A sketch it first, paint it later post. One afternoon last week in Paris I went by myself (no family) to the Orangerie. I was floored by the square footage and variety of colors in Monet’s paintings. I made a some rough “gesture” sketches of some of the water lilies and of one of the Cezanne landscapes (In the park of the Chateau Noir). In all instances I wanted to take in the dizzying array of colors. It might at first seem strange to make such rough sketches and of bits of this large abstract piece. But sketching helps me understand what I am looking at, to slow down and process it, to take in more. And frankly to calm me down-I get so excited.
Back at my kitchen table I began these watercolor sketches from memory, then looked up the works online for more reference. Once again I am surprised by how thoroughly pleasurable this is, and grateful to my last-week self for making those few quick sketches, to lure today’s groggy kitchen-table self into doing a bit of painting and so as to re-experience all the wonderful colors and marks.