Rue de l’Echaudé

Rue de l'Echaudé New drawing. Coloured pencils on pescia paper. 410 x 560 mm.

Rue de l’Echaudé
New drawing. Coloured pencils on pescia paper. 410 x 560 mm.

I have drawn my favourite Parisian street several times since I first found myself standing on it in December 2010.  Today I have finished my latest drawing of rue de l’Echaudé.  What is it about this street?  It is narrow, intimate and so old that the buildings lean at strange angles.  A medieval street, beyond the reach of Haussmann’s renovations, it is safely tucked away in Saint Germain des Prés.  One can gaze up at one of Saint-Sulpice’s towers in the distance, framed between sky and buildings of the street itself.  This street favours pedestrians.  It does not want to be bothered by anything faster, louder or wider than a bicycle.

If ever you want to find this tiny street yourself, here it is on the map. I have coloured it with hot pink. I have circled Saint-Sulpice with pink as well.

If ever you want to find this tiny street yourself, here it is on the map. I have coloured it with hot pink. I have circled Saint-Sulpice with pink as well.  (You will have to click on the map to enlarge it so that you can see.)

The time I like best on this inspirational street is very early in the morning when I am the only person around.  I marvel at the sky changing from night to morning blue.  I study the  electric light reflections glowing on various surfaces; wood and stone walls, plate-glass windows and (usually) wet ground.

Below are several drawings I have made of the same area.  The first is a drawing that I ripped up earlier in the year.  You can read about it on my post “A Time to Destroy“.  Unlike that sad story, the latest drawing simply fell into place.  It was like “PING!  I’m finished”.  I wish they all resolved as cleanly and neatly as “Rue de l’Echaudé” did today.

This is the drawing which didn't work out a couple of months ago. The man is walking up one of the other sides of the triangle, rue de Seine.

This is the drawing which didn’t work out a couple of months ago.

The six drawings below all made it to completion, unlike my comrade in misfortune above, and most of them have sold within the last 24 months.

Quiet I did this drawing in February 2013. It is from the same photo session as for the latest drawing.

I did this drawing in February 2013. It is from the same photo session as for the latest drawing.

Blue Dawn From the same photo source that I used for "Paris en hiver" but very much cropped. I had originally called this "Blue Dawn on rue de Seine" until I realised I was on the wrong street!

Blue Dawn
Drawn from the same photo that I used for the drawing below but I used a cropped area of it.

"Paris en hiver" 2011

Paris en hiver – this drawing shows the street on a cold mid-winter morning.

de bonne heure Same street drawn from another trip. You see how it is ALWAYS wet when I go to Paris?

de bonne heure
Same street drawn from another trip. You see how it is ALWAYS wet when I go to Paris?

Matin In this case my companions were pigeons.

On this quiet morning, my companions were of the feathered variety.

Reflecting on Art Right on the corner of rue de l'Echaudé and rue de Seine is an art gallery. Here is a drawing of the reflections in the art gallery window.

Reflecting on Art
Where the road forks between rue de l’Echaudé and rue de Seine is an art gallery, Galerie L. de Puybaudet. Here is a drawing of the reflections in the art gallery window.  (You can see the same window in three of the drawings above.)

I am sure I will draw this street again.  Rue de L’Echaudé in my mind is “Julie’s Street”.  I claim it as both my piece and peace of Paris.

Postscript:  June 20th 2014.  I DID draw rue de l’Echaudé again, only two months later.  Below is the latest interpretation of this mystical street which I have named “Rhapsody in Blue”.

Rhapsody in Blue 400 x 510 mm. Drawn in June 2014.

Rhapsody in Blue
400 x 510 mm. Drawn in June 2014.

Related post:  Rhapsody in Blue

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26 thoughts on “Rue de l’Echaudé

  1. sherrytelle

    I so love each and every one of your Rue de l’Echaude pieces so much, but this last one is just so magical! The lighting reflects that twilight time that could be early morning or dusk. A busy place caught napping before or after the daily hustle and bustle of another day. Just magic Cousin!

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      As you say, Sherry, it is as if the street is caught napping. And it is so quiet – you could hear a pin drop. This is the reward for hauling oneself out of bed while it is still dark and cold.

