Paris is a city that always has something new to inspire me as an artist. The changeable Spring weather offers such a broad spectrum of different lights and moods – for me, there is always a painting and story around every corner of this beautiful city and I never tire of painting it. Of course the ancient landmarks don't change but the different seasons, changes in weather and landscaping can bring an entirely new aspect to a favourite subject. This year the addition of a carousel in the square outside Hotel de Ville greeted me on my arrival and it was such a delightful sight set against the spires of Notre Dame that I returned that afternoon and stayed for an hour or so sketching and enjoying the colourful scene set against the historic background of Paris. From this beginning a new theme took shape and over the next few weeks I sketched many of the carousels that I discovered in the parks and squares on my travels around the streets of Paris.
Some of the carousels are quite old - dating back to the 19th century - each one an individual piece of art in itself, the original paintings of their rotating tops telling the history of each one. I have enjoyed capturing this joyous and festive side to this wonderful city and have worked the carousels into some of my new works
In the early morning there is often a hazy cloud cover bathing Paris in soft silvery light which gradually disappears as the sun burns through, creating all new dimensions of light and shade on the old buildings and beautiful city parks. Even on the most freezing days when the famous Spring rain continues all day, Paris is still beautiful. On these days the wet pavements and boulevards are a maze of colourful reflections and the interior of the brightly lit cafes offer a feeling of warmth and shelter.
While walking in the Chaillot Quartier on the Right Bank one wet afternoon the rain stopped for a while allowing me to do some sketching in the Place de Varsovie. The beautiful silvery light was everywhere, the wet roads were reflecting back the colours of the surrounding area while the shape of the Eiffel Tower was visible in the misty background.