Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Enchanted Forest and Farewell to a Friend

On the last day of Amy's visit here in Paris, we decided to take a train ride to the Forest of Fontainebleau. This dense and beautiful forest is one of France's national jewels, and has been a popular destination and muse for many artists throughout the centuries. Thank you Mark W. for reminding me about this place.

I scouted out the perfect place to paint while Amy went for a jog on the trails - she is an avid outdoors-woman. This was the perfect tranquil escape from the bustling metropolis of Paris.

I love how the light filters down through the trees and dances around on the underbrush. This painting is dedicated to you Dad - happy birthday! Sorry I can't be there to celebrate with you. You would love it in these woods - they smell fresh and amazing in the Springtime.

This forest was beloved by many important 19th century painters including Monet, Corot, and Millet, who affectionately called Fontainebleau their "outdoor studio". It gave me a deeper appreciation for the privilege to follow in their footsteps and paint here. (Monet below)

The Chateau of Fontainebleau is surrounded by the forest and was the 16th century summer home and hunting park of king Francois I, and eventually became Napoleon's primary residence in the 19th c.

It's so regal and immaculately manicured, complete with lakes and fountains and a moat surrounding the whole perimeter of the estate. Not bad for a summer cottage in the woods, right?

Amy and I returned to Paris to have our last dinner at Cafe de Flore, one of Hemingway's old haunts, and finished the night with some swanky cocktails and dessert at a chic place in Odeon. What an adventure it has been - many memories made. Thank you Amy - you made "the city of lights" even brighter.

Location:Fontainebleau, France

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