Monday, October 15, 2018

outdoors at lunchtime in courbevoie

At a USK Paris outing at Ground Control in early May, I met Stéphanie, a fellow sketcher. There was one particular thing that I learned during our encounter: we both worked in the Courbevoie part of the la Défense area. Our workplaces were barely 150 meters apart. Then came the obvious question: why not meet to sketch at lunchtime in the area?

Square Henri Regnault, Courbevoie
Square Henri Regnault

Our first meeting took us to the park named Square Henri Regnault. Inaugurated in 2013, this park was designed in close coordination with the residents of the three apartment buildings that surround it. Stephanie and I found a suitable spot for drawing on a bench that laid in the shade beside central pathway linking both entrances to the park. In spite of the numerous plum, maple, and ash trees around, what caught my eye was a lamppost along the pathway amidst a background of skyscrapers.

Parc du Millénaire, Courbevoie
Parc du Millénaire

One of my next meetings with Stéphanie took place in Parc du Millénaire. It was summertime, and we got to witness how popular the park was. Between groups of kids taking part in games with ‒ and without ‒ adult supervision and teams of employees having picnics on the wide-open, oval lawn, the park was abuzz with life. While Stephanie took to a sun-drenched bench directly facing the lawn, I took refuge in the shade of trees across the lawn, close to the playground. Branches and trees all over the place, I decided to outline them so that I could focus on the landscape below.

Parc Jacques Cartier, Courbevoie
Parc Jacques Cartier

My last sketching entry into parks in Courbevoie close to work was a solo trip to Parc Jacques Cartier. No stranger to picnickers like Parc du Millénaire, this park affords an equally leisurely vibe, with its installations of musical instruments immediately available to visitors. Among the ensemble you can find five tom-tom drums, an xylophone, and a carillon. Naturally, I resisted the temptation of creating music to sketch a view of the Faubourg de l'Arche neighborhood in the background from a secluded and shaded park bench.

I must credit Stéphanie for this foray into sketching in Courbevoie, as well as for her encouragements in using ink directly without making pencil outlines beforehand. Lunchtime at work has since become a nice opportunity to capture the environment around me through art.

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