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BlairP (Read 8699 times)
Reply #3 - Oct 6th, 2003 at 2:53am
Bob Abrahams   Guest

Laurie and Blair
I really enjoy the writings and paintings and look forward to receiving them

Bob Abrahams
Western Australia
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Reply #2 - Oct 5th, 2003 at 8:48pm

LaurieP   Offline
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Hi Blair,

Not many people in the world could even think of doing a painting like this on location.

You show what is possible with this value and hue as colored ground.
Rembrandt used the dark warm black and worked up. You chose a lower middle value and worked it in as a final finished color, as we would with pastels.

Great technique!
Hi Laurie.

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Reply #1 - Oct 5th, 2003 at 8:33pm

LaurieP   Offline
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I never drink beer.   In a dark wooden booth with a heavy cornice, in former East Berlin, I had to admit this was a different brew.  "All the beers in Germany adhere to simple standards," our client-friend told us, "no additives, all natural".  The restaurant had vaulted ceilings, and green velvet upholstery.  

I thought of a church, but the lunch crowd and the train running overhead jolted me back into reality.   They had free samples of "hangover remedy" shampoo in the rest rooms.

We drove to Berlin on Sunday for an appointment on Monday morning.  Funds aren't flowing as freely as they have in years past -- on this trip we visited an associate working on a large project, and had appointments with others.   At first, it is a little difficult to go, but sometimes there is such a meeting of the minds I fall in love.

Such was our meeting with a German woman, formerly from Bavaria, lived in the US for fifteen years, and moved back to Berlin in 1991.  "I just had to be part of the reunification."

Berlin is the meeting of old and new, east and west.  When Donald Rumsfeld spoke about "old Europe", he was half right.  There is an old Europe made up of Germany, France, Italy and Spain -- countries full of beauty, knowledge and tradition. These are the same elements which hinder their progress.  

East of here is a brand new Europe.  The countries of the former Eastern bloc are up and running and raring to go.  The projects we address are now in Poland and Czech Republic; our competitors come from Saxony, Slovenia, and Poland.

In just the past week, I have had two individuals offer to introduce us to companies in Poland.  

And the crossroads joining the old and new Europe is Berlin.  It is the
gateway to the future.  Blair calls it the new New York.

Our new associate in Berlin lives and works in the Mitte, the center of
former East Berlin.  We walk through a construction site to get to the building.  A crew of twenty workers is putting a layer of tar six feet below the surface of the street, laying copper sheets on top, and adding more tar.  The entire infrastructure of East Berlin is being renewed, ongoing, after nearly 14 years without the wall.  

The building we visit is chined together warehouses and former factories.  A jeweler has as space no larger than 6 x 12 feet.  At one end, the bench and chair where he works, and along the window are illuminated boxes serving as his boutique.  It is a direct, spontaneous look, a business without employees: buy from the producer.

We follow the alley further back, and see some empty storefronts, with pictures inside.  I think of our own paintings we used to sell from vacant  storefronts in Seattle.   When we reach our destination, we take the elevator to a contemporary space on the top floor.

Being an interior designer isn't always a profitable situation.  This woman relates the ups and downs of her own business, not unlike ourselves ten years ago.  But we agree that there will be a time that the hard edged computer designs are overcome by the tastes and skills of a sensitive designer.  Art is the last vestige of man's hand.  And who knows what will happen when the electricity really fails?

Each trip I make to Berlin is more alluring.  I have been learning complex German words, like "schlusselfertig" (turnkey).  I tried to persuade Blair to drive up to Hamburg for a day, before we returned the rental car in Paris.  No dice.  So we come back to Paris to find a little bit of Eastern Europe on our street.


Laurie (text) and Blair (painting) PESSEMIER
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Oct 1st, 2003 at 6:18am

LaurieP   Offline
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It's greener than I remember, I tell Blair as we make our way up the mossy
wooden steps of Hemlock Lodge.  While we were experiencing record heat in Paris,
it was raining in Connecticut.  It rained all the night of our arrival, on
the metal roof, in the dining room, on the stairs.  But the next day, the dining
room was dry enough to accomodate 12 of our family members.

"You'll love the body building," Xavier tells me as he raves about his new
gym.  I suspect he gets a financial reward for every new victim he drags in.   
Blair and I and Anne-Marie agree to go.  After all, first visit is free.   We
are all eating at the Petit Lux.

Every year we travel to Hemlock Lodge. My nephew thinks we live there all
year, but only let him see us for those two weeks in the summer.  We landed at
Hemlock Lodge by default - a double booking in the cottage we rented four years
ago forced us into the turn-of-the-last century house in the hemlock forest
across the road from the lake.  The Lodge hadn't been lived in for many years,
before our arrival.  Still, we are the only people who stay there.  It isn't
for rent.   It is the house that found us, and that takes us back for just two
weeks every summer.

I bemoan my weight to Anne-Marie, herself thin as a rail.  "No one wants to
hug a matchstick", she tells me.   But maybe I resemble the whole campfire. 
Jacky is back from Africa, and eating dinner with the wife of an old
soldier-of-fortune friend.  He is one of those fast people my parents warned me against,
but he's hard to resist.  He takes our phone number so we can schedule lunch
next week.

Our visit is just about all the house can take.  Chined together over the
years from a log cabin built in the 1880's, the exterior wall of each phase forms
the interior wall for the next.  Transitions are bumpy.   We share the place
with spiders, chipmunks and bats (not fully eradicated), and an occasional
family member of the owner.   There is hot and cold water, and lights.  We have
no radio, TV or telephone.   I tell people we are there, and it is up to them
to seek us out.  Surprisingly few make it, which is fine.

Alain sold paintings in Monaco, but stops for dinner at the Petit Lux before
he continues his world tour in quest of new galleries.  He is the only person
I know who makes their living with their art.  Someday he will be very famous,
but for right now, we share wine.

My nephews come every day for a swim in the lake, and we make puzzles on the
broad porch of the lodge.  And I cook:  corn, clams, spaghetti; toast and
instant coffee in the morning while the sun rises across the lake.

By the time we left Connecticut, the rain had stopped and the goldenrod was
in full force.  We saw the cows and sheep at the Goshen fair.  My sister had a
picnic for us before we left, with spicy German hot dogs and American baked
beans.  You can buy anything at the Price-Chopper.

I drank a little too much wine at the Petit Lux.  I used to drink Scotch (I
loved it on my oatmeal) but now I can't tolerate it with my blood pressure
pills.  Michel and I complain how we hate that medication -- it cramps our
"life-of-the-party" style. No one else can understand.

Blair paints a picture of the dining room at Hemlock Lodge.  It is six
thousand miles from Paris in distance and in attitude.  But the food and wine taste
the same, served with conviviality.

Laurie (text) and Blair (painting) Pessemier
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