“Versailles Animals”  Graphite pencil  2012 (Kristin Gjerdset copyright)

Sunny spring days have brought to mind travel memories to France from this time last year. The first image above is a page of animal studies from Versailles on Maria Antoinette’s medieval farm. Besides the Hall of Mirrors, this was the most engaging part of the place.  And most worthy in my humble opinion. Animals are always authentic.


“Nike of Samothrace” Graphite Pencil  2012 (Kristin Gjerdset copyright)

Another highlight was taking the time to sit down and study the Nike of Samothrace at the Louvre. What a powerful sculpture despite the loss of her head. It still speaks of flight and wind and freedom well.  I did wonder though, “would our reaction change should her head be found someday? ”

Image“Louvre Statue Study”  Graphite pencil  2012 (Kristin Gjerdset copyright)

How this sculpture was lit recalled the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” I enjoyed the aura and its resemblance to the ark of the covenant model.


“Larvae and Strawberries”  Graphite pencil and Ink  2012 (Kristin Gjerdset copyright)

While studying the low relief sculptures on the facade of Sainte Chapelle, I was struck by the inclusion of what appear to be a type of larvae eating on the stem of a strawberry.  They were found bordering narrative Old Testament stories imagery. I am unsure of their meaning. It was an unexpected image I had to record.

Image“Snoopy”  Sennelier Pastel  2012 (Kristin Gjerdset copyright)

And last but not least, is a drawing of Snoopy, the hotel’s French bulldog.  One of my students was patient enough to attract him, keeping him still long enough for me to sketch. He was not my best model ever but definitely a most charming little “man.”


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