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Showing posts from February, 2018

Dessins de Paris: 2

I saw this chap on the Paris Metro, travelling on line 13 between Gaite and Champs Elysees. He boarded the train at Bir Hakeim, the stop closest to the Eiffel Tower. He looked run down and ragged, possibly homeless, but certainly one of the people who hop on and off the metro to beg for money in different carriages. This man didn't do the most common thing you see, which is to give his well-rehearsed hard luck story in a loud voice while he passes along the carriage with an upturned hat in his hand. The man in this drawing was singing a song, I think it was an old chanson like you would hear from the 1950s. I didn't recognize all of the words, but it was something about walking through the rain and being in love, and his voice was exceptionally good, a strong baritone with a nice tone, perfectly in tune. His face was covered in patches of bad skin, like he had been sleeping rough in cold weather, or maybe they were burns. But the voice that came out of that horrible exterior …

Dessins de Paris: 1

During my annual trip to Paris in January, I try to do as much drawing as I can, using neocolor pastels and occasionally pen. On the last two trips (2017 and 2018) I did a lot more drawing from memory rather than observation. There are so many interesting facial types among the people you see in Paris, so I try to fix the most salient parts of their features in my mind, through a series of brief and intense gazes. Then when I get back to the apartment in Montparnasse, I get out the pastels and begin work.

This is a new series for my blog, in which I post one of the drawings and try to remember the moment in which I noticed the person.

This first one was someone I saw on the Metro, Line 9, when Patty and I went over to the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, near the Palais de Tokyo on the right bank. It was bitterly cold, and this older gentleman entered the metro car having clearly just experienced a blast of the arctic air that was pummeling the city. Despite his wooly ha…