeks, was most special. The weather has been cool, much like home in Seattle, Washington. We have been enjoying discovering new artists here in Ireland, especially Jack B Yeats, whom we had never heard of before. And we’ve finished a number of paintings ourselves.

      Life is good. I hope it is for you as well.

      Hugs, Jean

  2. Laura says:

    Wow! What an adventure you are on! Remind me to tell you about the actual Turner print that we have – and you got to see the real Turners and more!

  3. audra adelberger says:

    Truly a day to treasure.

    Audra

  4. Catalina Benestucci,Katrina,Kate or Katty as everybody call me says:

    Dear Jean and Paul:
    It was my pleasure to meet you!!!Thank you very much for your lovely comments.
    I am a happy person who enjoy the simple things of life.It does matter to do things with love every day and give a smile to nice people around without expecting something in return.Everything you do,it will come back to you.I believe this is true.
    I hope you are going to Argentina someday.I am going to my country in July for good after 8 years in UK, so you will be welcome.Plenty of places to see,delicious food and tango to dance.What else?Very good wine!!!
    All the best to both of you!and thank you again to be part of your perfect day!
    Muchas gracias!xx
    Catalina,Katrina,Kate or Katty as everybody call me.

    • Paul says:

      Congratulations on your return to Argentina. Your love for your homeland was quite evident. Argentina’s gain will be London’s loss. Watch for us in Buenos Aires!

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