Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Painting a Place I Have Never Been, But Used to Live At

As an artist,  I have started a journey.  I am painting the largest painting I have ever done, in a style I have never painted, of a place I have never been. Confusing?  No.  Scary?  Yes. Impossible? No. Challenging? Definitely.

I have started to paint a street scene in Paris.  Specifically the Montmartre area, where Impressionism started.  As an indie writer my first two novels take place there, in the nineteenth century.  In fact, the main character, Gastien, is an artist.

I love Impressionism, but have seldom been a painter of that style.  I usually paint from one extreme to another: realism or abstract. So, why the change? Welllll.....because I happen to believe that change is good for the soul.  It keeps the mind fresh and forces one to think in new ways.  It will also force my painting hand to work in new ways!
I also do not paint street scenes.  At least, not in the past.  Yet, here I am with the underpainting done of a street across from place du tertre (the park where Impressionists often painted in the late 1800's and many artists still paint today). 

I have not been there once.  Not in this life.  That place, though, it is so familiar.  I have lived there before.  It is the place that my soul cries for.  I know I will live there again.  My beautiful, now over commercialized Montmartre.  I hear you calling me back.  I have not forgotten you.  I never could.  Somewhere deep inside I remember every street, every building, every tree, every dirt road.
I don't know if I will get there in this lifetime, but I promise you I will try.  And, if I don't, I will do my best to return the next time.  I know nothing will be the same.  Yet everything will be familiar.  Your true home when visiting this planet always feels right to you, and you will know where it is if you take the time to listen.

For now, I will pick up my brushes, mix some color and make a poor attempt to capture some of that love that I feel for that place, that home I had long ago.  I don't know if I will have a masterpiece or what others will consider a piece of junk.  But this I do know: the final painting will carry part of my energy back to my earth home and help me connect to the place I am always meant to be.  At least while I am here on earth.  For me, it is the closest I can get to my real home; that place of eternity whenever I am not visiting here.
Oui, now you know.  If you read this carefully and know me at all, you will know.  If you don't know me, chalk it up to being slightly crazy, and extremely open minded.  A soul who embraces the "what ifs" and knows when some of them are true.  I have lived many times.  Once it was in Montmartre.  Been there, done that...will do it again.  Je t'aime beaucoup, mon Monmartre.  Je t'aime.


  1. Hi Caddy,

    I received your beautiful book cover and am just dropping by to show you my support. I'm a new follower of your blog. Liz