Musee d’Orsay, Sennelier Art Store, and a Walk Along the Seine

Yesterday we returned to the Orsay Museum to complete our tour. The lines were short on this Friday morning, so we only waited about 30 minutes. Our first stop was to return to the Odilon Redon pastels for Jean to fill her senses with this artist’s strong colors and unique use of pastel. Then we returned to the Hays Collection to review some pieces and finish the final room that we had missed earlier. That room contained many drawings by one of my favorite artists, Aristide Maillol. These sketches are primarily in red pastel on paper. Most of them are of his favorite subject, female nudes. They were beautiful. I would have loved to sit with my sketchbook and tried to copy them, but the crowds of people in the small rooms prevent such artistic endeavor. To read more about Marlene and Spencer Hays and their love of French art click on their names. However, while Jean was viewing Redon I did manage to find space in the central hall of the museum to sit down and sketch the head of one of the statues – a sleeping boy.

Sleeping Boy

After leaving the museum we sought out a restaurant recommended by Christopher Kimball from Cook’s Country. One of its specialties is chocolate mousse. However, the restaurant was closed for renovation, a common August occurrence in France. We settled for macaroons and tea at a local patisserie.

Jean noted that we were quite close to the famous art store, Sennelier, which we have visited in the past. A few blocks of walking brought us to their front door and Jean began to explore the banks of drawers filled with thousands of pastel colors. Sennelier pastels aren’t the only item available. They sell several other brands of pastels, pencils, oils, acrylics, watercolor, papers, pens, inks, and much more. The gentleman who asked Jean if she needed assistance was Monsieur Sennelier himself. He is the third generation to own the store.

While Jean was looking at pastels I wandered the store. A woman had heard us talking to Monsieur Sennelier and said to me, “I was born and raised in Seattle.” That initiated a conversation with Alissa Warshaw, an artist from Los Angeles. Click on her name to see her website and beautiful drawings. I like the simple clean lines of her work. We chatted about art for some time and then parted to continue browsing this wonderful shop.

Soon I encountered a couple who were testing colored pencils. Lindsay Broughton is an Australian artist who also teaches drawing. Some of his work can be seen at either of these underlined links.  His evocative drawings have a great deal of depth. Lindsay said he works very large these days – wall size. With Lindsay was Jane Quon, an installation artist also from Tasmania. Jane is on Facebook and LinkedIn for those of you who are on those sites. Jane blends art and science, particularly marine science, into large scale installations around the world. What a privilege to meet these terrific artists.

We headed for the Metro and our ride home. That took us along the Seine for a couple of photos.

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Dinner with JP completed our day. C’etait merveilleux!


About Paul

I'm retired, but working at painting, photography, and song writing. We like to travel and paint plein air in new places. Of course that's also where photography comes into the picture, so to speak. Sometimes I get inspired to write songs about the people and places we visit.
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2 Responses to Musee d’Orsay, Sennelier Art Store, and a Walk Along the Seine

  1. Jean-Paul Dumont says:

    It is wonderful to see that you are having such a good time in Paris. If I did not leave here you would almost convince me to come and visit! I would be able to see great art and also to meet artists from all over the world. Of course, I would have to murmur, something like: I was not born in Seattle, but I lived there for fifteen years. The crowd would immediately freeze, a deadly silence would settle in the museum, and then, a genuine artist would spring out and come and greet me, offer to share a glass of absinthe or some other mystical beverage, and engage me in some aesthetic theory about which I would know nothing but its existence. Pure bliss, defined traits, refined hues.

    • Jean-Paul Dumont says:

      I guess that it is always perilous not to re-read oneself. One does not realize what interesting lapsus calami one can make; I cannot imagine that my mistake between to leave and to live was entirely an effect of distraction.

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