My series of Paris scenes covers a lot of ground, as I myself have done over the years, wandering and sketching this most intriguing city: gardens, parks, neighborhood, famous sites. A gallery of contemporary prints in the 11th arr., Slow Galerie, shows a nice selection of my Paris scenes; I'm hoping to give them this new one of the Pont des Arts, along with a few others, when I'm there this spring.
Here is the original sketch. I thought this would be fairly easy to finish, but it turned out to be more complicated than expected. The Pont des Arts, actually a 'passarelle' (pedestrian bridge) rather than a pont, is an engineering marvel. The superstructure is elegant and sturdy - my challenge was to broach the divide between accurate and fitting for my design. I took some liberties, with apologies to French engineers, who are renowned for their expertise. Here I'm working out a sense of intricate metal lacing while also creating a pattern that contributes to but doesn't dominate the scene.
The Pont des Arts, the first metal bridge in Paris, was famous for a few years as the center of the 'Love Locks' craze. I hated that fad because it was harming the bridge while also detracting from the timeless beauty of the river and the city. The side panels became so weighted down with padlocks (more than 45 tons) that they began to be a public hazard, so the panels were removed and replaced with sheets of plexiglass over the metal structure.
My last stage in a scene is the people, like seasoning for the architecture and landscape. Because my scenes are straight from my sketchbooks, I don't fuss with details - presence and participation in the moment are the important things. There is no shortage of love on the Pont des Arts, never mind the locks. It's a place where your heart skips a beat at all times of day and in all weather, with a lover, a friend, a dog, or by yourself. The beauty of the scene, a favorite place for sunset picnics, musicians, and a million photos, never gets old.
Artist/Designer/Illustrator - Drawing is my way to see and think about life in all its dimensions, color, meanings, and pleasures