Carly's Paris Sketchbook
Words and sketches by Carly Blumenthal
These days, it is often too easy to simply snap a photo and move on. I find that with an iPhone in my back pocket, when I spot something that interests me, I take one, two, or three photos, and continue about my day. I may never look at these photos again, or I may look back at them and wonder why I didn’t stop and take the time to further enjoy the scene in the moment.
In May of 2018, a friend of mine and I travelled to Paris for a week, and as I almost always do, I made sure to bring along a sketchbook. I admire how drawing from life forces me to slow down and analyze whatever it may be that I’ve decided was worth immortalizing on paper. Thanks to my understanding and willing travel partner, Rachel, I was able to take time throughout the trip to sit down and draw the incredible sites that sat in front of me. Of course, these sites included the
Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Sacré-Coeur Basilica; but, I also chose to sketch the discarded Eames chair on the sidewalk, the Agnes Varda exhibit at Galerie Nathalie Obadia , and my friend, Rachel, in addition to many other small moments that our travels comprised of.
Now, when I flip through the sketchbook, I am able to relate the drawings to the moments in which they were created. Each drawing seems to be accompanied by a memory and a sense of place. I can recall the pigeons by the fountain that seemed to get much closer to us than any New York pigeon ever has, the comically small size of a coffee shop that we returned to throughout the trip, and the many times that men offered to sell us bottles of wine as we sat among the tourists at the Eiffel Tower. Although this statement is completely unoriginal, it must be said that Paris is a true beauty of a city, and I am thankful to have been able to sketch it’s buildings, sites, and even garbage along my travels.