“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.” Camille Pissarro –
Perry Taylor’s drawings are a fusion of the droll cartoons of Sempé and the burlesque films of Jacques Tati. His humor ranges from wry amusement to riotous laughter. Perry has the uncanny ability to capture the whimsical dilemmas of daily ilife with a twist. In the last truly rural region in France, he has turned the mundane into art.
Originally from Oxford, England, Perry was encouraged at an early age by his grandfather to make art. There wasn’t a single day that went by in which he didn’t draw something. Art lessons led to art college, then a successful 25 year career as a graphic designer and art director for design studios and advertising agencies in London and Amsterdam.
Perry and his wife spent their honeymoon on the Côte d’Azur. Smitten with France, but not keen on the crowds of Provence, they chose an equally beautiful, but less touristic region, the Gers, known as the Tuscany of Southwest France, to explore. The Gers is considered the heart of Gascony, a region very similar to the Cotswold’s of Perry’s youth. It was a coup de foudre, love at first sight. It was here Perry and his wife found the simple, good life they were looking for. They bought an old farmhouse, planted a garden, and raised chickens, but this wasn’t enough. Perry’s his fingers were itchy for something to draw.
After creating doodles on napkins and scraps of paper most of his life, which his friends framed, one of them suggested, “Why don’t you put these into a book because I don’t have any more room on my walls?!” And Perry did just that. Having just beautifully self-published his fourth book, Planete Gascogne, Perry has become the Peter Mayle of Gascony, beloved by both the French and ex-pats who live here.
Gascony is truly, la France profounde. Most of present day Gascony was part of the Basque kingdom of Navarre. Gascons are independent, boastful, cavalier, mercurial, appreciative of a good lie, generous, passionate and kind, with a down to earth enthusiasm that is contagious. Gascons have no concept of the word urgent unless it relates to food or sex. Through keen observation Perry’s love of Gascony and the Gascons is unmistakable. He has distilled the essence of their culture into a fine collection of spirits who come alive on paper through the mediums of India ink and watercolor.
Almost everyone who lives in Gascony, or is just passing through has had a Perry Taylor moment. I know because I live in France’s last best place, too.
Please visit his website, http://www.perrytaylor.fr for a calendar of his exhibitions or to purchase his work. Perry’s drawings are available as fine art prints and greeting cards. His books are sold in bookstores and tabacs throughout the region.