Rhapsody in Blue

Rhapsody in Blue A drawing of rue de l'Echaudé at dawn. 400 x 510 mm. Coloured pencils.

Rhapsody in Blue
A drawing of rue de l’Echaudé at dawn.
400 x 510 mm. Coloured pencils.

Here I am back at rue de l’Echaudé.  I have walked a little further down the street than in my last drawing done in April (see below).  Now I am nearly at the corner of rue Jacob.  Saint Sulpice looms nearer than it did in my last streetscape.  The photos sourced for these drawings were taken minutes from one another.

Rue de l'Echaude April 2014. Just to remind you - here is the last drawing I did of this street.

Rue de l’Echaudé
April 2014. Just to remind you – here is the last drawing I did of this street.

I borrowed the title of George Gershwin’s musical composition for my drawing.  I also listened to it quite often during the drawing process.  I love the music of Gershwin.  “Rhapsody in Blue” and “An American in Paris” are two of my favourite pieces of music and have been for as long as I can remember.  I have just read on line that Ira Gershwin suggested the title “Rhapsody in Blue” to his brother after visiting an exhibition of James McNeill Whistler’s paintings.  There he saw titles like “Nocturne in Black and Gold” and “Arrangement in Grey and Black”.   So – painting titles influenced concerto title which in turn became my drawing title.  Thanks James, Ira and George!

Perhaps this is my last drawing of rue de l’Echaudé.  I wasn’t quite ready to call it quits after I finished my April rendition of it.  However now I feel that my appetite for drawing it has been satisfied.

The walls on either side of the drawing are very dark to direct your eyes where I want them to go, (rather like the role of black theatre curtains).  You are swept along the light-reflecting lane towards Saint Sulpice tower where, if you are a spirit (or a pigeon) you may effortlessly ascend to the parapet.  When I die, I will perform this aerobatic manoeuvre.  Till then, I’ll just imagine it.

Related post:  Rue de l’Echaudé

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14 thoughts on “Rhapsody in Blue

  1. Anne mccaughey

    Beautiful my friend! I love best of all street ones (drool drool) I havent been able to comment on your work for yonks ever since wordpress locked me out of the system, but I have conquered it again….I think??

  2. Sherry Telle

    Again, you have done it! If I ever get to Paris, seeing this street will be the highlight of my trip. Although I doubt it will be as magical in person as you have made it here. I love how you create such a wonderful mood and use such vibrant colours! You have inspired me to pull out the colour stops on my next piece.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Sherry, as long as you visit rue de l’Echaudé very early in the morning, I promise you it WILL look like this as I haven’t made anything up. Under a pre-dawn sky when it is still too dark to switch off the street lamps it truly is as magical as I make it out to be.

  3. Gina Rugito Anderson

    I love these stories that accompany your work. Paris is such a beautiful city, especially in unexpected places, like these narrow streets. This is another beautiful piece that transports us to a quiet moment, right before the fresh produce and bread carts come out for market.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      You’re right, Gina, there ARE produce and bread carts but not quite on this street. They are certainly nearby. However this particular street is full of art galleries. It is such a very narrow street that if even a very small bread cart came out, nobody would be able to pass by. One of the reasons I like it so much is that it is just the right proportions for human beings on FOOT. Cars may not enter! Yay!!

  4. anna warren portfolio

    As soon as I saw this piece it was instant familiarity, but looking at the previous drawing they are so different! I love the way my eye is drawn through the lamplit wet shining street to the misty tower of St Sulpice. I think I may join you on that final journey up, up to the parapet. (And I love the music of Rhapsody in Blue too!)

  5. Robyn Varpins

    I like the way you have made the new one cool with warm highlights…..whereas the original is warm with cool highlights. I am walking down streets like that now, in Croatia…. but not with the early morning light… still in bed where sane people are to be found. Enjoy the early morning light in Japan, darling.


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