Arriving in a city I’ve never been, language unknown; It’s an odd feeling. Somewhere between excited, adventurous, and lonely. I was exhausted and jet lagged having arrived in Paris at 7am from New York City, but I fought through it with wide-eyed excitement to finally have arrived in a city I’ve so longed to explore.
After settling into an artsy Parisian AirBnb loft, I quickly set out to explore the city until my friend, Charlotte, arrived late that evening. I’m not much of an itinerary type when it comes to travel, so I picked the first place I knew I had to see, and I’d let that lead me to something else once I found it.
My first stop couldn’t have been anything other than Sennelier; The infamous art shop on the Left Bank of the River Seine. Past frequents of the shop being Picasso and Cezanne.
Henri Sennelier created the first oil pastels intended for professional artists at the specific request of Picasso in 1948. So now you can see why I had to stop in and see this 127 year old shop… and perhaps find a few things to bring home with me!
After wandering through the city, and getting lost for an hour (I did not have a map, which was a wonderful thing), I finally stumbled upon the shop. The inviting green exterior of the storefront displayed elegant golden letters “SENNELIER” above it’s door. The shop and it’s surroundings were as charming as I had imagined… but the inside was beyond. I pushed the door open, history in mind, and slipped inside the small entrance to a warm wooden interior filled from floor to ceiling with all the colors you could ever imagine. It was quite busy at the time, two young students filling their art class supply list with the help of the staff, and an older man sorting through brushes to decide which he preferred.
Art shops are magical places. They, for one, are filled with the ingredients to visualize your greatest imaginations! I would much rather pour my money into art supplies than anything else… because if there’s something you can’t afford in the world, you can always draw it – it gives a sort of satisfaction! Secondly, art shops are filled with wonderful people. My mind always wonders what each customer is going home to create… it’s fun to dream up stories about people in art shops. My favorites are the older customers. I can only hope I’ll still be painting (and able to) when I reach an old age, because I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Paris, to be continued…