Monday, 30 March 2015

The story of the Tigre l'Heure Bleue

It took me 36 hours to paint this 3 meter long resin sculpture.  I travelled to Metz two different weekends, painted from 10 am to midnight Saturday, all day Sunday, and again on Monday morning. A ginormous suitcase filled with cans of acrylic paint accompanied me and lost a wheel.  Losing the wheel was a drag.

This is a boring video in real time.  See what it's like to sit and paint for hours.

 See the bus on the left.  The background noise was a fan. You can see the tiger is male.

When Sarah Hasch, director of the gallery  In3Arts and owner of Sarah Hasch Fine Art, phoned me to ask if I would consider painting one of the 10 sculptures for the Exhibition I didn't hesitate one second.  I've always wanted to paint one of those cows.  But a tiger? Forget the cow.

The directors of TCRM-Blida offered me a space.  I worked next to artist, Sarah Tuelet.  Here is an article in Le Républican Lorraine with a photo with Sarah Hasch and she.  The TCRM-Bilda was Metz's city bus depot, now a collective atelier for selected creators.  Artists are alloted spaces free of charge. One Saturday I listened to a rock band practising for what sounded like a performance.  Lots of cute guys walked by.  The Blida is dusty because two carpenters create all kinds of things including that chair which gave me splinters. The carpenters' circular saws scream and belch out sawdust.  Dust is abrasive.

Metz is a beautiful town that takes care of its artists.  It is the home of the second Pompidou center.  Metz hosts the magnificent Saint Stephen, a cathedral whose nave is one of the tallest in the world.  Chagall's stained glass windows beautify a chapel close to the northern transept.
The ten tigres will be exhibited in the place de la gare of Metz 8-12 April then sold on auction June 5th, 2015 at the Zoo d'Amneville.  Proceeds from the sale of the painted sculptures will go to saving tigers in the wild.

I had a vague idea of what I was going to paint, The Blue Hour. But which images? The two sides of the tiger are different images of boulevard de Montparnasse in Paris.  I hated the painting for the first two days then stepped back to observe it and thought, "Children will love this."  Before this clue moment I was ready bag it and go home.

The painting developed into the idea that the tiger is a silver animal stealing through the streets at night. The feet and legs and uderside are silver.   He throws on his cloak to disguise himself, blend in and hunt his night prey.  The French saying "l'heure bleue entre chien et loup," brings sense to my idea.  The blue hour: when dogs retire and wolves come out.

Sarah Hasch and I decided on the title l'Heure Bleue because it fits with my series the Parisian Blue Hour.


  1. This is fantastic! What a cool opportunity. Thanks for posting the video.

  2. Thanks for taking us through the process! Hmm, wonder how far Metz is from us in Geneva...Off to look it up!

  3. How neat to get some insight into how this works! Thanks for sharing :).


Hi from Paris!