Saints-Geosmes 1996. At the end of an extraordinary professional career, Paul Detourbet returns to his family. Today, at 86 years old, he is still very energetic in maintaining his property and when winter comes, he paints.
June 1940. Installed in the cart drawn by the farm’s horses, the Detourbets flee: He was too young to understand, he was not afraid. The Germans caught up with us at Recey-sur-Ource and asked us to fall back. During the occupation I hurt my finger, the occupants took me to the hospital, I avoided amputation. »
Self-taught at heart, he is uninspired by the traditional school system… Paul enters seminary and then reorients himself to the air force. : “I did my studies in Nîmes before taking up my duties as radar supervisor at Mont Sevance (Haute-Saône). During the winter of ’56, we were cut off from the world. »
At the end of his contract, the electronics enthusiast joined Paris and Avions M. Dassault. Four years later, the bird flew to Italy on the shores of Lake Maggiore where it joined the nuclear research center of the European Communities. In the early 1970s, he was assigned to the Grenoble center for ten years, for the same activities. He finished his degree at Euratom in Luxembourg, where the inspector traveled throughout Europe to check the volumes of uranium or plutonium.
The Detourbets were born in Saints-Geosmes. The Detourbet die in Saints-Geosmes…. In 1996, at the time of retirement, Paul and his wife moved into his house surrounded by greenery, rue de la Fontaine aux Malades.
Paul, he is still just a child who already tries to paint: “At that time, everything was too expensive, I limited my purchases to three tubes of primary colors Bought at Valette in Langres. I install my easel in a corner of nature, I reproduce what inspires me. »
A few decades later, the inspector on mission carries a watercolor kit with him. In an Italian or German hotel, he reproduces airline brochures or postcards.
At the time of retirement, inspired by impressionists like Renoir, his reference, Paul painted: “I only paint from All Saints to Easter. I paint while listening to France Musique. I paint the Man in his activities, the children in movement and the woman, the most beautiful flower on the planet that the watercolor sublimates in its softness and in its fading. Like the gold digger, I paint in the hope of achieving a masterpiece. »
In the early 2000s, Paul attended Olivier Taffin’s drawing school and then joined the group of Chantal Monier, a talented watercolourist, at Aprey. With the GAL (langrois artistic group), he exhibits once a year at the Salle Jean-Fabvre: “I enjoy these emotions that shine in the eyes of the visitors. I do not claim the status of artist but neither do we say that it is not the destination that counts, but the journey. »
The handsome octogenarian plays the keyboard and sings backing vocals: “My father was a singer and my mother played the‘harmonium… In the family, music has always been fundamental. Today, more than ever, music has become an outlet since Cécile, my beloved wife, left in February. »
From our correspondent Serge Borne