  2. Barbara moore

    Another excellent drawing and interesting article Julie. I love it that you have created (in all those paintings) the essence of the street, and the beauty that is created from what most people would describe as drab, miserable wet weather! I want to go there…. Thank you for sharing, Barbara

  3. anna warren portfolio

    You make me yearn for Paris, even (or especially) when it is wet and cold. Its hard to explain why the drawings feel so French, but they all do. There is so much detail in them, especially the new one, that your eye is constantly finding something new and interesting. I can see that wet street would have taken a while! The reflections one comes as a blast of movement after the stillness of the streets – we have talked about reflections recently, and how exciting they can be. It’s a lovely, busy end to your post, full of joie de vivre!

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      I admit, when I do a drawing like this, Anna, I yearn for Paris as well. Speaking of details to look at, do you notice the street art in this picture? It is there. See the little pair of glasses on the right wall and also the five-sided yellow shape underneath? Good old street art! On that same wall there was also some graffiti but it wasn’t artistic; in fact it was just yukky tagging so I left it out. That is a good thing about being an artist; you can leave out anything you want.
      The wet street didn’t take nearly as long as you might think because I wasn’t doing every little bit with care. Something like that needs to be done with some fluidity so that it comes to life. Sweeping movements and speed, bashing colours on – that is how I create the wet road.

      1. anna warren portfolio

        I did see the yellow shape! Its very nice to have those little subtle links between your works – Paris connected to New York and London through street art. Your work looks so controlled it is hard to imagine the big sweeping movements done at speed, as you say ‘bashing the colour on’, but it makes it work. Maybe it is that contradiction that gives it life.

      2. juliepodstolski Post author

        Anna, the librarian inside me (yes, there is one) loves cross referencing. Just now I’ve found a maiko (apprentice geisha) photo of mine where the maiko reminds me so much of one of my sad paste up women (“Low”) from a New York wall, that I HAVE to draw her next.
        Sweeping movements, bashing colours – you’ll just have to take my word for it then. Call it ‘controlled bashing’ if you like.

  4. iarxiv

    Amazing collection of street drawings. I was looking for a bit of inspiration for my next coloured pencil painting – I might just have found it!

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Oh cool! I would love to think that I helped with some inspiration for your next coloured pencil painting. But … what is my next piece going to be? I also need inspiring.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      I enjoyed mentally being in Paris while I drew it, Karen. Drawing a particular place kind of takes you there. It is a bit like astral travelling without having to go to sleep first.

  5. Seatoun Knoll

    Great drawing Julie. It has an amazing glow in the foreground with view shaft up the narrow street of wobbly buildings to the soft Saint-Sulpice in the distance. Works nicely also with your other Rue de Lechaude drawings except the one you ripped up! I can see now how it has a completely different feel but I still liked it! What was it that didn’t work for you?

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Bit of sixth sense happening, Rachel, as I was thinking about you just now. What didn’t I like about “A Time to Reflect”? Well – Matt and I had some big consultations about it. We agreed that the eye didn’t really know where to look. The balance wasn’t there. Funny enough, I liked it too, so it was hard to destroy – but in the end it was like two pictures stuck together rather than one harmonious piece. I seem to think I wrote about what I didn’t like about it in the post – so why don’t you click on the live link here in the text of this post. My major critic, Matt, agreed with my decision.

      1. Seatoun Knoll

        OK that’s weird – I read your post and looked at the drawing again. Is it because I read your post or is it the drawing? There’s definitely an unstable left-right focus yet there is still something compelling about the drawing. When you were drawing maybe you were seeing the drawing in another way? So what was it that you liked about the drawing initially?

      2. juliepodstolski Post author

        Initially, Rachel, I knew there might be a problem – BUT – there is hardly a photo I work from which doesn’t have some possible problem. The thing for me is to take a risk and try to overcome the perceived problem. In this one, I loved the reflection in the window. That was supposed to be the thing which drew your eye. That’s why I called it “A Time to Reflect” because you’d go “wow, look at the light in the window”. It was supposed to grab the viewer’s attention. That was the plan.
        But … it DIDN’T grab the viewer’s attention. It fell flat. You tended to look more at the guy walking down the street and the window just hung there – like it didn’t know what to do with itself. The colours didn’t ‘sing’.
        Maybe I could have gotten away with it; framed it, displayed it…maybe even sold it. But I can’t frame something and exhibit it if I feel it isn’t quite right. So, even though there were areas here and there which worked out AND which I liked, as a cohesive whole, it failed.

  6. Hazel Tucker

    Fabulous drawing Julie, nice to hear the stories about the drawings too. You have captured a warm homely feeling to it. Makes me want to visit Paris again!

  7. Robyn Varpins

    I have seen these pictures in the flesh…..and the colours are deliciously rich and deep…..especially the latest one….made my mouth water


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