It is amazing how after only 5 days (4 really because the first day, Sunday, everybody was arriving and jet-lagged and napping and being introduced to each other) we have bonded with each other. We spend all waking hours together, dining, painting, traveling, dining, drinking, dining). Meals are loud and funny and nobody escapes being the focus. Shy Phil is telling Chantal jokes which get retold by her (Chantal helps Kippy in the kitchen; she dined with us tonight, as did Marc the chef), in her heavy and adorable French accent, tells it badly though and nobody gets it, which all comes back to Phil, who, if his wife, Grace, whom nobody believes actually exists because she is the one who signs Phil up for these workshops and nobody ever meets her, ever saw shy Phil being the life of the party, would never believe it. Now I know how to diagram a sentence and I know this was a run-on sentence, but I think it is appropriate in this setting.
Kippy, Judith, Deanna, Ann, Barry and I took the van to Paris today; Phil opted to stay here and work in the studio. We spent 5 hours in the Musee d’Orsay (I could have spent 3 more), dined at the beautiful sun-filled, crystal chandelliered restaurant there, saw the Cezanne portrait show and the permanent collection of the Musee d’Orsay, which I never ever get tired of; I am brought to tears at something different each time (I’m posting a few of the pieces that struck me, some I don’t remember ever seeing-- several pieces--a Van Gogh, a Toulouse Lautrec, and others). We walked from the Musee d’Orsay through the Tuileries garden to the Musee de l’Orangerie to see Monet’s Water Lilies and a special exhibition of the Tokyo Bridgestone Museum of Art collection, a collection of 3 generations of the Ishibashi industrial dynasty: modern abstract works by Japanese artists and Impressionist works by Monet, Renoir. Caillebotte, Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Pollock and Shiraga, a Japanese artist who painted in the western style.
We piled back into the van around 6:30 for our hour and a half trip back to La Bonne Etoile, peeling our eyes (as Deanna says) for the white vans parked on the side roads along the autoroute, prostitutes selling their wares to the men returning home from work, and sang songs from the 60’s. Our day trip was punctuated spectacularly by a double rainbow, the most brilliant I have ever seen, arching across the entire sky.
(Steve W., this one reminded me of our trip to Amicalola Falls, where we stood on the stairs and looked up at the falls.
This one is a Van Gogh!
This one is a Toulouse Lautrec!