There are trips where one boards an aeroplane and flies somewhere in real time. Then there are trips of the mind where one meanders from one drawing to another and ends up far away from embarkation point. After drawing a series of Australian birds in late 2013, now (mentally) I am back in Paris. To quote from a “Talking Heads” song, “You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?” (“Once in a Lifetime”)
In December I flew to London (physically). While there I toured areas rich with street art. When I came back to Australia, the London street art I’d viewed influenced my choice of subject matter. Two pictures I drew post-London were “Low” and “White Noise“. They were; however, drawn from photos of street art I had taken on an earlier voyage to New York.
I thought that the elegant paste-up girl in both these drawings looked a little French. My mind started to veer towards Paris. So it is no surprise that I chose an example of Paris street art for my next study, which I called “Life is Beautiful“.
I’ve gone (mentally) from New York to Paris; all started by ACTUALLY going to London. After “Life is Beautiful” I couldn’t leave Paris, now that I was back. I remembered how good Paris felt. So I followed up with “Tableau“.
I enjoyed drawing “Tableau” very much, (the photo originated from an October 2012 trip). There was that lovely Paris light once again, glowing out from my piece of paper. Working on the dog was fun. It led me … (pourquoi pas?)… to another dog. Which brings us to the current drawing “Jacques Russell”.
“Jacques Russell” was a dog I spotted as I wandered around Saint Germain des Prés in April 2012. I had just arrived that very morning all the way from Australia. I may have been sleep-deprived but I was so excited that I had to explore the streets immediately. Sleep would wait. The dog sat in the doorway of a stylish boutique. I only stopped for a second, bent down and photographed him, then continued on my way. It didn’t occur to me to draw him until the dog in “Tableau” paved the way for me to see this terrier’s artistic potential. He’s stylish, aristocratic and French. Matthew (husband) thought up the title “Jacques Russell”. He said it was a throw away line but it seemed just right for this Parisian pampered pooch.
Now I have finished my little Jack Russell terrier, what will I draw next? I don’t know however as I’m in Paris I’d like to hang out here a bit longer. Sometimes I question whether I am captain or passenger on my voyage of discovery where each drawing is a port of call.
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