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Laurie - Paintfox - Paris 1 to 10 (Read 15286 times)
Reply #11 - May 29th, 2008 at 8:39pm

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Laurie is a real traveler, it must be fun. And now Harika is too. I'm wondering how long she will stay in Seattle. It doesn't really matter, she paints where ever she is. Don

Seattle has been its usual flurry of rain and sun.  We have been staying "in the country" where Harika steps nervously hoping not to encounter a cougar or coyote.   I have been painting on cedar shingles -- little scenes of flora, fauna or the omnipresent evergreen tree.
Over the weekend, we decided to try a booth at the Fremont Sunday Market.  We bought a canopy and a card table, and borrowed two chairs from our hosts.
The canopy was a very cheap affair, and the quality not certain.  A third of our time was spent re-propping the tent, a total of 9 concrete blocks securing the legs.  It was still iffy.
We signed up as non-members, and Doug, the man behind the desk, set us up in a super location.  The clouds disappeared, and we set to selling paintings.   Passers-by showered us with praise -- we were the only producers of original art.  Like all local fairs, this market was chock full of product from Asia.
We sold several small pieces, paying the cost of the booth, our props, and our food, plus a few dollars extra.  People don't necessarily come to the market planning to spend $200.00.
A Chinese woman, studying in the US, approached my booth.  "You do landscape?" she asked.  We talked about what I paint and how.  "Why do they want me to paint in oil?" she asked, "isn't acrylic just as good?"
I met an eight year old boy who painted the Taj Mahal in his painting class the day before.  His mother bought a view of Golden Gardens park.  Another boy, five years old at most,  couldn't take his hands off a painting I'd done of a wild flower.  "Look how she made that color behind the flower just like water!"  His parents were exasperated, but I knew how he felt: deep turquoise and purple.

"How was your first week?"  I heard a little voice from somewhere near my shoulder; I was admiring a knitted coat-dress at a stand across the street.  F, a woman from Scotland, was selling her creations in silk, including this dress.   "Make me an offer -- I just need to sell my things.  I'm going back to Scotland for awhile," she confessed. "I paint, too, and the money is better back there."  She owned two "caravans" on a plot of land at St. Andrews.

Sales waned as the day went on.  A wretched couple of strumming (non)musicians set up across the way, and I couldn't keep my mind on conversation with the clients.  A friend arrived and we bought beers, to drink in paper bags.  F stopped by, drank a beer, abandoning her own stand.  "They're probably stealing everything," she giggled.
We promised to meet again next Sunday.  COME SEE US AT THE FREMONT (Seattle) MARKET ON SUNDAY, 1 JUNE.

Laurie and Blair PESSEMIER
Two boys at the beach  Acrylic on a cedar shingle   approx 5x 5 inches
www.artnotesparis.blogspot.com
 
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Reply #10 - May 13th, 2008 at 4:46am

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In the throes of jet lag, my mind works on a multitude of ideas.  While the rest of the world sleeps, I think about magic, about serendipity, about how wonderfully the universe works.  Harika, our Tunisien pup, catches the drift of my ideas and jumps on the bed, nestling in the crook of my knees.

We are in America at the moment.  We left Paris to come to the US to interview for jobs:  fundraising, as it were.  We have lived a magic life for a long time now, and the idea of collaring up from 9 to 5 is a bit daunting.  At age 50+, magic would have to be on our side, one way or the other.  The light luckiness our our life doesn't take well to planning.  Our standby tickets suit us -- maybe we'll fly and maybe we won't.

Packing our bags around the last grains of Tunisian sand, I realize what I liked so much about that place: no planning, few rules, and big romance.  Our beach was littered and dirty, but ever so much more inviting than the pristine stretches where the fancy hotels were.  On those beaches, I would never find a scrap of black and white cotton to tie around my ankle, or the doll made of wire and scraps of cord.

It was hard to leave Paris on Friday.  Our first French friend, T, drove us to the airport, and we all had a sense that it would be a while before we saw one another again.  "Let's not leave," I suggested to Blair.  "OK."  But then the planning, the need to earn a living, to think of the future kicked in.  There is no magic in planning.

