Tag Archives: France

Trees Along the Banks of the Saône

saone trees

Silverpoint drawing of trees along the Saone river in France

A silverpoint drawing of trees along banks of the Saône

Creatively planted and groomed copses, such as this one, are spaced at intervals along the banks of the Saône river in France. I made a sketch of this one late one morning in the fall.

I’ve drawn this image from my original sketch using a medieval drawing technique called silverpoint (or metalpoint). The method flourished during the Renaissance, but was obsolete by the 18th century; graphite had become the preferred medium.

light reflections on silverpoint

Light reflecting off silverpoint drawing.

This drawing is done entirely by dragging metals across the gessoed surface producing a light gray tone. Darker values are achieved by going over areas several times. For drawing tools, I used what I had handy—a brass belt buckle, gold and silver jewelry, a sliver-plated spoon, and a cast bronze belt buckle. Because the image is drawn entirely with metal, it reflects light when viewed from various angles (as shown here).

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Greek Fisherman’s Cap

greek fisherman's cap, acrylic on mdf, 5" x 7"

“Greek Fisherman’s Cap” Acrylic on MDF, 5″ x 7″

I realized, suddenly, that I’d lost my cap! I’d enjoyed lunch a few hours earlier at a restaurant on Rue Cler, in Paris, and after I checking everywhere, I finally decided I must have left it in the restaurant. I went back and in very broken French, I asked the maitre d’ if he had come across my cap after I’d left. He gestured for me to “wait here.” In a moment, he returned, with a waiter and the chef. The chef, between the other two, was holding my cap in both hands, and as he handed it to me, he bowed slightly, saying, “Here is your hat, captain!” And they all 3 saluted me. Well, I had to stay for dinner there, you know? (I no longer smoke, but the pipe goes back to the ’70s when I first tried to quit cigarettes.)

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French Girl

french girl, acrylic on mdf, 6" x 6"

“French Girl” Acrylic on MDF, 6″ x 6″

The sidewalk is the place to be on a Sunday, in November, along the Champs-Elysees in Paris. That’s where I met this young lady. She and her younger friends were playing. I was playing too, I suppose. At least we were smiling at each other. She seemed a little bashful when I asked if I could take her picture. But not THAT bashful, happily.

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