lundi 15 octobre 2018

Outdoors at lunchtime in Courbevoie

[ par Oludotun Fashoyin ]

At a USK Paris outing at Ground Control in early May, I met Stéphanie, a fellow sketcher. There was one particular thing that I learned during our encounter: we both worked in the Courbevoie part of the la Défense area. Our workplaces were barely 150 meters apart. Then came the obvious question: why not meet to sketch at lunchtime in the area?

Our first meeting took us to the park named Square Henri Regnault. Inaugurated in 2013, this park was designed in close coordination with the residents of the three apartment buildings that surround it. Stephanie and I found a suitable spot for drawing on a bench that laid in the shade beside central pathway linking both entrances to the park. In spite of the numerous plum, maple, and ash trees around, what caught my eye was a lamppost along the pathway amidst a background of skyscrapers.

One of my next meetings with Stéphanie took place in Parc du Millénaire. It was summertime, and we got to witness how popular the park was. Between groups of kids taking part in games with ‒ and without ‒ adult supervision and teams of employees having picnics on the wide-open, oval lawn, the park was abuzz with life. While Stephanie took to a sun-drenched bench directly facing the lawn, I took refuge in the shade of trees across the lawn, close to the playground. Branches and trees all over the place, I decided to outline them so that I could focus on the landscape below.

My last sketching entry into parks in Courbevoie close to work was a solo trip to Parc Jacques Cartier. No stranger to picnickers like Parc du Millénaire, this park affords an equally leisurely vibe, with its installations of musical instruments immediately available to visitors. Among the ensemble you can find five tom-tom drums, an xylophone, and a carillon. Naturally, I resisted the temptation of creating music to sketch a view of the Faubourg de l'Arche neighborhood in the background from a secluded and shaded park bench.

I must credit Stéphanie for this foray into sketching in Courbevoie, as well as for her encouragements in using ink directly without making pencil outlines beforehand. Lunchtime at work has since become a nice opportunity to capture the environment around me through art.


Après avoir fait connaissance de Stéphanie, une sketcheuse parisienne qui comme moi travaille à Courbevoie, j'ai sauté sur son invitation de passer des pauses déjeuner à dessiner ensemble dans "notre quartier". Nos sorties nous ont amenés à découvrir des espaces verts qui embellissent notre cadre de travail dans la partie ouest de la ville. Ensemble, nous avons visité le square Henri Regnault et le parc du Millénaire, avant que je tente l'aventure en solo dans le parc Jacques Cartier. De la fin du printemps jusqu'au début de l'automne, j'ai réussi à trouver des coins à l'ombre et à l'abri du monde pour achever trois croquis. Se retrouver à quelques pas du travail pendant l'heure du déjeuner pour croquer, ensemble ou seul, me permet non seulement d’oublier temporairement le travail, mais aussi d'apprécier un peu plus l'environnement qui m'entoure, où des gens prennent plaisir à jouer, à pique-niquer, ou tout simplement se reposer.

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