Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Les cowboys de l´asphalte


When I and my dear M went to Paris little more than a year ago, we spent a rainy evening in our hotel room watching French TV. One of the channels showed a documentary about some asphalters, you know the kind of program where you get the feeling that the guys and gals (if any) doing this tough job are true heroes. We laughed hard when the narrator called the people in the film "les cowboys de l´asphalte" in a grave voice and a strong French accent. The phrase comes up every now and then, as a joke between us.

This morning we had all reason to bring it up again, when we woke up to a horrendous noise below our windows and discovered that the whole neighborhood had been invaded by les cowboys and their machines. Man, those things are loud! Especially at six thirty in the morning.

Anyway, no matter how loud they were, these cowboys de l´asphalte were very welcome. Their work, asphalting some parts of the yard, was the finishing touch to the long and tiresome renovation of the street where we live, and we look forward to a summer of peace and quiet. Beginning tomorrow!

14 x 16 cm and 14 x 11 cm, Lamy Safari, Noodler´s Black and Lexington grey, and watercolours on Arches hot press watercolour paper.

19 comments:

martín said...

Nina: HOW WONDERFUL drawings you have been doing lately! Great job. Always love to see them and enjoy your site very much. best wishes.

juj said...

Ooo! I am in love with this combination of draftsman-like linework and splotches and spatters. Who knew such a clunky piece of machinery could be so fabulous!

Lin said...

uNina! What a neat journal entry! And your trucks are not at all wonky -- they're fabulous!!! I find it so interesting to view the world through another's eyes .. I don't think I'll look at asphalters quite the same way again!

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

I, too, love the line work and the splatters. You have such a great style.

Jana Bouc said...

I love this wonderful loose sketch with the splats creating texture amidst the excellent drawing of the tractor.

Dave said...

Great drawings! Funnily enough, I saw something on UK TV about a similar subject not long ago, though it didn't portray the guys in quite such a heroic light; mainly pointing out how much of the time they spent sitting around doing nothing!

Karen at Pen in Hand said...

Lovely drawings, Nina. Aren't big machines fun to sketch? If I could speak French I'd say something witty, but I can't. :-)

SCquiltaddict said...

The trucks are great...and you are right about the noise...we have all the tree cutting noise now...grinding away from 7-7...gave me a headache yesterday! Going to have to draw those pretty red trucks!

Africantapestry said...

A delightful little tale and great drawing...I love the "blotches" of color...it is very effective!
Ronell

josé louro said...

Near my home there is some of that too. Everday i think about drawing them.

Jenny said...

You've captured the power and work of the truck, and I can smell the asphalt. *cough-cough*

Like many workers who make our lives easier, asphalt pavers probably receive more complaints than thank-yous.

Felicity said...

Wonderful sketches! Even your splotches look artistic! Is there some technique for making your drops so round - mine seem to be odd, unattractive shapes I'd love to know! I hope the cowboys won't be there too much longer. Isn't amazing that they always start so early? Just the sort of people you'd wish to be late!

Anna said...

I love that expression! And of course your drawings look great as well - so realistic! Who knew that an asphalt truck could be a great subject matter?!

MIguel Herranz said...

Seems you have a hand/partner too!:-)
Mine is often on strike and just hold the pen but yours seems to be more serious.

phthaloblu said...

Great drawings of those asphalt trucks. I find vehicles, for some reason, strangely hard to do, but I love looking at these sketches. Awesome job.

mrana said...

great splatter/splashes of colour!

Laureline said...

I hope your quiet summer has indeed begun, Nina! You cowboy d'asphalte drawings are wonderful--it's obvious that you liked drawing them!

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Excellent. I love the little drawing. great post - words and pictures.

littlemithi said...

The watercolour bloches are just GENIUS! They really set off your gorgeous drawings ...