I am on a business trip that is taking me around the world. I have spent two weeks in the US (Washington DC, LA and San Diego) and arrived in Paris two Sundays ago. Before I left Sydney, Liz Steel from the Sydney Urban Sketchers had put me in touch with Lydia Velarde from the Urban Sketchers in San Diego, and with Kim Marohn and Marion Rivolier from the Paris Sketchers. So my business trip had also become a global sketching trip.
I had a wonderful visit in San Diego. We sketched both days of the weekend that I was there - in a quirky nursery near the city centre and in Balboa Park. Lydia in San Diego makes videos of the Sketcher meetings in San Diego – so you can see people, the setting and the sketches at these two links:
I arrived in Paris from San Diego on the Sunday morning. After a quick shower I was ready to sketch. I had a plan to meet up with the Paris group in the afternoon. It was La Semaine du Dessin (drawing week) and one of the exhibition sites was the Palais de la Bourse. But rather than paying the entrance fee to see the drawings of the old masters inside, the Paris Sketchers had planned to meet at a café alongside the Bourse and sketch the outside – or the surrounds. Somehow most of us never made it out of the café, but spent a happy (and in my case jet-lagged) afternoon chatting, drinking and sketching what we could see, including each other.
Here is my sketch of a nearby building and statue.
Then a week working, and travelling on the RER D each day from and back to my hotel at Gare de Lyon. This is the view from my hotel window.
I tried to practice sketching the travellers on the RER inconspicuously. Here are a couple of attempts:
Then came Saturday, and another opportunity to sketch with the Paris Sketchers, this time at Le Musee de la Chasse et de la nature. A very interesting collection of art, taxidermy, guns… . The polar bear is very impressive.
And you can have a conversation with the grizzly bear – and get an answer (I thought there must have been a microphone and speaker – but actually there is a performer "hibernating" inside the stuffed animal for the first 13 days of April! And he is happy to engage in small talk with children, charming).
Thank you Paris Sketchers for a lovely two weekends of drawing! And especially Kim for connecting me and helping me along via emails and texts, and general encouragement. Here is the group at a nearby café - with me holding open last week’s sketch by mistake (oops)
...but we weren’t quite done yet.
Kim took Veronique, Julien, Savath and me to on open evening at La Grande Chaumiere. There was a free live model session to sketch. To my alarm, the model moved constantly to the poetry and music, striking pose after pose in fleeting moments. I just sketched like crazy and hoped – not at all in my comfort zone.
I promised Kim that these would never see the light of day but i have weakened, so here is a selection of my poor attempts to capture the poses and movements. Very hard - but also an interesting challenge.
So I am writing this from the airport in Dubai. I have one more flight to end this month-long journey. I can't wait to be home - but it has been great meeting so many generous and talented people, and making new friends around the world.
à la prochaine!