Good Morning Paris

"Good Morning Paris" rue Saint Denis on a Tuesday morning in October. January 2017

“Good Morning Paris”
rue Saint Denis on a Tuesday morning in October.
Drawn in January 2017

Rue Saint Denis is one of those Paris streets I am regularly drawn to.  It is a street full of life.  People walk all over the road itself as if it is a pedestrian mall but cars drive down it so one must watch out.  Supposedly I moved out of the way of this car after I took the photo – as I’m still alive.

There are shops selling cheap junk, sex shops, cafés, dodgy-looking men hanging about who you don’t want to make eye-contact with, and homeless people propped up with their bags.  Standing sentry over the street is Église Saint-Leu-Saint-Gilles de Paris, a Catholic church which takes it upon itself to minister to the homeless.  The Gothic church has two spires, one of which you can see in my drawing.

Oddly enough I feel comforted by this composition.  The spire is a beautiful shape and I like the proportion of sky to buildings.  I feel a warmth towards the church with its helpful people right in there among the colourful characters and the down-and-out.

When so many people are upset by world events as 2017 begins, I am determined to keep seeking out scenes which make my heart feel glad, and make drawings of them.  There is so much in life which is good.

11 thoughts on “Good Morning Paris

  1. Joy Rhodes

    I love your comments almost as much as I love the painting, Julie! There is something about the out-of-focus look that makes it quite magical. Beautiful work. I would love to visit Paris one day, just not right now…..

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hello Joy, thanks for your comment. I can’t help but agree that there is something about out-of-focus. I have visited rue Saint Denis since 2005 and always liked the shapes of buildings but I never took a photo I wanted to make a drawing from until this trip when I was purposely photographing out-of-focus. It is like the essence of place and essence of atmosphere is revealed without the trivia. I’m a convert to this way of looking at the world.


    Thanks for sharing that, Julie. I have similar feelings about my experience in Old Delhi…so much heart and humanity….so much life! There’s beauty in the grime, if one is open to seeing it.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi Camilla, I’m 100% in agreement. I’ve always been a fan of grime. I think many artists are. Conversely, I find too much order rather dull; hence I wasn’t attracted to rich, orderly, conservative Vienna after the lovely messy chaos of Prague and Budapest, which I had visited before seeing Vienna, back in 2013.

  3. nick shiroma

    It’s like a hologram to me. The contrast of the lights which seems cartoonish and modern over the soft and full of history background. It feels chilly too, beautiful work!

  4. anna warren portfolio

    The first thing I noticed about this drawing was the sense of movement. The blurriness makes your eye move and ask questions about what is going on. Once again one is instantly transported to a damp morning in wintery Paris. A worthy addition to the series!


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