Impressionism has always seemed to me a most romantic painting style — so emotionally charged, so free.
When I first put on my beret and assumed my Robert Girrard persona, the circumstances certainly were romantic. My young family’s first visit to Paris was accomplished on a shoestring — we lived on the streets for five days in a borrowed RV until the gendarme asked us to move on.
During those five days, I set up my canvas in the open air and painted feverishly. The bold strokes and evocative colors of those early plein air paintings were my earliest experiments with the Impressionist style.
I painted River Seine with my easel on a bridge, much like the one in the canvas, overlooking Paris’ great river. The Seine is a busy body of water; tug boats and barges and pleasure boats move commerce and people along its banks.
The warm light of dusk seemed to draw me into the heart of the City of Light. I used broken colors and broad strokes to evoke the emotional response to my beloved Paris that still touches me so many years later.