mercredi 27 janvier 2021

Lockdown #2 : Project 1h 1km 1 drawing / English

[ par Marielle Durand ] ENGLISH VERSION

Rather than repeating the pattern I previously followed to describe life outside looking through my windows on the first lockdown, I have this time decided to go out and draw quick sketches of places nearby while respecting the one-hour and one-kilometer rule. 

The drawings are limited in time, space and colors : 1 hour, 1 kilometer around (paris sanitary rules) and about 3-4 colors only : orange, ocre, grey and some blue. They are mainly made of watercolor, ink and a bit of black pencil on a 220g Lana Paper Sketchbook (about 150 x 210mm) that i’ve been given just before the lockdown.

I am usually doing longer sketches and travelling in very far away places. Because of the covid and the lockdown, I there use the limits that are the same for everybody to have a new look on my neighborhood and tell short stories on the people who lives and work in this area.

It is very important to me to show how life is still going on and how to keep some links between people through my work and day-to-daydrawings.

Drawing a sketch within the 1-kilometer limit. Lockdown nr 2, day 4.
That morning I had decided to go out. But before that I had to send a few things, phone somebody, call somebody else, well, I found all kinds of reasons not to leave home…
It does often happen with me that, without really meaning to, I put off a sketch, a decision, a project…or a conclusion till later !

This is why I was attracted by the idea of accepting that constraint limiting my time and space, using it as an ally and a strength. I usually can stand to draw for hours in the cold some complex subjects in all their infinite detail, but this time what I am looking for is simplicity and proximity. I have always wanted to do a project on my neighborhood and I already had the title : 13 years in Paris 13. Well, I have lived here for 14 years already and until recently I only had made a handful of sketches of places nearby. Having second thoughts when the 2nd lockdown was imposed, I decided to try to find subjects in my immediate surroundings instead of looking for them far away from home.

This view of « Butte aux cailles » is very familiar to me, with the grocer’s shop, the newspaper stand and the Lorette bakery where many teens from the nearby Saint-Vincent School come and buy their snacks and treats.

Every day, a man or a woman waits here begging. Because this man was again there that afternoon, I suppose I felt the need to do a sketch around him. Sitting on the wet floor, bearing no mask and holding out his empty coffee cup, ha attracted all the attention.

Drawing a sketch within the 1-kilometer limit. Lockdown nr 2, day 6.

I was so happy to go out this morning under a bright sunshine and to reach “Brassai square”, a small garden which I am very fond of. Located between the “5 diamonds” street and a series of high buildings along the Vincent Auriol boulevard, Brassai is an almost hidden green spot planted with some pine, birch trees and rosebushes and equipped with a tennis table and a soft floor playground for stunt-friendly kids. A barrier prevents going on the grass, probably because of the return of the pandemic ? At the end of September you could still lie on the lawn, eat a picnic or contemplate the sky with half-open eyes.

A bit disappointed, I look for a sunny spot. And for my subject. I quickly find it, with the pine needles, the reddish birch trees, the 1930 red-brick building where Camille used to live, a lady sitting on a bench, some children playing between a slide and a sandpit, and some rosebushes in the foreground.

There it is high life. Shouts of victory and shouts of defeat follow each other as quickly as carnival rides. Children tell formidable stories about laser beams saving the intergalactic vessel from the bad guys, ride a wooden galloping horse, start an endless descent on the long slide…”My descent” dates back from yesterday. Strangely enough, as in previous incidents, I fell while I was climbing up. The incident was not too serious this time, but enough to remind me to be more cautious next time.

A man and a woman are playing table tennis nearby. They sound as if they have met in a club recently. The lady talks a lot, asks many questions and plays rather aggressively, although she does not seem to be aware of this. Several times I felt the wind of the ball flying near me. Just when I was about to say that table tennis can be a dangerous sport, the ball hit me!!!

Drawing a sketch within the 1-kilometer limit. Lockdown nr 2, day 9.

Yesterday it took me some time to find the right subject. I first walked through the same familiar streets, then rediscovered less well known or even almost forgotten places such as “Passage Bolton”, where I admired a fresco by Philippe Baudelocque and noticed some pretty hidden houses. Then I came back to a spot nearby in the “Moulin des Prés” street and stood in front of “Misso”, the small take away shop of my dear Korean cook, Lee Young Kyung.

For several years I have been a regular customer enjoying the fresh dishes which Lee prepares on order: Bibimbap, Bulgogi, Jeyuk Deopbap, Kimchi and many other strange sounding names. And Lee’s smile and generosity always come as a bonus. Every time I visit her, we talk about art creation, sculpture (her former passion), or about walking and working. And after each visit I bring back home much more than a small sweet and sour dish !

So, yesterday I decided to stop in front of Lee’s shop. She gave me one of her small stools and brought me some tee with puffed rice to warm me up while it was getting dark. On that night I was tired and a bit slow, sketching was painstaking. Working in the dark made it even more difficult but I felt happy to draw Lee’s place at last.

A few people came and started a conversation. Among them, a man and two ladies. The first woman works in a hospital. She frightens me with her conspiracy stories…I prefer discussing with her about shades of blue or the color of her daughter’s eyes. The other lady, an older artist, works in a studio nearby. She proudly declares: “I didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, didn’t travel, but I managed to get an art studio”. Well, I didn’t smoke either, but I have travelled quite a lot and I wouldn’t mind sharing a drink, especially in this time !

If you fancy discovering Lee’s dishes, including the one highlighted in the “Parasite” movie (which by the way is delicious, but only available on order), please go to Misso, which is usually open every day from 5 pm till 9.30 pm (checking on @missocoree_paris is recommended) except on Sundays.

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