Tag Archives: Marais

A Small Act of Love

“A Small Act of Love”
212 x 308 mm
coloured pencils and oil pastels. June 2018

“A Small Act of Love” is the second drawing I have made from a single source photo.  When the first drawing “Just a Moment” sold last year I was both happy and sad; happy as it is always a pleasure when a drawing sells; sad because it was destined to be a part of my “Remember Paris” collection – to be shown in September 2018.

“Just a Moment”
Coloured pencils, drawn January 2017.

Recently as I was reviewing the “Remember Paris” drawing collection so far, I once again mourned the loss of “Just a Moment”.   However I saw the possibility of a second chance as I had cropped the composition the first time.  This time I would draw from the entire photo – making a whole new composition.  And I would use oil pastels as well as coloured pencils.  (You can compare the two pieces – above and below – here.)

“A Small Act of Love”  June 2018
coloured pencils and oil pastels.

The thing is, I want my exhibition of drawings to be more than merely sumptuous views of Paris.  My aim is to show a wide range of her personality traits.  The essential ingredient of this piece is intimacy – an everyday moment of a mother assisting her child.

Last weekend I visited one of Australia’s major art galleries.  I felt like I was in a void while I viewed the traditional and modern grandiose works.  What was my place in art?  Did I have one?  Back home again, finishing off this drawing gave me a sense of perspective.  Perhaps this is my place in art; what I do day after day is a small act of love.

Note:  The drawing is made to be seen from across a room so it is a good idea to stand back a few paces from the top image…and then it makes sense.

Sumptuous Paris

I take photos to make drawings from.  But not always.  These ten photos don’t require reinterpretation as drawings.  They are happy just to remain photos – celebrating a city with more than its share of visual romance; sumptuous Paris.

La Conciergerie with reflections on the Seine pre-dawn.

Jardin des Tuileries

The view from the steps of Basilique du Sacre-Coeur in the late afternoon.

Ravens being fed at Parc des Buttes Chaumont on a benign autumn Saturday.

The joys of coffee and pastries from a shop such as this! (My daughter, Alicia and her friend, Marissa.)

Melt-in-the-mouth cakes within, elegant architecture without – appreciated simultaneously.

Stunning floral display at Jardin du Luxembourg.

From inside one of the art galleries at Centre Georges Pompidou, looking across from Notre Dame to Pantheon.

A view of Les Halles (St Eustache on the right) from Centre Georges Pompidou.

Construction and constructing…



Just a Moment

"Just a Moment" A mother-and-child moment at St. Paul in the Marais. January 2017.

“Just a Moment”
A mother-and-child moment at St. Paul in the Marais.
January 2017.

In my drawing “Just a Moment” a mother bends down to attend to her child.   Perhaps a small jacket is being buttoned up, tears wiped, nose blown, or reassurance given.  A mother’s life is made up of ‘just moments’ – tiny insignificant events which add up to years of loving care.

I was meandering through St. Paul Village in the Marais on my way home for lunch after a very long walk.  I became aware of a mother and child who were walking at the same slow pace as me.  The little child was crying and crying –  wailing words in junior French.  At that time of day he may have been on his way home from daycare.  I felt for both; the forlorn child protesting at his lot, and the mother who plodded patiently alongside.

I thought about each of my daughters; Emily, Alicia and Lucy, when they had been little children…that plaintive cry, “Carry me“.  Going deeper into my memory I WAS the child, tired and demanding,  “Carry ME!”

Somehow the two figures crossed the road and walked away, perhaps while I was distracted by shop windows.  I looked into the middle distance and there they were – a perfect little composition.  Even the red ‘sauf’ sign was just right for me – a surrogate Japanese lantern.  I took a photo then continued on my way.

This was just a moment in the lives of all three of us.


On reflection, each and every pencil mark is a moment too – so many moments gathered together to make up a whole drawing.