In Charlottesville, we watch a golf match on TV: a humorless bunch, these men, but then sports is the only thing on the television which doesn't have a predictable outcome.  The golfers are pretty much equal for ability, but the wind, the turn of the grass (I have the impression there are no ants on the golf course), and magic decide the winner.  "It's luck," I tell my mother-in-law's husband.

Harika chases the squirrels here.  She is never discouraged by their agility, nor by her leash.  She knows if she keeps on trying one day she'll catch one, just like the golfers.

There is a side to life we refuse to accept in the West.  I call it luck, or magic, or that positive force that protects us all from the horrible.  I try not to "look in the glass too deeply" for fear of scaring it off.

I see this magic in the more natural places of the world.  A purple flower blooming next to the yellow, or a sky darker than the leaves on a tree in the spring.   F, the woman who lived on our beach, would be dressed like a Kenzo advertisement everyday, with cast offs and scraps that washed ashore.  I loved seeing her new outfits, and wanted to paint her, but never got the chance.  Painting people seems to me always a personal thing.  I am afraid of defining them in the wrong way, or worse, in a way that fixes them forever, unable to grow or change in my eyes.  I imagine her still there, today with a sheer paisley blouse and a scarf trimmed in gold bangles.

It is hard to see magic in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Rows of chain stores and restaurants abound, dishes whisked off the table before the conversation can get too deep.  "How would you like to be remembered?" I ask the group.  I might as well have asked who wanted to go to face the firing squad first.  "What about you?" Blair continued.  "For my cooking and entertaining."  I brought my cookbooks to America.

Laurie and Blair  PESSEMIER
"Magician"  LFP Acrylic on masonite  10 x 14 inches
www.artnotesparis.blogspot.com
 
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Reply #9 - May 5th, 2008 at 3:02am

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A friend I'd not seen for nearly 20 years called me from her hotel in Paris.  We agreed to meet in the lobby on Wednesday night; "and bring Harika," she demanded.

J had worked for us twenty years prior in Seattle.  We shared her marketing services with Fred, a furniture salesman.  She took care of our first dog, a Jack Russell, when we went on vacation.  She loves animals.

We got to the Hotel du Louvre a few minutes early.  Harika found her place in front of the sofa.  A white haired woman approached.  "A dog!  how wonderful -- I miss mine so!"  Within 30 seconds the Australian woman was sitting beside me petting Harika.  "My friend won this $12,000.00 trip to Europe, and took me with her," she told us.  "We've been to London and leave on Friday for Germany.  I am so exhausted."   Her friend, the winner, arrived, and Harika regaled her as though she were the queen.

Our friend and her husband arrived.  Harika was so thrilled she barked.  We took her to the car while we went to dinner.    We selected a charming little restaurant near the hotel.  There are only six tables set in what used to be a mercerie store.  Art Nouveau mirrors and lily-of-the valley decorations seemed appropriate on the eve of 1 May.  The restaurant is run by an Italian man and his Spanish wife.  "She looks elfin," J commented.  They go to Italy to buy product every other weekend:  olive oils and basil; organic tomatoes and milk fed veal. After our meal, quasi-French-Italian-all "biologique" and delicious, we liberated our pup.

Her magnetic personality attracted another woman, on the "National Review" trip to France.  We told her the story of finding Harika on the beach in Tunisia.  She invited her to breakfast on Saturday morning.

Our repertoire of friends and acquaintances has expanded exponentially since the arrival of our four-legged accomplice.  We've met the parents of other dogs, and provided immeasurable comfort to travelers who miss their pets.

There is something unpretentious about dog lovers regardless of their social status.  How serious can you be when leashes become tangled and you are the one lashed to a tree?

J and her husband keep two Devon-rex cats.  They showed us pictures of these marcel-haired characters.

