So , first year at college we first years were bundled off in the middle of winter ,I think it was winter , first term anyway to look at galleries and things in Paris , we went by ferry, first time I'd been on a ferry. It took hours to get through Dover and then into Paris, I cant remember what time we arrived but Jake, one of my friends, had to get out of the bus and scream guttural sweary French at some cars that were blocking the coach pulling up outside the hotel.
The hotel was seedy and wonderful, breakfast was milky coffee and croissants then we were let loose on Paris by ourselves. We bought cheese and cheap red wine and bread and ate in the hotel rooms, smoked french cigarettes and wondered around the Louvre and the Pompidou center, which seemed just like a giant gallery in itself.
The museum of oceanic art was incredible , we saw things like this:
And in The Louvre , the Death of Sardanapalus by Delacroix. I was looking at this painting and drawing in front of it for hours when an elderly gentleman came up to me and started talking to me about me and the painting. It turned out that he was a psychotherapist practising in America but originally from India. He told me that he could tell by just looking at me and talking to me that I should stop drinking and taking drugs ( I was heavily hungover and mildly stoned) He gave me his card and advice I wish that I had taken at the time.
This the postcard I bought at the time , the splodges are paint from work I was doing in the studio after the study trip.
I took the photos above on an old 120 roll film camera my Dad gave me, the same camera that took the photos of me as a child I posted at the beginning of this blog.Some of the photos I later turned into paintings ( about ten years after taking them), I still like them , I was using a slide projector to transfer the negatives onto board to draw around and then paint with very thinned down oil paint in the tiny caravan I was using as a studio.
Of course now that I want to post a few pictures from the Paris sketchbook I can't find it. Its boxed away somewhere in the attic. When I find it I'll post some pages but I do have this from a later sketchbook :