Party time !

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Have a great end of year celebration tonight, full of fun and laughters. Happy new year for 2017 !

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Santa’s Grotto ?

grotte

This grotto is situated at 15 km West of Grasse the perfume capital of France and outside the village of Saint-Cézaire-sur-Siagne. It can be visited but who knows if this is the secret place for Santa…. I used lots of layers of bright watercolours to render the light coming from above and put some black ink for more darker contrast.

The manufacturing of wine barrels in Bercy, Paris.

bercy-tonneau

Bercy village today in Paris is a very trendy shopping centre which was built in the 1990’s . In the past Bercy used to be an important wine market. This sketch is done from a vintage black and white picture. I chose a main colour which evoked wine . I know some people use wine to replace watercolour but this is not the case :  I don’t think I would have obtained the same transparency and  and I am not sure  the paper of my sketchbook would have taken it well…

Paris and social networking in the olden days.

les-timbres

In the 1900 ‘s Facebook did not exist but there was a lot of social networking going on in the streets of Paris. To illustrate this, I chose to paint a scene from an old black and white photo portraying people exchanging stamps on the famous Champs Elysées. This kind of picture can be bought along the river Seine at the bookstalls “les bouquinistes”. The people in the picture are looking at their stamp collections comparing their personal treasures. One can imagine all sorts of conversation going on : a  potential story behind the scenes. Although the old picture was in faded grey shades, I chose to use  bright colours and ink to accentuate the movement and postures.

Paris St Michel bridge

le-pont-st-michel

Being in Paris at the moment is always like traveling back in time for me as I used to be a student there. Especially le pont St Michel is really engraved in my memory as I took the metro at the station nearby so many times. By the way the big “N” is for Napoleon III and for me definitively  for Nostalgia !

Valbonne autumnal light.

valbonne-entrance

The trees have lost their leaves and  give a lovely calligraphic quality to a painting. I chose to paint the access to Valbonne village framed in the foreground by winter branches inviting the eyes to follow the entrance to a narrow street. In spite of approaching Xmas, the light is still very strong and and gives a warm feeling to everything it touches.