Interpretation No. 16 – From La Rive Gauche, Paris
Although this week will mark a year’s anniversary since we moved from London to the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, I am invariably a creature of habit, and while I surround myself daily by some of the most beautiful views Europe has to offer, there are still some things I miss about my former London life. Prince among them, ironically, is not a London experience at all, but our annual trip, taking what I always consider to be a glamorous sub-Channel rail journey from London St Pancras to L’Estacion Gare du Nord, to visit my favourite amongst cities, Paris. And as that annual trip always happened around about now, I cannot hide my internal pining for the French city of lights.
So in my efforts to satisfy something of my longings, I have somewhat franco-fied my home life of late. On my ipod, the hauntingly beautiful songs of old 20s French cabaret play; on the TV, film favourites such as La Vie en Rose are on continuous repeat, and moving from my paintbrush, this very Parisian scene emerged – a gouache painting which becomes the newest in my simplified interpretations landscape series.
With its simplified colour palette of turquoise, ochre and grey, it reflects the memory of a similar such scene encountered just as we were crossing from the left bank on our last trip to Paris. I remember that the day had been pretty grey, but about the time the sun set, the clouds dispersed and left the sky a creamy golden yellow. This in turn reflected on the water, turning the grey River Seine a beautiful shade of turquoise which then glowed, almost unnaturally, against the greys and beiges of the surrounding city architecture.
It feels good to have Paris back in my life again… even if it is just on paper.
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