Sunday, April 7, 2013

For my NVA buddies.

Judy was so anxious to make sure I was busy while she ran around with new friends from the American Women's Group in Paris, that she insisted that I find an art class to attend. As it turns out, she has yet to attend any of the AWG functions and I am quite busy with my art work.

  I found an artist named Patrick Fouilhoux and I attend one of his weekly sessions at his studio between La Bastille and the Gare de Lyons. I liked him immediately. His studio is what I imagined it should be complete with what has to be a centuries old fireplace. He is very friendly and relaxed (we all tutoyer each other...use the familiar "tu" instead of the formal "vous"). And he must be a good instructor as he has pointed out the same problems as other instructors. Know what I mean, Kim?

There have been two young English speaking female students that have been there a couple of times but otherwise they are all French and about my age. They too are friendly and welcoming. We have our "after party" half way through the class and have tea or coffee. Patrick makes sure that I am included in the conversation. I'm feeling pretty comfortable with them after a couple of classes.

He has plenty of easels and lots of supplies for use by the students and he makes sure he makes the rounds to cover everyone a number of times. I just like having someone else to paint with. I'm enjoying it.

So far, I think I've completed 3 small canvases. Here are a couple of them. One of these may look familiar.


And I'm working on this view of the Pantheon from down the street from our apartment. I have another that I've started that I hope to really get going on this week.

I've also been doing a little more with the sketching and water colors. I'm taking it in phases, I guess. I attended another of Pauline Fraisse's sketching sessions. This time we met near the Place D'Italie and, after some warm up exercises, we strolled to the Butte des Cailles area. This is an interesting area with different architecture than a lot of Paris. It was a leather tanning center and there are several springs in the area that were used in the tanning business. People fill their water jugs from the springs just like we do in Sandwich.

This one I did while sitting in a small park, along with the other students.  It was the first time I added the water color in "plein air". It is a bit intimidating painting en plein air but a bit worse in a foreign country. There were the usual gawkers but no real critics. It's kind of a mess, but I know I could make it better next time.

We spent the rest of the time in a small Italian cafe where we worked on the contrast between was inside the cafe and what we saw through the window into the street. A valuable exercise.

The following day I did sketch in pencil on site at Place des Vosges then came back to the apartment and dropped in some color. Just had to find an unoccupied bench to get started which was not easy as it seems as everyone was out, it being the first sunny day in a while.

And finally, I just redrew my scene from the Jardins des Plantes and added the water color.

As I said above, I am enjoying all of these artistic activities. I hope that Judy can get out of the apartment and have some fun too. 


  1. Tony- It looks like you are having a wonderful time! I'm so glad you found somewhere to paint and they sound like a lovely group. Hope to see you both when you return!

    1. Hi Jenn, Nice to hear from you. You seem to being doing great. Look forward to seeing you this summer.

  2. This post is great. What a studio space -- that fireplace!

    Loving what you're painting and that the instructor is echoing sentiments you already know ;)

    Keep painting and posting!

    1. The studio space is awesome. It is a building that has to be 300-400 years old. Big windows, old fireplace, rickety floors, plumbing from hell... I just smiled when I walked in the first time.

  3. I can see you've tapped into your creative flow...
    Good for you. Love the watercolors.
    Enjoy spring in Paris. It was lovely here today.



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