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École de Louvre

Last year I had a small obsession begin; an overwhelming desire to go back to school. An old dream to go to art school reawakened in me. When I was choosing Universities back in the day, I was looking at CCAC, the San Francisco Art Institute and UC Santa Cruz. It was very expensive to go to art school and I thought it might be more reasonsible to get a general education, who knows what the future might hold? But I always regretted not having a formal art education.

I started to become obsessed more and more with L’école de Beaux Arts. I started to hang around there a lot and tried the competition to get in. There were 1500 applicants, 800 were invited to submit a portfolio. I submitted mine but didn’t get to the next step. I was very disappointed. But I had a Plan B: I thought I would look for a painting instructor, take tap dancing and try to seriously get better at the ukulele.

I started talking to the artists I know in Paris and asking for introductions to painters who I consider to be possible mentors. One of the first ones I met with said he learned more at “L’école du Louvre” than he ever did at L’école de Beaux Arts. It’s true that technique is not really taught any more, even though students are very interested. I responded: “But L’école du Louvre is art history classes!”. “No” he responded, “I’m referring to going to the Louvre to copy the Masters”. So I went with him one saturday to sketch.

This was the first lesson. Poussin. Saint Frances of Rome. It looks like a witch but it’s actually the virgen Mary. Mary borne on a cloud appears to St. Francis, the broken arrows symbolise the eradication of the plague.

By the second lesson at the Louvre, I was on my own. My drawing is about 400 percent bigger than the original. Jean Cousin le Fils – The last judgement, it doesn’t do justice to all the volume and expression in about 3 square inches.

Antoine Caron “Tiburtine Sibyl” Emperor Ceasar being shown the way to Christanity.

Jan Vander Straet “vanité, modération and death” (except I didn’t get death in my sketch)

I usually go saturday mornings.These sketches were copied after bronze sculptures of Aphrodite. I get to the museum by 9:00 and draw until lunchtime. Often I go to my studio after and tattoo. I pretty sure this is the life I dreamed about when I was studying french in high school.

Pygmalion fell in love with his sculpture. Anne-Louis de Roucy-Trioson 1819 (I was so disappointment to find out that Anne-Louis was a man) a student of David’s at L’école de Beaux Arts, later a teacher there.

I think I’m making progress already! What do you think?

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