Deadly Sinner #3: All the French courtesans of the 19th century
My favorite era is the French Belle Epoque of the late 19th Century. It was also a golden age of high class courtesans, scandalous dancers and sensual actresses like La Belle Otero, Liane de Pougy, Sarah Bernhardt, Cléo de Mérode, La Païva, La Castiglione and so on.
This is also in memory of my year abroad in Paris.
My favorite out-of-Paris excursion was our trip to Mont St. Michel. We had a wonderful tour of this cathedral on a lonely rock then we ran over quick sand on the infinite gray mud that surrounds it. This pointillist work was achieved by dabbing ear buds in paint and then on canvas.
In the fall of 2013, I visited the castles of the Loire Valley. As part of the tour, my study abroad group had the privilege of visiting a vineyard and then going for a wine tasting in a subterranean barrel storage area.
I saw the Mediterranean Sea for the first time on my trip to Marseille in the south of France. I found the sea very different from the greyish/greenish one I am used to seeing in my native Ghana. This sea is a solid, deep blue.
In this painting I depict buildings on the island of Santorini in Greece. The closest I have ever been to Greece is the Parc Asterix reconstruction of the place. It was there that I first noticed how the Greeks combined pure white with a touch of their Mediterranean blue to their architecture. Hopefully one day I will finally visit Greece.
This painting is done with painting knives to give it a smooth surface.
2014 – The Mediterranean
Below is a picture I took of the sea at Marseille.
The Mediterranean sea at Marseille
Below is an image of classic Greek buildings at Parc Asterix.
This year I visited the prehistoric megaliths at Carnac in Brittany. The Stonehenge of France. The Carnac stones are 4km of parallel stone alignments (along with many other isolated ones scattered around Carnac). Around 3000 stones weighing several tons were erected by a pre-Celtic tribe in the area some 6000 years ago; even before the pyramids were built. No one is sure how or why they were constructed.
Carnac is a very mysterious place. Many stories of fairies, trolls, gnomes, and even stories of Merlin himself originated from the area. In the style of Monet’s waterlilies at the Musee de l’Orangerie (he captured color and light at different times of the day), I painted three megaliths in different light settings.
The background is in acrylic, the rocks themselves are in oil paint to create the thick texture.
The first painting of 2014. I went to Provins this year and it is a UNESCO world heritage site. It still contains the original medieval fortifications, fortress, tower and cathedral where Joan of Arc came to pray. Here I saw my first falconry show and medieval jousting tournament. By the time I walked back to the train station that evening, the modern part of town was wet and dark….like this.