Thinking About Paris

Marais Impression 2011

Marais Impression

Tonight I felt moved to re-watch Woody Allen’s film “Midnight in Paris”.  I was reminded (as if I needed reminding) what a sensationally beautiful city Paris is.  Clearly Allen was as seduced by the city as I (and so many of us) have been – and will continue to be.

Moulin Rouge 2011

Moulin Rouge

After watching the film, I decided to post a few Paris drawings which were made before I had a blog.  I had spent December of 2010 in that city with my family.  What a joy to explore Paris over a whole month and to capture images which I would spend the next three to four years drawing.

Luminous Morning 2011

Luminous Morning

It had been a particularly cold December.  I encountered fog, rain, snow, sleet, hail and just the smallest bit of sunshine.  Most of my drawings contain wet streets.

Place Blanche 2011

Place Blanche

Café on the Left Bank 2011

Café on the Left Bank

The best place I found for getting views above Paris was The Pompidou Centre – at the top of the escalators.  Focussing first on the view and then on the glass pane itself, I got very different effects – all of which I made extremely detailed drawings of.

Snow on Les Halles 2012

Snow on Les Halles

Diffusion 2012


Snow Showers 2012

Snow Showers

Back at street level, I LOVED the novelty of slushy snow – until it soaked through my inadequate footwear.

Tempête de neige 2012

Tempête de neige

Paris en hiver 2011

Paris en hiver

I returned in 2012 and 2013 and made enough drawings for two solo exhibitions.  Those familiar streets became my friends, and remain my friends.

Conversations at Dusk 2012

Conversations at Dusk

Have you visited Paris?  I wonder what your thoughts are?

Le Georges Rose 2012

Le Georges Rose

November 2016:  I never thought, when I wrote this post last November, that I would return to Paris within twelve months.  I was there last month and am now starting a whole new body of work from this mesmerizing city.

"Somewhere" November 2016

November 2016

So much more to follow…

21 thoughts on “Thinking about Paris

  1. Robyn Varpins

    Thankyou for posting these beautifully captured gems of the spirit of Paris. I too was enchanted with Paris…particularly in the early morning, when it is at it’s most gentle.

    1. juliepodstolski

      So many people round the world have a romantic notion of Paris, and I must admit, I’m no exception.
      Woody Allen’s light-hearted film joked about both suicide bombers and the notion of looking for fire escapes in crowded places. I hadn’t noticed those comments before but they stuck out when I viewed the film again last night.

      1. juliepodstolski Post author

        Thanks Bonny. I don’t do any actual drawing while I am on a trip. I save it till I’m home. However I split my time between photographing and SAMPLING THE CUISINE. I walk, walk, walk and eat, eat, eat.

  2. occasionalartist

    I was so pleased to see more of your Paris drawings, just beautiful Julie, you really captured the feel of that wonderful city. The drawing of the cafe took me right back to my own visit, just magical. Karen

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      That café drawing took many people back to their Paris visits. That was a drawing I could have sold multiple times when it was exhibited. I should have had a limited edition print made of it!

  3. anna warren portfolio

    Paris is one of my favourite cities in the world and last week’s events resonated deeply with me. Your drawings are such a tribute to this wonderful city, they do capture the colour and essence of its character. On a technical level, I was trying to work out just why these drawings work so well, and, apart from the fact they make a beautiful set, I think it is your use of tone that lifts them beyond a cold representation of the subject matter. Someone told me years ago that if an artwork isn’t working, more often than not it is because the tone is wrong. I think you get it right every time.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      You know me, Anna. I could never just do a cold representation of a subject. I make a concerted effort to channel my feelings for my subject into the drawing. I also channel what I experienced when I was standing at that spot at that time. That’s why I could never think of drawing from somebody else’s photo reference.


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