Late Spring, I was in rue Mouffetard, a lovely street in the 5th Arrondissement of Paris where you find lots of shops and food stalls at all time plus free entertainment. This jazz band was amazing and performing among the shoppers and passers-by with great professionalism.
The band was standing next to a wine shop and I decided to paint just the window not to be too distracted by all the bottles appearing behind the musicians…
Last weekend we were in Paris. We went to the Palais Chaillot opposite the Eiffel tower to see an exhibition about Art Nouveau, but when we got there, we were told that the exhibition had been on 3 years ago…Big disappointment…. as on the internet the year of the advertised exhibition was not mentioned ! So as we were there, standing in front of ” la Cité de l’Architecture “, we got in to discover an amazing building with high ceilings and a fantastic view of the Eiffel tower.The figure standing in the foreground is me looking out of the window and admiring the amazing view well worth the trouble of getting to the wrong exhibition ! Plus the reflected light from the windows made an interesting subject for the painting.What you see on the walls and the right hand side are replica of pieces of masonry made of plaster.
From my sketchbook, ink drawing with wash of a Paris scene in the olden days inspired by a black and white vintage photo.
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…
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.
Inspired by a black and white vintage photo from “the Roaring Twenties “, I decided to make a colourful portrait and name it “Mistinguett”.
Starting in 1907, Mistinguette dropped the final ‘e’ and became Mistinguett ‘the woman with the divine legs.’ She performed the Apache Dance with Max Dearly in 1909 and then both created spectacular revues one after another for almost 30 years, with feathers, tinsel, glitter and chorus girls and boys. A concept which still rules at the Moulin Rouge!