It was an opportunity of a lifetime for Carol Dorn, who has been a professional artist for the past 18 years.
Carol Dorn, a local artist from Evans, sits in front of a display of her paintings at the Antique Market in Martinez. Dorn recently traveled to the Louvre in Paris as part of a group of artists who were allowed to re-create famous paintings.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
She got the chance to travel to Paris to paint in the world famous Louvre Museum.
"It sort of felt like ... it was a fantasy," said Dorn, of Evans. "I said, 'Wow!' It was a dream come true. I never thought there was any possibility, at all, that I would be able to stand in the Louvre as a painter."
Dorn and 10 other professional artists from the United States and Canada journeyed to Paris for three weeks in October to paint in the Louvre with 19 foreign artists.
The opportunity for Dorn came at the last minute, when an artist from the group had to back out of the trip.
Dorn said each painter selected three paintings hanging in the Louvre to re-create using old masters' painting techniques.
"We were allowed to paint four hours a day, four days a week," Dorn said, adding she felt a little skittish about painting Philippe de Champaigne's Portrait of a Man in public.
"I was a little nervous about what to expect,'' she said. "This was my first real experience of painting with throngs of people."
While the artists set up their easels and composed their paintings, Dorn said, the group was part of the "entertainment" as the public toured the museum.
In addition to the trip, Dorn said, she had the opportunity to travel to Provance, in southern France, where she visited the town of Arles, where Vincent van Gogh stayed.
"This experience has exceeded my expectations," Dorn said. "France is just a phenomenal and beautiful country. There's such a feeling of the past because Paris goes so much further back than the U.S. does. And to see the architecture, sculptors and the houses is just amazing. And the people are so nice."
Dorn works on a re-creation of Philippe de Champaigne's painting A Portrait of a Man in the Louvre during a trip to Paris in October. Dorn's painting is on the left; the original is on the right.
Three years ago, Dorn said, she first visited the Louvre when she traveled to Paris with a group of high school students.
"We were able to see the Louvre for one afternoon," she said. "That's when I realized how amazing it was. We would pass artists' paintings, but I never imagined that I would be there."
She said her recent visit to the Louvre was an inspiration.
"Seeing all of the centuries of art, creativity, imagination through the ancient Egyptian time up through now was amazing,'' said Dorn, who identified her work with classical realism. "It made me feel like I'm growing, developing, learning and I need to use my gift more. I just got to paint."
Dorn now plans to revisit the Louvre to compose more paintings and work on Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa at home.
To view or purchase Dorn's painting from the Louvre and other paintings, visit the Antique Market, located on Washington Road in Augusta. For more information, call 860-7909.
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