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Paris - 22,000 steps and 2 artists later!

Updated: Jun 28

When I travel, I like to wander and be surprised by the delights see. A few days before I began teaching at the Perigord Art Retreat in the South of France, I was with my friend Holly, walking around Paris. 

One day, we headed toward Montmartre to see Sacré Coeur. Over the past few months, I have noticed gorgeous Instagram reels of cute cafes and alleyways filled with flowers, so I hope to find those as well!

Holly and I managed to walk 22,000 steps that day, and as luck would have it, we came across two incredible artists by heading down a couple of quiet side streets.

Renoir's Studio,. Sacre Couer, Musee de Montmartre's gardens


Once we were in Montmartre, I could not believe how crowded it was. So when we started looking for that cute alleyway of flowers in a town packed with tourists, we spied a pretty, quiet street!

First, we noticed the beautiful garden full of peonies and roses, and then we saw a gallery exhibit open there as well. The Musee de Montmartre!

“Just steps from the Place du Tertre, three gardens dedicated to Auguste Renoir surround the Museum of Montmartre. They are named in memory of the impressionist painter who lived on-site between 1875 and 1877, where he painted several masterpieces including the famous le Bal du Moulin de la Galette (“The Moulin de la Galette Ball”), La Balancoire (“The Swing”), and Jardin de la rue Cortot (“Rue Cortot Garden”). The Renoir Gardens offer breathtaking views of the vineyard, the Clos Montmartre, and the northern cityscape of Paris.”

The gardens and art studio are magnificent! There are so many gorgeous blooms in May. We sketched for about an hour outside before entering the gallery featuring Auguste Herbin.


Auguste Herbin [1882-1960]

Herbin started with impressionism, then painted in cubism, and finally landed as an incredible abstract artist.

Wow. What a treat—an almost empty art gallery to ourselves! I can’t wait to read more about Herbin, as I fell in love with both his impressionistic work and his abstract creations. A quote on the gallery wall read, “The history of modern art has yet to fully appreciate Herbin’s importance.”

Herbin's self-portrait, as well as a couple of fabulous abstract pieces!


After spending a few hours in the gardens, gallery, and outdoor tea cafe, we walked out of Montmartre and toward Paris. We headed toward the Opera House and then walked in the direction of Saint Germaine. No real plan was in place, but we wanted to explore this area.

We stopped to sit on a bench and sketch a beautiful garden in front of the church, listened to the bells, and watched the children run around the path dotted with roses and foxgloves. It is so peaceful just to sit down and take in what is right in front of you. As Paris was bustling with people going in so many directions, we just stopped time a bit and drew in our sketchbooks. We looked around and noticed all the small details.

After our sketching break, we headed onto the streets again.

I literally stopped in my tracks when I saw this magnificent painting in a window.

With my mouth open, staring at this marvel, a sweet young man came out and handed us some champagne. Well, yes, please!

We had no idea, but it was a gallery opening night for this incredible artist. 

I was mesmerized.

Flowers and sealife inspire Miron, and then he creates his own “sea flowers” from his imagination. Imagine a seedpod dahlia or an anemone rose.

I had many questions about his process, so imagine how excited I was to chat with the artist.

He starts with many sketches and then a final transfer with a reverse draft of his composition (not sure my brain could figure that out!) He works with many layers of watercolor, gauche, and pencils on heavy watercolor paper. He also does all his work on a wall instead of a table.

When I told him his work reminded me of Kauai, Hawaii, he said he spent two weeks studying everything scientific about the flora in the Botanical Gardens up on the North Shore. I will head to Kauai in July, and I can’t wait to spend a day in those gardens with my sketchbook and watercolors!


If you’d like to wander, explore, and paint with me in Ireland, registration has just opened! Click on the link for more info. July 14-21, 2025

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