Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Artists in Honfleur

Honfleur is a beautiful French port near Le Havre. It has an enclosed harbor called Le Vieux Bassin that is surrounded by 400 year old buildings that have been converted into shops and restaurants.

I've painted the port several times so I was interested in watching a couple of painters I saw setting up in the area.

While eating lunch, we saw a guy walk by us carrying a canvas. I couldn't see what was on it as it was facing away from us. After taking a tour around the town, I made my way back to the port and saw the guy standing by his easel and "what to my wondering eyes should appear, but" two people working on the same painting at the same time.

They were doing a pretty good job, but they weren't interacting with any of the "onlookers" so I didn't want to interrupt and ask them any questions, like, "who started the painting?" "did you both start with the blank canvas?" "who decides what part of the painting to work on?", etc. I had never seen two people working on the same canvas at the same time. It was pretty interesting.  Not sure if it was a gimmick or not but it was pretty impressive.

Then I walked around the bassin and saw another guy painting. My first impression was that he had quite a pile of tubes of paint. He carried his tubes in a bin and dumped them on the ground.

He seemed to be engaging the people, so I went up to talk to him. He was using a palette knife, so I asked if he did the whole painting with a knife. He said that he uses the knife for the focal points but uses a brush for the background. He owned the gallery across the port on the second floor. From the window of the 2nd floor one can see the port. Pretty neat. He said he had a show in Warren (?), VT at a ski resort.  Nice guy and very friendly.

I think if the couple doing the painting together were more friendly, they would have had a lot of people interested in their work. But, they inspired me to try another large scale painting of this beautiful harbor.

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