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Filtering by Tag: Paris

Paris Notre Dame Watercolor

Sophia Khan

Poetry of Notre Dame, Paris, watercolor, copyright © Sophia Khan

Poetry of Notre Dame, Paris, watercolor, copyright © Sophia Khan

Paris made me happy. Quite simply this is the best and most concise way that I can phrase it. I had the good fortune of traveling to this dream city of mine, two years ago. I traveled there to celebrate a milestone in my personal life, and also to find new inspiration for my art.

Little did I know that the joy I was to experience, would extend far beyond my expectations. Little did I know how happy Paris would make me. No matter the small mishaps that are quite normal during far away travels, I was filled with wonder and delight for the entire journey. The delights of my time in Paris were enhanced with a series of wondrous synchronicities. Were such blessings already in my “everyday” life back home? And was Paris simply the most beautiful place for me to heighten my senses and allow for an awareness of those parts of my life that often go unnoticed?

The synchronicities and other pleasures I experienced in Paris gave me an overriding sense of being “carried” and being guided throughout my journey. I might also say, it was somewhat of a spiritual experience.

From this place of gratefulness for the gifts Paris gave me, the news of what was experienced in the city back in April has been heavy, for myself and for many others around the world.

No matter where in this beautiful world you may be, and no matter if you’ve been to Paris, or have dreamed of one day visiting, seeing its cathedral, Notre Dame, in flames was indeed a horrifying sight.

My own first reaction was disbelief. How could it even be? We take for granted that these architectural treasures and sacred places have been with us for centuries and believe and expect that they always will; both in our lifetime, and beyond. The strength of their stones, their beauty and grandeur, their history and their age, the silent echoes of countless prayers that have graced its hallowed vaults, all contribute to a sense of reverence that one cannot help but experience from within.

My prayer for Notre Dame is simply and lovingly this:

May the “rebirth” of Notre Dame come from a place of recognizing the Cathedral as a sacred place, rather than something worldly. May its aesthetics remain a reflection of the very spirit with which it was built, and not limited to an aesthetic appealing only to current times. May any new construction that replaces what has been lost - if it is to be noticeably different than what was there before - bear witness to the Cathedral’s strength, and not its loss. May it continue to hold within its stones, for centuries beyond that which it has already bared witness to, the awe and reverence of countless visitors. May it continue to safely hold and uplift to its soaring heights prayers of the faithful. Amen.
And before signing off, I will extend a wish for you, that if your heart longs to be in Paris one day, to experience for yourself its beauty and enchantment, may that gift reach you soon......

Until next time wishing you joy and delight in your everyday life. And a sharing of an invitation to my new gallery of Paris watercolors, available for a limited time here. If you find something that you might love to have, may it bring abundant Paris dreams and bliss into your home.

Parisian Romance Watercolor

Sophia Khan

Parisian Romance ~ watercolor, copyright © Sophia Khan

Parisian Romance ~ watercolor, copyright © Sophia Khan

It’s been awhile since I last wrote and I am thrilled to be back in studio painting away at one of my new favorite subjects, the enchanted city of Paris. Paris....what can I express in words about how much this city has gifted me. There are parts within me, parts within the deep corners of my soul and of my being that the adventure of traveling sheds love onto. Paris filled many of these places within me with an ever expanding sense of wonder and a romance with life.

Following this thought, some time ago I read the following quote by Rainer Maria Rilke:

“I want to describe myself
like a painting that I looked at
closely for a long time,
like a saying that I finally understood,
like the pitcher I use every day,
like the face of my mother,
like a ship
that carried me
through the wildest storm of all.”

Beautiful. This exquisitely expressed sentiment from his Book of Hours: Love Poems to God reminds us to celebrate the very mysteries of our lives, of who we are, and of the endless stream of love, possibilities, and wonder that are inherent within each of us.  And I do believe this is what some of the greatest works of art have the ability to do.

For me, this romance with one's life is what the city of Paris gifted me with and what this watercolor is a celebration of. I am excited to share that this painting is available as an original in my online gallery, linked below:

I look forward to continuing to explore this enchanted city with my watercolors. May Paris continue to reveal its gifts to all those who embrace its beauty whether in travel or memories, or dreams....

Paris Art + Your Travel Memento

Sophia Khan

Work in progress watercolor of Saint-Chapelle, Paris. copyright © Sophia Khan

Work in progress watercolor of Saint-Chapelle, Paris. copyright © Sophia Khan

The above work in progress watercolor is of the beautiful royal Saint-Chapelle in Paris, situation on the ile de la cite, not too far from the Cathedral of Notre Dame. This Gothic style chapel has a series of stunning stained glass windows, all depicted biblical themes, and meant to be read sequentially as a story.

One of the joys of traveling alone is that one can do exactly what one wishes, without having to worry about boring a fellow traveler. One such thing that I did, was return to this lovely chapel after having my lunch, so that I can take another look at a space I was in awe of.....This watercolor, of the exterior, is being painted with colors partly inspired by the vibrancy of those stained glass windows. It may be close to complete, as I often say that a watercolor for me is just as much about what is said as it is about what is left unsaid....

On another note, I wanted to share that I will be opening up my studio doors, to take on a limited number of commissions for the upcoming holidays. :~) These custom watercolors, which are Fine Art Travel Mementos, are perfect to gift a loved one for whom travel holds a special place in their heart and life. Current pricing begins at $470 for an 8" x 10". More info can be seen by clicking on the image below:

Paris Delight

Sophia Khan

watercolor on Arches paper ~ copyright © Sophia Khan

watercolor on Arches paper ~ copyright © Sophia Khan

I have returned from my creative exploration of Paris, and oh what a wonderful time it was! (To see some of the art that I made while I was there, have a look at my Instagram here).

More than seeing the city through the lens of an artist, I saw the city as an explorer; an adventurer seeking distant lands that I had only previously read and dreamed about. Although I am an Italophile and always love traveling throughout Italy, this year I decided to explore a country and city I had never visited before.

And to my delight, Paris had many secrets awaiting for me. I remembered the parts of myself and my life that I love the most, namely my curiosity and sense of wonder, the joy I experience through freedom and adventure. And in Paris, I celebrated each and every one of these.

Every day was a delight, filled with beautiful vistas, exquisite cuisine, and joyful synchronicities. Everything reminded me of how fortunate I am to be able to travel to all these wonderful places and do what my heart so longs to, and deepened my sense of gratitude.

And of course, I so enjoyed my painting and drawings sessions, and taking in all the beautiful sights through either memory or photographs, so I have plenty of Paris inspiration for when I return home.

I am also excited to share that the above watercolor, which celebrates the joy and wonder I experienced in Paris, is for sale as an original ~ $370 + shipping (complimentary in the US). Simply contact me through my 'connect' page if you are interested in acquiring it.