Unfathomable depths of iconographic variations in never-ending combinations. Teach yourself the subtle art of Doomsday Prediction and go forth … from village fair to village fair, from hill to valley, from towne to townshippe, and shakey uppe ye olde publicke opinione.
Sorting and storing my photo’s I came across this one, which I had already forgotten all about. Having an afternoon off after an exhausting meeting a few years ago, I strolled with my daughter through Paris while we reflected on the cult of the Self(ie).
We went for a coffee in what is probably the worst café in the world, Café Marly, just a stone’s throw from the Louvre. While we waited a very long time for the obnoxious, arrogant and very slow waiter to bring us a cold cappuccino which was brewn from a mixture of sewage and water taken from the industrial port of Le Havre, we observed the ritual of the selfie in all its manifestations. Which was nice.
Our mood was not in the least affected by the bad coffee, and the abysmal hospitality at Café Marly; we shrugged it off, and continued our wanderings through the town.
Quite an enigmatic title. But it refers to the fact that I loaded a photo I posted some months ago into Adobe Color CC, and extracted a nice color theme from it. I let the software run by itself without steering it at all. The result is quite nice.
And for the sake of completeness, the original photograph.
Prep drawing for a larger piece in acrylic. This sketch is as washed pen and ink drawing. A very light sepia ink by Rohrer & Klingner was used in combination with Rembrandt watercolor paint on watercolor paper (I can’t remember the brand).
Eh, well… nothing much to say here. A quickly colourwashed sketch on fairly thin paper from a sketch pad (it has gone a bit wobbly). I combined elements of an existing industrial site nearby with beach houses, and some beach houses turned into tombs (e.g. Père Lachaise, Paris), with some random assorted architectural forms.
I could, of course, assign it a deeper meaning, about industry, pollution, humanity, and sepulchral architecture turned into objects symbolizing leisure, or vice versa. But, to be absolutely honest. I had none of these thoughts, or associations, nope, none whatsoever.
Recently I visited the supplier of artists’ material in town and noticed a small sketchbook by the well-known Strathmore brand. It contains toned paper (toned tan, to be precise) but in stead of the expected roughness, it felt remarkably smooth. I usually work on Bristol board, because I like a clean line, so decided to give it a go. With a bottle of Rohrer & Klingner sepia drawing ink (‘Zeichentusche’) to complete the purchase I headed home and started a first sketch.
The pen slides over the paper with only the slightest resistance. The pencilled sketch lines erase very well, while the white heightening pencil gets just enough grip to leave a subtle white to set if off enough. Nice! The paper doesn’t wrinkle, even when using gouache. I also tried artists’ markers, and while they bled through a bit, the lines stayed nicely confined to the areas I wanted to tone.
(Edit. I gave the drawing to my neighbour, and friend Willem, who liked the drawing. It’s in good and appreciative hands, and I still have a good digital copy.)