Sketch for Jacques Prévert’s `Alicante’

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41a Une orange sur la table picture

Illustration: Orange & dress Sketch 2, Fabriano 220 gms 797 smooth design paper, Caran D’Ache neocolour II water soluble crayons, Lechertier Barbe soft pastels, Inscribe grey set of soft artist’s pastels, plus my trusty homemade bamboo pens + Sennelier Chinese ink, 23×17 inches, 23rd February 2018.


The image of the orange and the dress is a powerful one, and a reminder that the juxtaposition of thoughts and symbols provides them with a dynamic which is more than the sum of their parts. This sketch is intended to be a kind of `enquiry’ into the subject, or a form of early exploration.  How best to capture the spirit of the thing?  I also thought it might be a subject that could be simplified one day for a screenprint, and that it could be a subject that might naturally lead into more and more abstract representation.

The soft pastels once belonged to my mother, but she never used pastels and I suspect that they originally came to her along with some other pieces of artist’s equipment from her own mother’s cousins, the artists Cecil and Ruth Latter.  The pastels will therefore be about a hundred years old – a very large selection in an ancient wooden box, with the label of Lechertier Barbe, who once had a shop in Regent Street.


Jac May, April 2018

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