Can painters cover paintings like musicians cover songs? I have done it before (Van Gogh in Arles). I did it in Paris. And I’ll do it again.
A contemporary of many French impressionist artists, Albert Marquet walked the line between fauvism and impressionism. While I was in Paris last week I painted the same bridge that he painted (many times). I did it on purpose. I meant to do it. I don’t regret it and I will do it again.
Albert was an impressionist who used vivid colors now and then (with all due repect to Renior’s Bal du moulin de la Galette). Having said that, here are two rather dull, of his many paintings of Pont Neuf in Paris. My watercolor sketch of Pont Neuf is from a similar vantage point. Maybe next time I am in Paris, and my French is better, I will try to get to the same vantage point. Lest you do not think to highly of his work, the dark painting at the bottom sold for about $330,000 at a Christie’s auction in 2011.
They are online! Yeah! All of the drawings were completed on location. They are my usual travel size, 12x17cm (5×7″).
Some of them took a couple of visits, like the Cafe scene on Rue Lombarde, which always seemed to entail more beer and wine with each visit. I had to finish the view of the Seine more quickly than intended. Either that or toss the homeless guy who decided to sit next to me into the the river. He endlessly played the same 5 notes on his accordian. I decided to spare him and I moved along.
My view of Notre Dame was from near Shakespeare and Company Bookstore. Someone had placed one of the store’s chairs quite far from the store. However, the chair was almost perfectly placed for my drawing. I only had to move it “slightly” – – I did put it back. Pont Alexandre III epitomizes Paris. Unfortunately there isn’t any place to sit and enjoy it’s splendor. It’s surrounded by busy roads and is a fair walk from most tourist sites. Pont Neuf is my sentimental favorite. It was painted many times by Albert Marquet, an impressionist era painter whose work I like. My sketch is an homage to him. As near as I can figure, he either lived in, or knew someone, on the second floor of the building along Quai des Orfèvres that overlooks this span. The Left Bank is on the far side.
I promise that I will have drawings from my Paris trip up soon. Unfortunately, the Fall semester at the university begins on Monday so I am busily prepaing for that as well.
In the meantime, I will say that I had a relaxing time in Paris, mostly without any agenda. In an attempt to describe Paris in one word, I thought that it was charming. Imagine my surprise this morning when I read an article in der Spiegel about the Eurozone crisis. The author described France as “… a deeply nostalgic and narcissistic country which is also, precisely for those reasons, very charming.” The psychologist in me could not have said it better.
What do the creation, sunflowers, and green eggs have in common?
They are all subjects of some well-known March-born artists: Michelangelo (March 6, 1475), Vincent van Gogh (March 30, 1853), and Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss, March 2, 1904). I wonder what getting together with these guys for morning coffee would be like?
Many prominent women artists also share March birthdays. Among them is notable French artist Rosa Bonheur. Do you know Rosa? Now she sounds like someone I’d like to have coffee with.
Rosa was born on March 16th, 1822. She is one of the premier animal painters in history and has received many international honors. She’s dead now, but she was tremendously famous, infamous, and artistically successful in her lifetime. On top of all that, she was financially successful, too; no starving, crazed artist here. Her painting, The Horse Fair, became one of the most honored works of the 19th century (Myers, 2008) and one of the Metropolitan Museum’s best known works of art (Rosa Bonheur, 2008). Rosa accomplished all of this at a time when women were not allowed to enroll in academic art study in either public or private institutions.
For more information about Rosa Bonheur, visit these sites:
Rosa Bonheur: The Horse Fair (87.25). (December 2008). In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Retrieved from http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/87.25
Myers, Nicole. (September 2008). Women Artists in Nineteenth-Century France. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Retrieved from http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/19wa/hd_19wa.htm
Esaak, Shelley. (nd). Artists in 60 Seconds: Rosa Bonheur. Retrieved from http://arthistory.about.com/cs/namesbb/p/bonheur.htm
In honor of Women’s History Month 2011, I will feature four American artists with March birthdays. Who are they? Hint: You might be unknowingly famous if you are in one of her photos.
Hey… it is an icon. I had to paint it. It was a nice bright spring day, a bit cool. I stood on the bank of the Seine for this view. Same spot as I took the photo in a previous post. The photo was actually merged from several photos because this location is too close for a single shot, at least with my camera. Fortunately, that is not a problem with drawing.
Current Happenings —————————–
No art classes for now. I’m concentrating the teaching part of my brain on my job at Adams State University.
My painting, “Self Portrait” was in The Red Show at Core New Art Space in Lakewood, CO; November 2019
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