So off I went yesterday morning to Bordeaux. There was no train until 9am, and the last one back was due to leave at 5.30pm, so I was looking at a day of 7 hours on a train and 4 hours painting. Mad, but what the hell - why not? The journey was on an old French intercity train - similar to the ones in the UK, except in the Uk they're the best you can get. In France these really are the poor relations of the TGV. If this had been a TGV the journey would have been at least an hour less each way, but the journey was comfortable enough, via Carcassonne and Toulouse and a couple of other places I've never heard of. To my relief the train actually arrived slightly early, so I made it to the Boesner shop - venue for the concours (competition) with some time to spare - enough to eat a merguez sandwich and a glass of cold white wine - extremely desirable on the hottest day of the year so far - around 38ºc (that's just over 100ºf in old money). Some guy played music on an electric keyboard, singing along in amusing english and the event kicked off. There were about 20 contestants there, and we were each given a 1m square canvas (or a piece of paper as one person chose) plus a table, easel and a packet of basic paints (acrylics - since it's an acrylic painting competition), as well as a goody bag featuring a canvas art bag, various catalogues, some spray paints and a sketchbook. We had been forearmed with info, so knew to bring other materials - paint, brushes etc - that we needed. I plugged in my iPod and got painting. We all were obliged to stick to the theme "Morocco", but that was pretty much where similarities ended. Having done a couple of concours before i was better prepared than I had been before, and pretty much knew what I was going to paint - and had some sketches with me I had done of symbols, shapes etc, and some colour notes. One or two other contestants worked similarly, but most I discovered were painting from photographs. Anyway, below are some photos of the concours, and you can see the variety of styles:
This guy used similar symbols to me - we'd both done the same internet research. His colours were based on the Moroccan flag. He was second to finish.
This woman painting below looked like she might not finish in time. There was only about 30 minutes left at this point.
So last of course is my painting. Am not in a position to judge, but am reasonably happy with it. My wife says I better win, because she wants a holiday in Morocco. Me too, but I'd take one of the runner up spots which includes hundreds of euros worth of art materials. All these go on exhibit in Bordeaux now, and I gather the winners are announced some time in August. Wish me luck.
|Moroccan Window 4|
100x100cm, Acrylic on canvas