oil pastels and coloured pencils. 240 x 350 mm.
“We weren’t in love oh no far from it” (Bob Seger sings in “Night Moves“). Nor am I in love with Moulin Rouge but I certainly am captivated by her lit-up sails and their effect on Place Blanche. “I used her, she used me but neither one cared/we were getting our share“. She gives me art, I give her publicity (not that she needs any from me)!!
“Night Moves” is a partner to “Irresistible Blanche”. They are the same size and will hang side by side when exhibited in September.
For those of you interested in my technique using oil pastels as undercoat to coloured pencils, below is the drawing when the oil pastel/undercoat stage was completed. At this point I was ready to begin layering coloured pencils on top. You can read about this technique in my post Brush and Pencil or in the April 2018 issue of Ann Kullberg’s Color – https://annkullberg.com/collections/color-magazine-all-issues
You could say the cake was the oil pastel and the icing the coloured pencils. Cake + icing = delicious!
coloured pencils and oil pastels. 235 x 350 mm.
Place Blanche bursts into technicolor life as dusk deepens into evening.
As I have mentioned in past posts, Place Blanche is decrepit during the day. (Perhaps it was always so, even in the late 19th century.) Iconic Moulin Rouge in daylight hours is clothed in a dreary red – a courtesan well past her prime.
However, linger until the sun goes down. Eventually the windmill’s blades start to turn. All the lights pop on and the area becomes a roaring kaleidoscope of colour. At dusk Place Blanche is transformed into an artist’s fantasy.
Surely this can’t be real?!
“Irresistible Blanche” on the easel.
“Sideshow Alley” drawn with coloured pencils and Sennelier oil pastels.
213 x 230 mm. May 2017
Boulevard de Clichy in Pigalle is a busy strip of peep shows, sex shops, clubs and bars. In search of bright lights as well as photos of Moulin Rouge, I went there one evening last October.
I have always had a fascination for fairgrounds – the scariness of them. Pigalle with its neon kaleidoscope and promises of thrills is just like a fairground – a tawdry extravaganza of colour, people and noise. By day it is simply sad but at night it bursts into showy splendor. (Day or night you need to watch your back.)
A few months back I did a drawing of Moulin Rouge which I called “Show Time” also from this particular visit. The two drawings make a good pair.
“Sideshow Alley” is an overcoat of coloured pencils – worked into an undercoat of Sennelier oil pastels.
coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle
195 x 255 mm. November 2016
Moulin Rouge is ugly during the day; grim and seedy looking. When dusk descends and the lights come on, an awkward seductiveness unfolds – like that of a fairground or circus – repelling and attracting simultaneously. “Show Time” is the third drawing in my “Paris Revisited” series.
Seeing the three drawings together may give an idea of what I’m trying to achieve – a new way of working with pencils; less exacting and more expressive: anti-perfectionism.
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