Status of Original Painting – Private Collection
All prices are in Canadian dollars
Size: 20.75 x 15 inches
Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches
For the next in this pandemic-inspired series of international paintings, I wanted to do a scene from France. I’ve visited four or five times (Paris, Strasbourg, Bordeaux), and I was due to go to Marseilles in May before the pandemic forced that trip’s cancellation.
I spent several indecisive hours examining photos I’d taken over the years, but kept returning to the iconic Eiffel Tower. I’ve been up it once and walked around the base on two other trips, including in April 2019. During that last excursion, I’d taken a lot of interesting close-up photos with the tower arcing above, or with trees obscuring it. They were visually and architecturally quite interesting but didn’t capture the size and magnificence of the tower. That’s why I chose the more distant viewpoint depicted. The colors were muted in the photo but that was easy to fix in the painting. I don’t usually include people, but they are needed in this painting for two reasons. The first is for perspective, to establish how tall this structure really is. Painting such tiny people proved to be a bit of a challenge – especially because I like to do detailed work, but the people are so small that each is made with just a few suggestive strokes of the brush.
Why the title “We’ll Always Have Paris” ?
It’s a quote from my second-favorite movie, Casablanca. Rick (Humphrey Bogart) tells the love of his life, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), that they can’t stay together, but they’ll always have memories of their love affair during the time spent together in Paris.
That expression has come to mean that no one can take away memories of the good times in a romance, even if duties, obligations, and circumstances subsequently force a couple to go their separate ways.
But in this case, I thought the title especially appropriate for its message of hope and certainty. Paris will survive the pandemic and the Eiffel Tower will endure. And this is the second reason why those tiny people needed to be in the painting, to show the throngs of people that were there before and will be there once again.
Many thanks to @LaTourEiffel for noticing, praising, and retweeting about this painting of mine! Much appreciated.