The Eiffel Tower (The Nits – Les Nuits / 2005)

The Eiffel Tower

The Nits is a Dutch band which has delivered classic so-called atmospheric Pop for the best of the past 30 years. In fact, they are not just that, they are also the world’s best kept secret. In their latest album Les Nuits, released in 2005, they issued this beautiful song entitled La Tour Eiffel, and I Could not resist the urge to craft a watercolour after that song. If you are one of those who don’t know who the Nits are, then rush to Amazon and buy this record.

Auvers sur Oise

Auvers Sur Oise - On Van Gogh's footstepsHere is a view of Auvers sur Oise, the small town north west of Paris where Van Gogh ended up his life. He shot himself a few hundred yards from this church in a field which can still be seen today.

The old village has not suffered too much from new developments and the inn where the painter used to stay and his room were refurbished very nicely 10 years ago. The ‘Auberge Ravoux’ is now open for tourists and the meals they serve are really nice. I recommend the duck pâté, the mutton stew and the chocolate mousse, three staples of that establishment.

Some of Van Gogh’s watercolours of Auvers can be seen here. (not his best watercolours though, I would rather recommend the following Bridge in Arles)

Click the thumbnail to enlarge the picture

Villa Louvat in Paris near Daguerre

Villa Louvat à Paris quatorzième - Paris 14At Number 38 rue Boulard in Paris (14th arrondissement), there is a huge arch leading to a group of buildings named Villa Louvat. At the end of the archway, two converted workshops can be found on either side of a charming paved yard.

It used to be the workshops of the Paris architect Schroeder which were built in 1913. But rue Boulard is also famous for its number 29, the house of the Paris painter Emile Schuffenecker who invited Gauguin to stay with him for a while at the end of the nineteenth century.

The Workshop at the foot of the Pyrenees

The Workshop - L'atelier d'Augiren

Here is a view taken from our house in the Pyrenees. This is an old weaver’s workshop converted into a house. This is a traditional house from the Ariege, in the Pyrenees mountains. In the distance one can see the church of Terrefête, which was built in the 1690’s and enlarged at the beginning of the century when the village was inhabited by more than 1000 people. No more than 70 persons now dwell in Augirein all year round. A few details are available here in French

Safe Haven in Le Havre

Havre du Havre

Le Havre is a town in France, the name of which means ‘haven’, almost oppositive newhaven on the other side of the Channel, in Normandy. This watercolour depicts the house of our friends in Sanvic, in the outskirts of that city. The house was built at the end of the nineteenth century. Sanvic is located on a hill overlooking Le Havre. It was spared by the wartime bombings of our allies which aimed at driving the occupation forces out of Normandy after the landing of troops in 1944. Continue reading “Safe Haven in Le Havre”

Emerging Artists 2007: An Art Contest in Hudson, New York

Direct art @ have just applied to the Emerging Artists Art Contest organised by Slowart Productions. Here are the four pictures that I have sent to slowart for the contest:

  1. “les écorchés”, Pollarded trees in Villennes sur Seine, West of Paris
    • dimensions: 240 mm x 320 mm (9.5 in x 12.6 in)
    • portrait format
    • watercolour and India ink on cold pressed watercolour acid-free paper
  2. “aux bouffes du Nord”, Inside Peter Brook’s Paris Theatre, North of the City of light
    • dimensions: 320 mm x 240 mm (12.6 in x 9.5 in)
    • landscape format
    • watercolour and India ink on cold pressed watercolour acid-free paper
  3. “avant le spectacle”, before the show at an imaginary theatre
    • dimensions: 390 mm x 570 mm (15.3 in x 22.4 in)
    • portrait format
    • watercolour and India ink on cold pressed watercolour acid-free paper
  4. “Près la vasque de Pierre”, a lady by the giant statue of a stone-carved vase in the park of Saint Germain en Laye, the former regal town, West of Paris
    • dimensions: 390 mm x 570 mm (15.3 in x 22.4 in)
    • portrait format
    • watercolour and India ink on cold pressed watercolour acid-free paper

In Port Royal, a famous cloister yet almost forgotten

The Cloister of Port Royal Abbey in Paris

Back to Paris. Very close to the Port Royal (RER) underground station you may find the eponymous abbey. A famous religious place which used to be the centre of jansenism. Famous writers and philosphers like Pascal and Racine for instance were familiar with that place which was brutally closed in 1664. Yet, 400 years later, most Parisians have forgotten about the abbey, now part of the maternity hospital Baudeloque. The cloister is almost untouched and very peaceful. I really advise that you spare a few minutes to visit what’s left of the abbey and rest in the shade of its arches, thinking about its turbulent history.