Dear Cleo 18 11 19

Dearest Cleo

I had great fun at my Birthday Party, thank you for the lovely presents and thank you especially for the card you made for me. I must get a frame for it while I am buying one for the portrait Aunty Loz painted.

It was late in the evening in Paris, I was watching the local boys doing their stuff through the window of a nearby bar when all of a sudden, in a flash of blue lights, the street emptied.

I had been looking at the work of Caillebotte in the afternoon and was quite taken with the bridge shape outside the bar window, in the quiet of the gendarme raid I sketched this;

Figure 1 Gendarme Raid ink on A4 Cartridge

When I got home I got out the pastels and painted this;

Figure 2 Gendarme Raid pastels on 40 x 40 sugar paper.

I am a little worried that my rectangular sketches are turning into 40 x 40 squares it could be the influence of Instagram, I am going to have to guard against that.

I checked both the sketch and the pastel with the Phi Matrix Golden Section Grid and while the sketch fitted the grid very well because I am used to envisioning the golden section in a rectangle the square composition is a bit new but it didn’t look too bad with the section superimposed, maybe I am more used than I thought to the square format. I have added the section diagrams so you can decide for yourself.

Figure 3 Golden Rectangle

Figure 4 Golden square

Pastels seem just the right medium for French scenes, I wonder if they will still be available after Brexit, but then perhaps we won’t need them so much because we won’t be able to nip over to France to paint and draw.

I think I have caught some of the feel of both Caillebotte and Lowry but most of all, I have obeyed the rule of Baudelaire and painted a picture of modern life.

Thank you again for my birthday card and I am looking forward to catching up with you at the weekend.

My Love as always


Mickos xx



Dear Cleo 18 11 18

Dearest Cleo

When I left London this morning it was 05.40 am and dark. while I was on the train I missed the dawn and a French Dawn blossomed as the train came out of the tunnel under the sea.

I was in Paris for 09.15, I could only book into my hotel at 1400 so I stowed my bags in the left luggage and caught the train to Auvers sur Oise. I caught three trains to get there, but the journey only lasted an hour.

Outside the Station at Auvers there is a map of the ten most interesting places to see. I first went to see the church then followed the signs to the cemetery which was on the high ground outside the village. It is about 300 meters from where he painted Wheatfield with Crows, there are crows there still, minding the remains of the man who made their ancestors’ famous.

I had brought a single sunflower, its yellow looked good on the phalo green of the ivy covering the two graves, they only needed one, Theo’s wife had ensured they were together for eternity, I stood in silence for a moment lost in the November wind of a shiny day, then I moved on, eager to see the places he had chosen to immortalize.

I was glad it was out of season and I did not get to see the suicide room or the dining room of the Auberge Ravoux Hotel. I noticed that the Marie had been painted early morning before the direction of the light had changed. I ate a small lunch with two largers in the Cafe aux Paix before catching the trains back to Gare du Nord, a wiser and more fulfilled man for the trip.

On the way back to the Station while waiting for the train I sketched the restaurant opposite the Station with the church of Paroisse Notre Dame in the background.

Figure 1 La Menara, Auvers sur Oise ink on A4 Cartridge

Later that night I developed the sketch into this;

Figure 2 La Menara, Auvers sur Oise ink on A4 Cartridge

Finally on my return home it became this;

Figure 3 La Menara, Auvers sur Oise Pastel on 40 x 40 on sugar paper

I hope you like my painting and I am looking forward to my Birthday Party tomorrow, see you them.

My Love as always

Mickos xx