Paris, Wish You Were Here

I was really brave and went to Paris…. alone. I have never flown alone and I speak basically no French. So to be honest, I was terrified to go! Chloe Lodge kindly agreed to rent an AirBnB with me, which was extremely kind, and made my final decision to actually get on the plane a bit easier. But, truthful, I was terrified! By the end I was taking the Metro alone, walking to and from our apartment alone and had enough French to make my way through buying bread at the pâtisserie alone. I have to say, I am quiet proud of myself.


I was so excited to meet everyone, especially Lili who I have worked with for years, spoken to on the phone, texted constantly, done two personal projects together, but whom I had never met! I was actually afraid she would not be there like with the Griffin and Sabine books, we would actually be in two different time planes! But she was there, and as lovely as I knew she would be! I had already met Nicola, but was looking forward to meeting Chloe, Becky and Colleen!


I have a confession to make…. I went to Paris and basically took no photographs. I was either working (setting up our exhibit) or experiencing (at the opening and or walking around Paris) and if I had my camera bag, I didn’t photograph, and when I didn’t have my camera bag, I wanted to photograph, but didn’t have my camera or lenses! I did document some of the trip with my camera and phone!


I have not helped curate an exhibition, nor have I hung an exhibition, since my college days. It was really great to be involved in the whole process, even if it did require quiet a bit of maths, and in centimeters at that! Nicola, Chloe, Nicola’s girls Savannah and Georgia, and I worked all day on Monday to hang the Wish You Were Here exhibition, Tuesday was Chloe’s talk at Speos and our opening. It was so much fun to meet everyone and just be at an opening in Paris. Every artist dreams of being in an exhibition in Paris, and I can say it really is as great as it seems.


On Wednesday, the day after the opening, Lili, Oliver and I spent basically the whole day at Père Lachaise Cemetery. We went to see Jim Morrison’s grave, as well as many other famous people who are buried there, but I was unprepared for how beautiful and calm the cemetery is. It is such a calming and beautiful space, I believe we were there for 6 hours just wandering around and looking at all of the beautiful nooks and crannies. On the way I stopped to photograph a bit of graffiti, I think I could spend all my life photographing the graffiti in Paris!




There was a crow flying from monument to monument… see him there on the bust of Thomas Couture?



We finally made it to Jim Morrison’s grave at the end of our day in Père Lachaise Cemetery. Lili had been there before and was surprised to find a fence around the space. We couldn’t get close, but we stood by the fence for a bit looking at all the mementos other fans had left over the years. And there is the crow again standing on another grave!


Lili and Oliver only stayed through Wednesday evening, we actually went on a boat cruise, I think that was the only real touristy thing I did while in Paris. I went to the The Louvre with Chloe and Natalie on Wednesday night, it was closed by then but so beautiful lit up. I love how no matter what time it is, people are always out walking around in Paris, the city is so alive! The walk to The Louvre was really fun. This time I had my camera, but not my Lensbaby Lenses, and I mostly use them for all of my personal work. But whatever, I did take some images with my “normal” 50mm and Chloe loaned me her 20mm to do some free lensing and at least feel creative for a bit!



Tour groups kept walking by, those are their shadows up there, if you know my work, you know I love motion blur!



Cats are everywhere in Paris… this black and white one was sitting on the window sill across the courtyard from the apartment Chloe and I stayed at. Just sitting there, perched on a ledge, three stories up, no biggie….


Below are some Iphone Pix Lili sent me after we got home. Oh to still be sitting at a vegan cafe in Paris drinking chai tea while talking and talking and talking…..


The view from our kitchen window was so perfect, everyone who came in took the same(ish) photo first thing! I kept waiting for some sun, but never retook the phone photo I took here. Being lost in Paris was actually fun, that was how I found the perfect little cobblestone road, bike, patio umbrella and greenery! Also, I did actually see the Eiffel Tower, but only briefly both one night and on the boat cruise. It’s big, really big, much bigger than I though!



A few more random phone photos (including a toast to Meadow, Savannah with a postcard of the image that started the WYWH project and a reminder that art actually is more important than math (though I think Caleb would not agree)


And finally… a group shot of the WHWY photographers who made it to Paris. Photo credit for the group shot goes to Stoyan Vassev, a student at Speos from Russia. I walked from the talk to the opening with him, he was very nice. In order, Colleen Putman, Nicola Berry, Chloe Lodge, Lili Love, Me, and Becky Venteicher.