What better way to celebrate a special wedding anniversary than travelling to the City of Lights, Love and All-Things-Butter – PARIS!
I was contacted a few months back by a couple who were excited to commemorate this milestone trip with an ink and watercolour piece. I got excited too – as an artist, drawing and painting Paris is a treat! They sent along the photos they were considering a few days later, and they were all of the same subject taken on various days – a city view out a French door with a Metro station and tracks featuring very prominently, but with the top of the Eiffel Tower peaking out in the distance. Not the type of photos I was expecting, so I knew there must be a story tied to this image.
I called the client and asked for the reason why this grouping of photos had special meaning. She told me that she knew that this was an atypical Paris scene, but that this view held the best memories of their trip – the apartment arranged for them by a favourite uncle, having the leisurely luxury of drinking coffee each morning to that view and an evening glass of wine each night with the twinkling Eiffel Tower out the window, and the ease of jumping onto the Metro to start their daily exploration of the city and bringing them back to their apartment home at dusk. This image captured their feeling of being part of the “real” city together.
After that conversation, those photos now told a lovely, rich story, and I got to work trying to honour that story in the piece. We had discussed what the ideal composition of the piece would be as they unfortunately hadn’t taken this exact photo – French doors open as if standing on or by the wrought iron balcony, looking out to the city on a balmy spring day. They also asked if there was some way I could incorporate the flags of their quick side trips to the UK and Netherlands in this piece – I came up with replacing the existing building graffiti with these flags and a message of unity.
The piece is now at the framers, and I will be delivering it in a few weeks. They’ve seen a scan of the painting and I’m so happy they are pleased with it. They’ve also generously given me permission to share this piece, its story, and our commission experience with you. It was such a joy to be part of this unique Paris In The Springtime memory!