Thursday, June 30, 2011

Walking and drawing-the forest and Village of Noisiel

To take advantage of the good weather this weekend. Get some exercise. Do some drawing. Have a picnic and see some sights.

This Saturday, 2nd of June I'm inviting a few artist friends (10 in all) to go walking and picnicing outside of Paris, to end with a cinema in plein air.

16h - Meet at Noisiel train station, RER(A) line from Paris.

16h.15 - We walk through the forest (see Google map)
17h - We arrive at cemetery beside park with nice views and a lake. Here we draw for a half hour or have picnic.

17h.30 - We walk towards chocolate factory. (Beautiful old building with amazing history) on an island in a river (see map). Draw the building, the village or the river. More picnic perhaps.

19h - Walk along river and find other spots to draw. There is a lake. The village. Chateau, etc.

22h.30 - The Cinema in plein air. It's a bit late but the cinema is right beside the train station so getting back is no problem. The film is the premier of Habemus Papam. 

This is really a walk with art opportunities thrown in.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lunar Eclipse - Paris Picnic

This Wednesday, June 15th, Captain Bob is organising a Lunar Eclipse-picnic on the Pont des Arts.

The pont Des arts is between the Louvre museum & the bibliotheque Mazarine.

Some friends will meet there at 9pm. The moon will be in Total Eclipse when it rises around 10:10 pm. It will start to rise as an ominous dark red. The eclipse will move from Total Eclipse to Partial Eclipse at 11 pm and from Partial Eclipse to Penumbral Eclipse at midnight. Basically the moon will start off dark red and become lighter and brighter as it rises in the sky.
Things to know

WHAT: Everyone brings food and drinks to share.

WHERE: Pont des Arts in the center of Paris. We'll gather around a bench between the middle of the bridge and the Left Bank side. Nearest metros: Pont Neuf and Louvre-Rivoli.

WHEN: Wednesday June 15, 9:00 PM - 12 midnight

WHY: Share one of the most memorable sights in Paris with some of the nicest people around.

WHO: You and your friends.

HOW to find us: Keep your eyes out for a small white telescope on tripod if the sky is clear. Check in by cell phone if you can't find us: 0614 17 37 97.
There's a THEME: Strawberries and Roses and Katherine Converse's 70th birthday!!!

PUZZLER: Why does lunar eclipse last so much longer than a solar eclipse?
ANSWER: Because the earth is much bigger than the moon so it casts a larger shadow that takes the moon 100 minutes to pass through, while the moon's shadow on the earth is tiny and only covers a given location for a few minutes.

Please send email if you're planning to join the picnic.
CONTACT ADDRESS: Send your RSVP to Captain Bob.
If you get an AOL error message from, send mail to

Friday, June 10, 2011

Parc Monceau and Starbucks

I've started sketching Paris people again & stretching myself, drawing more landscapes too. It's a lovely city to be doing that kind of thing in, when the sun shines. Thanks to Paris Sketchers, a group of artists who draw together or more often inspire one another, to go out and draw the streets of Paris.

The girls were in Starbucks on the Boulevard des Capucines, where I enjoyed a hot chocolate yesterday. The other is in the parc Monceau. A lovely garden, hidden away off boulevard Haussemann. Here's a link to some information about the park.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Water from a vase - March 31

Last evening I was invited to a private drawing session with a small group of french artists in Paris. That's really nice. It's rare to get an invite like that.

This is the last drawing I produced from the 2 hour session. So what's so special about this? The drawing was done in 20 minutes and the models, particularly Bertrand, had to hold the same very challenging position for that period, without moving. Bravo the models!

The other thing, is the line quality. I've always felt that there is no real limit to the amount we can do and see in a short period of time but everyone seems to work from the basis of low expectations. There was an artist there encouraging everyone, making comments on work etc. He wasn't a teacher. He was saying that the arm knows what to draw and just to move the entire thing and the drawing will just come out. I agree with that, though I don't think it's easy to comprehend with the logical mind and it requires a certain amount of surrender to achieve.

The mind comprehends a great deal very quickly and it's only when we really try to analyse too much that it slows down. It's perfectly capable of communicating from eye to hand without any need for understanding, experience with perspective, internal narrative etc. In fact the stiller the mind the better the process. It pours out of the hand like water from a vase.

Some of my earliest drawings, from the age of 11, were like this. They shocked me at the time and I tried and tried to be like that all the time but it took me years of hard work and learning to realise that all the knowledge and experience, might just, be getting in the way.