A Walk in the Park with Dinosaurs

01cfde5af29849811fc8380b8e937c3d222d29099eSunday the weather was incontournable (unbeatable).   The whole town was out for a stroll. What better spot for a walk than the Jardins des Plantes with its stately allees?

Warning: my friends in Montreal and the North-East, STOP READING NOW! What follows will be bad for your mental health. Scroll until you see bones.

01d63dd7da6ea20f8d9dadec10128a7c56cde5752101dff79901414627753921c559f5aef0f7a2d7b1370120882cc7e0f3610faff06475bf85abb55f750c7aYes, springtime in Paris with flowering almonds, hellebores and the color green everywhere.

010b5973cd9355b3bb202ba004661f870796d33a7101ff89840a377faa8e2df3994409a5adf28982fcd3As though it wasn’t beautiful enough outside we popped into the vast greenhouses to see the orchid show.

015953189819ffa491f45675f6924736460d506c3bI felt a mounting excitement as we turned into one of my favorite, top-secret, spots in Paris. An imposing 19th century building sits in the northeast corner of the Jardin. It is the Gallery of Evolution, a vast space filled with bones. Downstairs are plain old animals, upstairs extinct ones. The skeletons, in their hundreds, seem to march down the hall toward you. They are all sizes, including very large ones like whales and elephants, but small ones are also ranged around the room in oak cabinets. The whole space is entirely lit by daylight, giving a particular warmth to these old bones.

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I find it hard to express or explain why this space is so inspirational for me. It has to do with life, death, the connections between us all,  present and extinct. It relates to me and what I am doing here in Paris, visiting the past, with its old  dinosaurs of art and architecture that nonetheless continue to move us in the present. This space will come into my painting, I know.

01440167f2bc426e07d2e6976299c5783d99f66a59 I spent some minutes sketching .

0129c360e5d6195d6e23bde0c5ff759262358de870And taking photographs. This image is certainly coming into my work. Stay tuned.

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