Ramona in Paris: Inspired for New Art July 13, 2023

A Birthday Gift of Paris

I’m fresh off a whirlwind weekend adventure in the enchanting city of Paris, so I can proudly claim my moment of “Emily in Paris.” 

A wildly generous gift from my girlfriends for my 50th birthday, it was a weekend that rejuvenated my soul

I was enveloped by the magical charm and artistic allure of Paris.

Paris is often thought of as a glamorous haven for stunning architecture and sipping on tiny cups of coffee at dainty cafés – and it is. 

But, it’s also much more than that. 

I mean, don’t get me wrong, we did enjoy visiting Galleries Lafayette (which was very impressive) and we sat down in many adorable cafés. 

Yet, as much as I adore a cute cup of strong coffee, Paris for me was about something else.

I bet if you know me, you could guess exactly what I’m thinking! Paris is, after all, an artist’s paradise. 

It’s the perfect place for a 50-year-old art enthusiast like me who tears up when she sees meaningful art!

My Wanderings Through the City of Art

I don’t think my girlfriends were fully prepared for the depth of my art obsession until I was dragging them around Paris, visiting the myriad of art museums and galleries. 

And, oh, the art! Paris has some of the most awe-inspiring, heart-piercing art in the entire world.

Claude Monet being my favorite artist, it was a must to walk the halls of Musee Marmottan which holds the largest Monet collection. I wanted to soak in every painting I saw—which took a considerable amount of time—so my friends waited patiently for me in the park. 

I love impressionist and post-impressionist art so we visited Musee de L’Orangerie. This museum is where a huge selection of incredible artists’ works are a part of the permanent collection like Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso, Modigliani, Matisse, Rousseau, Derain, Marie Laurencin, and more.

On the first floor, there is the Les Nympheas exhibit — two circular rooms hosting huge paintings by Monet. This is where I felt completely overwhelmed by the beauty of art and stood there with tears in my eyes. 

The beauty was indescribable.

I was captivated by the brush strokes, moved to tears by the raw emotion, and utterly awestruck by my favorite painter’s greatest works. My heart ached in the best way possible, overfilled with a whirlwind of emotions that only truly great art can incite. 

It felt like my soul had been sparked, igniting a creative fire I needed.
We also visited Petit Palais, a must-see in Paris for the beauty of the museum and the art collection. 

Here I absolutely fell in love with a painting by Fernand Pelez, Les Expulses. 

It depicted the life of a migrant woman and her children. It’s so upsetting that 100 years later, it’s still current.

Seeing Paris in a New Light

What surprised me the most was how much my girlfriends enjoyed this cultural immersion. 

For women who wouldn’t typically spend their holiday in an art gallery, they became big fans. They admitted that it was the most culturally rich holiday they’d ever been on.

So, if you’re packing your bags for a holiday anytime soon, let me share a little request. Make time to visit the nearest museum or gallery, regardless of your destination. 

When one goes on a city break they may make time for a museum visit but we went to see art every single day.
The whole three days were focused on seeing art. Not just the architecture one usually sees from the outside by visiting the obvious landmarks of a city, but going inside and seeing the art that hangs in the museums and galleries. 
My friends have seen Paris many times before but this time it was in a completely new light. They loved it and were immersed in it themselves. They learned so much about art; it was a different experience they hadn’t anticipated.

Trust me, the experience can be transformative. Who knows? You might find yourself coming home brimming with new perspectives and ideas, just as I did.

Onto My Next Series

In the quiet corners of these museums, I found inspiration. I absorbed every painting, every sculpture, filling myself up to the brim with new ideas. 

I was grateful to be in Paris but I yearned to be back in my studio to paint my heart out. Now I am practically bursting at the seams with excitement now that I’m back home and able to do just that!

It was more than a holiday, it was an awakening.

So, here’s to turning fifty, to the magic of Paris, and to the art that’s yet to be created. I can’t wait to get started on my next series of Urban Queens and share what takes form on my canvas.

The Urban Queens that I’ve painted so far are dear to my heart but are no longer able to be purchased. I need a fresh slate to begin the process of upgrading my queens. 

I still love the Urban Queens (like many of you!) but now I’m exploring new ways of expressing them. The Urban Queens will carry on through my art but will be in a new light. 

But I do have one way that you can keep the original Queens close to your heart: 

My Urban Queen Cards!

They are printable cards that you can hang on your mirror, use as a bookmark, or gift to a friend who needs to be reminded of their strength and beauty.

Lastly, Remember This

If you’re going on a holiday soon, remember: make time for art. 

Your soul will thank you.

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