City of Light. City of Love. Boat rides on the Seine. Walks along iris-studded paths in the Jardins des Tuileries.
From the steps of Sacré-Coeur…Paris just a blanket of roof tops. Around the Arc de Triomphe, a pinwheel of streets… at night, just red/white ribbons of moving, weaving light.
Bakeries and bistros, croissants, quiche, and crepes. A picnic on a island park in the middle of the Seine. Champagne toasts to a bright October afternoon’s joie de vivre.
Saturday morning on Rue Cler. Fresh fruit, coffee… and a flea market. A scavenger’s paradise. And there among dishes, linens, and silverware, a box of antique keys.
How much? And if I were to buy 10… Amy, my daughter the artist in Alaska, has her first collection of antique Paris keys.
Seven months later, my wife and I are in Paris for three weeks. We take subway and bus to a flea market at Porte des Vanves.
Tables and stalls under a street-long arch of trees. An unimaginable hodge-podge of items. Then I see him, sitting on a stool, smoking. Playing cards with two other old men. On his table, a giant’s wooden salad bowl, filled with keys… hundreds it seems.
How much? And if I buy a 100… I carefully select different shapes and sizes, imagining each key as a hand-held canvas that Amy will linger over, think about, and paint.
My favorite Impressionists and their paintings are at the Musée d’Orsay. Each visit to Paris finds me there. However, last May, I visited the Musée de l’Orangerie for the first time to see Monet’s The Water Lilies.
Two oval rooms. White walls washed in soft daylight. Four unbelievably large canvas murals in each room, creating an unending panorama of Monet’s gardens at his home in Giverny.
The ponds. Their waters mirroring the ever-changing moods of day and season. The lilies, an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colors. Each canvas a gift to us: Monet immortalizing the sheer, simple beauty of color and light.
I am preparing a collection of Paris keys for an exhibit in Anchorage, Amy tells me, and I am searching for a theme.
On a small table in our living room, we have a Paris key Amy painted and titled Monet’s Garden. Whenever I look at its swirl of lavender, green, and blue dots and its white-beaded triangles, I am back in the Musée de l’Orangerie, slowly turning from canvas to canvas, lost in Giverny’s peace.
Amy, center the collection around the Impressionists, I suggest. Study their paintings, their color patterns and combinations, the play of light. Let these things lead and inspire you...
Welcome to this collection of antique Paris keys…
their colors and patterns inspired by some of our most loved painters and their art…
April 24, 2014
(To inquire about a framed Paris key contact Blue.Hollomon Gallery)