Each painting in the book has an accompanying story and artist's notes.
This was my last day in Paris, and all I wanted, really, was the hot chocolate of my dreams and maybe a few good photographs along the way. I’d left my apartment early, the quiet streets reminding me how slow things are to get moving in this beautiful city. I set my sights on a famous cafe about a fifteen-minute walk away. It was known to serve thick, rich hot chocolate and a nice view of the Palais Garnier, the opulent opera house, so off I went.
Though I wasn’t the only one on the streets of Saint Germain at that hour, it certainly was quieter than the day and night before. I love the endless avenues of those beautiful buildings with top floor windows peeking out of mansard roofs like raised eyebrows. I imagined sleepy tourists and Parisians inside on luxurious white sheets waking to dreams of coffee. I crossed the Seine and found myself at the Louvre. I’d been here a couple of days before when the ground was crawling with individuals, pairs, and groups like ants at a picnic. Now, though, I cut through the courtyard with little more than those wonderful glass pyramids sprouting up out of the ground. How grateful I was to experience this different moment in bright morning light spilling across one of the world’s grandest buildings.
I turned to cut through a large passageway. A high arched entrance opened to the groin vaulted ceiling and then the long barrel vaulted hallway, all beautifully carved limestone creating magnificent volume. It was a soaring, expansive space that echoed the sound of one man’s footsteps as he walked past me towards the courtyard. I turned to watch him. His silhouette eased towards the light, and I thought how fortunate I was to be there. How lucky I felt to occupy the same moment when the light and sound alone poured down this corridor. Soon, the noise of crowds would overwhelm the whispers off these old stone walls, and solitude would be gone.
I like the light of this figure’s destination. How it provides contrast to the inside and outside, near and far, figure and sky. How it seeps into his journey and promises light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a simple little painting. I look at it now, and the silence of that moment has been replaced by the calming voices of Lyle Lovit and Patty Griffen, two of many who keep me company in the studio.