Harika loves a cat that comes to the Luxembourg Gardens in the morning.  Calin, the black cat, lets Harika lick her face and bump noses.  Canaille, the canine brother of Calin, gives Harika the cold soldier.  He and Atlas, the Jack Russell, are waiting for a female dog who is currently "in heat".  The mistress of the dog and cat sniffs over the indiscretion of the female dog owner.   "Canaille won't even eat," she winces.   We press on to play with Appolon and the seeing-eye dog in training.

We run the tourist gamut with our visiting friends.  I feel it is the best way to enjoy our own Paris sojourn.  We visit Monet's waterlilies for the umpteenth time -- each time I go I see something new, something more wonderful.  We stop at the Louvre but the crowds are so thick we didn't stay long.  I manage to see Beccafumi's three paintings of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals.

Laurie (painting and text) and Blair PESSEMIER
At the edge of Town (Malakoff)  LFP  Acrylic on board  6 x 13 inches  $200.00
www.artnotesparis.blogspot.com
www.vettedart.blogspot.com
 
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Reply #8 - Apr 29th, 2008 at 6:42am

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"Don't let the jam sit too long in the pan after it's done," the older woman cautioned, "and here, wait a minute, this is a gift from me."  She handed me an old bronze trivet.

We'd taken friends to visit the Cyclops and to see Jean Cocteau's chapel in Milly la Foret this weekend.  We picnicked on ham and little tomatoes from Sicily, French bread and strawberries.  We found four fallen trees  in the form of a square in which to spread our cloth.

There was a vide-grenier (empty-attic) sale in the town's old market, and we found terrific treasures.  At once, I focused on a pitcher carved from a single elm burl (8 euros).  I needed a teapot, and found one in the form of a blue and white elephant, for another 2.   Blair, a great fan of copper, targeted a large "confiture" (jam) pan at a stand.  "30 Euros", the woman announced; we'd just seen one, not too different, at a kitchen supply shop for 500.  Sold.

We drank beers with our friend at a nearby hotel bar, until we were sure the chapel would be open.  Harika loves beer, and shared mine.  It was a hot day on Sunday, and the sun was scorching.  We found a shady spot for her to sleep in the car while we visited Cocteau's church.

We walked through the chapel with a busload of French sightseers.  I never ceased to be (pleasantly) amazed that people from France will visit their own historic sites.   I am reminded Blair and I were the ONLY visitors at the Lyman museum in Norwich, CT on a recent December afternoon; or the August afternoon we were the sole visitors in the French impressionist wing in the National Gallery in Washington, DC.   Even though I was a bit disappointed to not have the chapel to myself, I was glad that the ticket window was booming.

As we left to drive back from Paris, our passenger exclaimed, "look at that copper tray!"   Needing no further provocation, we spun the car around to look.  "Did you lose your way to the highway?" the elderly couple asked.  "No, we're here for the sale."   They couldn't have been more surprised.

The 30 inch diameter tray was just 10 euros.  "I have another one in the house," Madame offered, dispatching her husband, a French professor to find it.  He came back with the wrong item (this must be a universal husband trait), and so she went in to find it.  She returned with the bronze tray, and another confiture pan, this one twice the weight of the first.  We took both (for 35), and visited  with them about Tunisia and Morocco, where the trays came from.  The couple had hosted a Tunisian student for a year, some time ago, and had visited the country more than a half-dozen times.

As the sun got warmer, we were forced to leave.  Madame and monsieur  were delighted with our purchases, perhaps the only ones of the day.  We drove home like a carful of gypsies, our copper clanging in the back seat.

Laurie (painting and text) and Blair PESSEMIER
"In the forest"  LFP  Acrylic on canvas 10 x 13 inches
 
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Reply #7 - Apr 22nd, 2008 at 2:05am

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E, our 9-3/4 year old friend, came to visit us this weekend, with her Mom.  We met the two of them at the Eurostar terminal at Gare de Nord, and metro-ed to Q's flat in Bobigny.

E and I make art together, although I must say her creativity has eclipsed mine.  She snagged a fashion magazine from the train (first class!) and set to making a collage.  She cut out a head, arms, legs, shoes, and mixed them together in a most attractive way.  I think the magazine might benefit from her input.  Giant shoes at the end of skinny legs, big hair and a fork necklace -- superb!

