Shakespeare & Company Paris  Summer, 1990

Text Box: The traffic was so heavy in front of me that I had to work on the upper portions of the buildings until a space opened up and I could work on the bottom.  If it was just cars I could see through the blur but trucks and buses were a problem.  I drew this while leaning against a wall on the Left Bank of the Seine in Paris next to one of the book seller’s kiosks that line the quay.  A lot of people asked me why I didn’t turn around and draw Notre Dame which was behind me but I tend to shy away from subjects that famous.  This is actually the second in a series.  On an earlier visit to Paris I set up my chair on the sidewalk at the corner just to the left of this scene and drew a small group of buildings at the end of the block.  This time Adam came out and worked on his version one day,  he hadn’t been born yet when I did the first one.  

The dormer windows at the top right actually looked like I drew them.  I really wanted to be inside that room and see what it looked like from there.  My favorite part of the drawing is probably the bench in the center.  I love how you can see it through the fence and you don’t notice it right away.  I surprised myself with the café chairs and tables, this was one of those times that I think; “Wow, I really did that!”

At the left is the world famous Shakespeare and Company.  I once stepped on the tail of the dog that lived there.  His name was “Baskerville” pronounced, of course, “Baskerveee”.  He was sleeping and I was looking at books and didn’t notice him.  He was startled awake but forgave me after much apology in English.

Here we are drawing. Adam probably had more trouble with the traffic than me since he was shorter. I thought the gendarme was going to tell us to move along, but he just wanted me to know that he had done some drawing himself in his hometown. The only person I had trouble with was a tour guide who used that little space to pose her clients and take pictures with Notre Dame in the background. We quickly reached an agreement and when she showed up I would step away for a minute. After awhile she started including me in her tours and I would show the drawing in progress to her tourists

Number 1

All material copyright 2016 Neil Borrell

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