A Journey Along Tracks

I started my journey along railroad tracks a while back, as a way to discover and understand, and sometimes connect. Over the years, I painted railroad tracks, up North along the Hudson River, and South on the High Line; I even painted along the JR Line in Tokyo. My most recent Hudson Yards paintings came as a natural extension of the Grand Central Station and High Line projects.

At the beginning of the 19th Century, the first school of American landscape painters explored the dramatic wilderness of the Hudson River Valley. They lived in New York City, and traveled up North by train. I decided to follow in their footsteps and, in the summer of 2007, boarded a train at Grand Central Station on the Hudson River Line. I got off at every single stop, working my way up North, and painted every station along the way. I made a point of keeping train station and river in sight whenever possible. It took me two summers to complete the 30 stations.

Grand Central Station

Breakneck Ridge

In 2009, I travelled to Japan for work, and spent three months there. The Tokyo JR line became my next track project. Based on watercolors I painted on site, I executed 17 oil paint kakemonos featuring 17 views of the JR line.

JR Line Tokyo Station

Back in New York, a new development provided the inspiration for another systematic track exploration: the High Line. Dating back to the early 20th Century, this elevated railroad track snaked from warehouses and industrial buildings, through the meatpacking district and cheap housing for the waterfront workers, to the undeveloped railroad yards of Pennsylvania Station. The tracks eventually shut down. In the beginning of the 21st Century, the abandoned tracks were landscaped and turned into a park. For this series, I focused on the Steps to the High Linepainting all staircase accesses to the park.

High Line at Gansevoort

In the past two or three years, the scale of the Hudson Yards development reminded me of the excavation work that was done a century earlier to build Pennsylvania Station. I then decided to set up my easel in the same area from where George Bellows executed a series of four oil paintings: Pennsylvania Station Excavation (1907-1909).  Like Bellows, I wanted to celebrate this project. The Vessel, Heatherwicks’ centerpiece, is the focus of several paintings.

Hudson Yards Rising in the Fall, 2016


La Belle Pauline at the Office

Message 3, copy 5 of 10
Manhattan, NY

So close to the phone, is the 5th copy of Message 3 sending a message? Does La Belle Pauline need to leave the Office, being in the wonderful company of flowers?

Spring is in the air, at the office

Spring is in the air, at the office

She left my studio on West 39th street, January 30, to send this picture of her from an office on East 42nd Street, April 24…

From the same office came that other photo of La Belle Pauline. We are reassured, she is out of the fish tank!

!0 copies in paper have been made from La Belle Pauline. To know more about her, please visit  Messages in a Bottle and the FKL Show.

“Pen Gwen”

Jean Le Doussal
Saint-Étienne de Chigny, France

Along the Loire River, a new sentinel guards the village entrance since 2013. It is “Pen Gwen”, by Jean Le Doussal. It sits on the “levée”, facing the river, remote and mysterious. On its back, the village and its new housing slowly expanding…


Jean Le Doussal taught me sculpture at the École des Beaux-Arts of Tours in the seventies. I did not see him since then. He was so quiet and discreet, no trace of him could be found on the internet. I presume he died. The only information found is on the little wall, right of the sculpture, a stone that reads:

Le Doussal
“Pen Gwen”
Mauves s/ Loire

To know more about “Pen Gwen”, please visit Jean-François Cochard blog, A-GENIUS LOCI

Fort Matanzas

St. Augustine

Fort Matanzas on the Matanzas inlet

Fort Matanzas

I discovered that fort on Route A1A, on my way from Miami Beach to New York, on January 01, 2013. Built on the Matanzas River between 1740 and 1742 by the Spanish, it defended the south approach of St Augustine. Only 5 minutes to paint that watercolor. A Rotring “Artpen” came very handy to rush in sunset and closing time by the National Park Service.

Museum of Dominican Man

Santo Domingo
Dominican Republic

I played Hide and Seek with hurricane Sandy, arriving in Santo Domingo one day after Sandy hit the island and back in Manhattan one week later. I discovered that the 2 islands share, thanks to Sandy, the same fragility. The watercolor was painted on Halloween Day in the Museum of the Dominican Man. Carnival masks and costumes to fight the Kingdom of Evil!



Painter-in-Residence Program

Bryant Park
New York, NY

Yuka Imata paints every morning in Bryant Park. From August 13 to August 24, she works on a tiny painting, the subject of which is a model sitting under an umbrella. Model and painter are eerily still and silent, in the mist of noisy and busy Bryant Park.

Poet’s walk

Overlook pavilion,
Red Hook, New York

On my way to Bard College, to a Saint-Saëns opera, Henry VIII, in the Sosnoff Theater, I found this pavilion which recalls Frank Gehry’s building with its aerial lightness.
The pavilion dates from 1849, the Sosnoff Theater from 2003…

The Vikings

Fort La Latte, 
Plévenon, Brittany, May 9, 2012

Turned into the castle of the King of Northumbria in the movie “The Vikings” that I just watched. Not credited once! Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis have their final fight on top of the tower. Goose bumps when I think they shot the scene there…


Atelier in a Former Church, Upstate New York

 Sunday, May 20, 2012

L. and N. had their wedding ceremony in a former Presbyterian church converted to a painting studio. Opera singers and musicians gave a concert.



Private House in Upstate New York

Sunday, May 20, 2012

After their wedding ceremony in an artist studio, L. and N. had a celebration in this historic house. Behind the large tent, a smaller one sheltered a jazz band.