Tag Archives: Paris

Sticks Before My Eyes

2 Apr

I reached the point of no more faffing with van Gogh’s “Street Scene in Montmartre”. That’s it now. I’ve painted so many sticks I’m seeing them when I close my eyes. Vincent was living with his brother Theo in 1886 when he painted this, when the area was still very rural. It’s not like that anymore, although there’s a windmill, the Moulin Rouge, and a few vineyards. I started it a week ago with Ed Sumner’s Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Facebook. It’s every Friday lunchtime and Ed’s been running it for just over a year now, since Lockdown 1 began.

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

Inspired by drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artefacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

The Tomb Of Victor Noir

2 Sep

02 victor noir

As Husb and I were wandering around Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris last week, we passed by this very unusual and beautiful grave, a bronze slab supporting the realistic, corpse-like bronze statue of the young journalist Victor Noir, murdered by a cousin of Napoleon III,  whose death contributed to the overthrow of the Emperor’s regime. The monument by Jules Dalou is beautiful. Dating from the 1890s and stylistically influenced by Art Nouveau, the bronze has weathered to a rich greenish-grey verdigris, except for the areas around the mouth, toes and crotch, which all gleam with the shiny golden yellow of polished bronze.

At some time a myth grew up that the statue confers fertility on those who kiss it – or perform lewd acts upon it! Hence the shiny bits! The local authority erected a fence around it in 2004, but this was removed because of protests from the women of Paris. Rest In peace? I think not.

Drawn into my A5 clothbound sketchbook, prepared with brown wrapping paper, in Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens sizes S, F, M and B; with watercolour washes and a touch of white gouache.

Oscar’s Pink Kisses

29 Aug

29 oscar 2

While we were at the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris last week, Husb and I visited Oscar Wilde’s grave. It’s very different from the typical ‘little houses’ marking other graves. It was made by Jacob Epstein, inspired by Assyrian carvings, and it’s nudity attracted a lot of controvery, culminating in the testicles being smashed off in the early 1960’s.  Poor thing! There’s a protective glass barrier around it now. A tradition has grown up of planting a pink lipstick kiss on the monument and there were several fresh kisses; some agile visitor had planted one on the statue’s lips.

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Drawn with a Faber Castell Pitt pen, size S and watercolour into my A5 clothbound sketchbook, prepared with ripped brown wrapping paper stuck in with a Pritt stick.

Another Scribbler!

26 Aug

26 pompidou scribbler

Husb and I spent a happy day at the Pompidou Centre in Paris last week, traipsing around the exhibitions. We were very impressed with the Simon Hantai retrospective. I’d never heard of him before but I thought his work was fantastic. As we wandered around, I noticed a French scribbler sketching away in a corner. So I scribbled her too.

Necropolis And The Linguist

23 Aug

23 champollion

Husb and I just went away for a few days to Paris and in our last few hours we visited the Pere Lachaise Cemetery. I knew there were famous graves there and we wanted to visit some dead artists but I had no idea what to expect or how amazing the place is. It’s a necropolis; a city of the dead. The area is packed with incredible tombs and monuments, most of them like tiny houses with pointed roofs, doors and stained glass windows, laid out in streets. It’s like walking around a city from a Tim Burton film.

One grave I desperately wanted to visit was the tomb of Jean-Francois Champollion, the French linguist who translated the Rosetta Stone and unlocked the meaning of Egyptian hieroglyphics. The monument is in an older part of the necropolis, rather rundown and ramshackle, but his simple and minimalist memorial obelisk stands out from the strange, ornate little houses surrounding it. It was a very hot day and the place was full of tourists and mourners attending funerals but there was a strange silence underlying it all.

I sat on the ground opposite and worked up this sketch into my A5 clothbound sketchbook that I’d previously prepared with some ripped up brown package paper. I used Faber Castell Pitt pens, sizes S, F, M and B in sepia along with some water colour in black and emerald green and a touch of white conte crayon.

The BBC has a documentary about Champollion and the Rosetta Stone on You Tube.

Pompidou Pigeons

22 Aug


Husb and I spent the whole day at the Pompidou Centre. What an amazing place. We sat awhile on one of the roof terraces, looking at the views over the rooftops and I had a bit of a scribble. I wanted to draw the pigeons but the statues and the building sort of took over. There is a shallow pond on the roof and the pigeons share it with the statues.

Drawn into my cloth bound sketchbook with Faber Castell Pitt Drawing pens and a touch of water colour. I prepared the sketchbook first by sticking in some brown parcel paper with a Pritt stick.

Done Before.

20 Aug


Paris is fabulous but I’m shattered because we’ve been walking everywhere and it’s Hot! It’s also difficult to decide what to scribble because in a city full of artists, it’s all been done before. Husb and I visited Notre Dame yesterday; it was jam packed but I found this statue in a dark, quiet corner and stood at the bottom, sketching. I like the drama of the foreshortening and the way it loomed out of the darkness.

Today we traipsed all over Montmartre and I had quite an emotional moment in front of Theo vanGogh’s house, where Vincent lived for a while. Marvellous. Tonight we went for a stroll under the full moon in the delightful Parc Bercy, which was packed with locals picnicking, playing sports and enjoying the gardens.

Gadding About in Paris

19 Aug


Yep. I’m on my travels again, courtesy of Eurostar and a budget hotel, Husb and I are in Paris for a couple of days. Arrived this morning and already shattered, we crammed in Notre Dame, Saint Chapel level, a sculpture park and some heavy duty walking. It’s very hot. Here’s a young mother and her baby outside Notre Dame.

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