Paris á L’atelier sur Seine 2017

In May 2017, I was incredibly fortunate to be one of eight artists selected from 120 applicants around the world, to undertake a once only offered artists residency in France. The residency, L’Atelier sur Seine, was an hour south of Paris in Héricy Sur Seine, a small village by the River. The residency hosted by L’AiR Arts was on the grounds of a 17th Century property. In the 19th Century this beautiful property was owned and occupied by the family of Etienne Dinet, a French Orientalist painter. The studio I worked in for two weeks, originally a pigeonnier building, was his first studio. Dinet worked in this studio when he was a very young painter, before he left France behind to live and work in the Middle East for the rest of his professional life.

I was immersed in forever lush, juicy shades of green in Héricy sur Seine. I had entered a green world. It was a jolt and visual shock to my Australian senses and a challenge to paint and draw the essence of this landscape. My studio overlooked the river, so naturally my residency paintings have been inspired by that stunning, tranquil and ever changing view.

I spent only a few days in Paris, before and after my two week residency at Héricy sur Seine.

The Paris Paintings are architectural studies of buildings and monuments, streets and cathedrals. I walked through Paris for the first time in my life. I was overcome by the architecture, the history, the culture, the grandeur and complexity of this beautiful city. I felt small and overwhelmed by all this history of greatness. With these paintings, I have tried to capture what I felt moving around and within Paris, how it felt to confront such monumental magnificence.

The contrast between the countryside and the city was extreme. The experience unforgettable and incredibly inspiring. I feel I have since painted not one, but two bodies of work for exhibition, Paris and Héricy sur Seine. I am still inspired by my time in France, which was made possible by a Veolia Mulwaree Art Scholarship and a self initiated crowdfunding campaign. Artists, collectors, friends and family generously supported and followed my trip to France; receiving an artwork for a pledge. I will forever be grateful for the encouragement and belief in my artistic quest and adventure, received from so many kind and generous people.