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 Neil Borrell 

New York, NY
United States

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A Corner of Paris
Artwork-ID: 32-6627

A Corner of Paris

A Corner of Paris

This drawing is the first in a set. It was done nine years before the second part of the set, Shakespeare & Company. This scene is around the corner from Shakespeare & Company at the end of the block to the left of the Rue de Bucherie. I think it's at the end of Rue St. Julien Le Pauvre on Rue Galande.

I loved the buildings and the Friterie but the building on the left was boring and the middle was just tables for the Friterie. I decided to replace the things I didn't like on the ground floor. I made up the Boulangerie but I think it's pretty representative of the style. The Crepe shop was actually a couple of blocks away across Blvd. Ste. Michelle. It was more of a hole in the wall so I gave it a door and a big open window.

I'm always amazed by the way buildings like these fit together in Paris. I assume the two little structures came first and then the larger ones were built around them but why are there no windows in the wall above them?

Quite often I collect people while doing a drawing. I usually bring a little folding seat and take a long time drawing so people walk by a number of times in the days I'm working. People like to look and comment on how it's going. This used to make me uncomfortable until I started keeping the drawing in a kind of partially finished state so there was always something to see. I keep working on one section until it's done and try not to jump all over the paper. Eventually I get to the point where I'm astonished to see that it really is done.

This drawing was strange because I did it from the top down. I don't think anyone spoke to me until I was doing the shops that weren't really there.

I don't speak French but I know when I'm being complemented so that's good. In this case people started asking me long questions seemingly about why I was drawing something that wasn't there. I eventually started doing long explanations in English which seemed to do the trick, at least for me.

In retrospect I think the Creperie was based as much on a stand that used to be on St. Marks Place in the East Village in New York as it was on anything else.

This is one of my favorite drawings. I have a 33" by 42" copy in multiple frames over the fireplace in my apartment.

Artwork and Images Copyright 1981 Neil Borrell - All Rights Reserved

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