French Market
By Douglas Davies

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Year
2010
Media
Acrylic and Gouache
Subject Matter
Urban and Architectural
Reg. Number
G1338
Size
74 x 82.5 cm

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Close up, this painting shows that many dabs of acrylic paint have been applied in numerous layers and tones to give the illusion of volume and depth. The nature of the produce is hinted at with shape, size and colour, and pencil marks punctuate the painting here and there to suggest, for instance, the price of the items.

The lack of detail is deliberate and is indicative of the selection process the artist goes through when translating the sketch into the painting. This abstraction gives a certain edge to the composition and allows for a more subjective interpretation of the scene. All together these elements inject energy and movement into the still life and reflect the sensuous and abundant exuberance of the Parisian street market.

French markets engage all the senses at once. The stall holders' banter as they crack jokes with one another and with their customers, the smells upon smells of food wafting through the air, the colours of the neatly packed merchandise, the tiny tasters of cooked sausage and cheese, the smooth skins of apples and the soft velvet of apricots and peaches, all combine to entice customers. Douglas Davies knows them well. He has spent much time in Paris where he sketched this market stall in Grenelle, a colourful area of the capital. Douglas was putting together a portfolio of studies to make works for an exhibition entitled 'Impressions of Paris' and instead of selecting one of the grand architectural icons of the capital, he opted instead for a scene that tourists and flaneurs might stumble upon as they walk nonchalantly around the city.

Douglas Davies attended Edinburgh College of Art from 1966-70 where he studied Ceramics and Glass Design. In 1970 he was awarded a Postgraduate Scholarship in Ceramics, followed by a Travelling Scholarship to Italy. He became an elected member of Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (R.S.W.) in 2000.

Douglas lives in the Scottish Borders and the varied landscapes inspire much of his work. He often travels abroad, not only to France but also to Spain where the dazzling Mediterranean light transforms his palette. He has had many solo shows across Scotland and in France.