On Friday afternoon we took our places on a bench at Park Monceau and painted the "scenery".  E used to go to school right by the park, when she was living in Paris for a year.    Kids dressed in gray, white and navy (how boring!) played in the park at recess.  Painting urban scenery has given me an eye for a red polka dot dress, giant sunglasses or a coral scarf.  I have a whole new vocabulary of fashion.

We had one painting under our belt, when we were able to convince Blair to occupy the bench across the way and look good.  In his checchia, he assumed (what I thought) a grim visage, but the creative E was able to turn it upside down.

We walked and rode through the streets of Paris all weekend.  "Look, the Eiffel Tower!" I exclaimed, at the site never failing to provoke a tingliness around my heart.  "Tourists think that's Paris," E admonished me, "that and accordions and restaurants".  "Well, isn't it?" I asked in all seriousness.  "You and Blair are painters," she continued,"you live in a fantasy world."  "I'm glad," I replied.

It is possible to be overcome by a place.  When I walked on the beach at night, beneath the Tunisian stars, Sala (who had lived there his full 60 years) exclaimed, "I love it here, it is so romantic!".  I fell in love with the very air I was breathing.

I think of the much-forwarded email about the old woman entering a rest home.  "Oh, it's beautiful, I love it," she exclaims at entry.  "But you haven't seen it," the nurse objects.  "But I know already I will love it and be happy".  A positive attitude.

E an I laughed wildly at Harika's doggy antics in the back seat of the car.  We went to the circus in Bobigny, featuring a hippopotamus, real lions (I could SMELL them from our seat), and Mongolian camels.  We ate Chinese buffet afterward.

E sat in her swiveling chair turned to the heavily textured (just painted) wall in the apartment.  "Look, Laurie, I can see the whole story I just read", she  announced.  "Here's the forest, and the village, and this," running her finger down the wall, "is the river that flows into the sea."

Laurie (painting and text) and Blair PESSEMIER
to see Emily and Laurie's painting side-by-side go to: www.artnotesparis.blogspot.com
"Nose in the air"  LFP  Acrylic on cardboard  11 x 14 inches
...
 
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Reply #6 - Apr 7th, 2008 at 3:14am

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Flower petals were strewn over the marble staircase at the Mona Bismark Foundation on Thursday night.  Bursts of red, yellow, purple and white were the "Expressions of Independence" of Sri Lanka.

We broke out of the suburbs this week to spend three nights in our downtown apartment.  I walked up the 126 stairs over a dozen times.  We slept deeply in our chachka-filled hideaway beneath the roofs of Paris.  We can just see the searchlight on the Eiffel Tower from our hallway window.

Sixty paintings representing the sixty years of Sri Lankan independence graced the walls of the Mona Bismark Foundation.  It is not often I comment on the hanging of a show, but this one is exemplary in its mastery.  The paintings are all lovely, and their framing and arrangement adds to the overall ambiance of the exhibition.  The variety of paintings is remarkable:  all contemporary, few figurative, not regional, but unmistakably linked.

Besides the opening, we came into Paris to buy painting supplies, and go to American Express to cash a check.  On Friday, I was relegated to guarding the car with the dog, as we perched in illegal (the only available) parking places downtown.

It is a curious thing to think of a country as old as Sri Lanka celebrating only 60 years of independence.  The world bank calls it "one of the world's most politically unstable countries",  at least one half of those independent years being occupied by civil war. In fact, Sri Lanka, aka Ceylon, dates back to the 6th century BC.  Not only are the 60 years of independence a drop in the bucket, but their occupation for 150 or so years by the British and 200 prior by the Dutch and Portuguese doesn't hold a candle to its many years of self rule.  But what is self-rule, anyway?  Someone born in the country is in charge, rather than an invader?  It isn't always qualitative thing, is it?  Mao, for example killed more of his "own" people than any outside invader of any country.  Who writes these history books?

While sitting in the car for numerous hours, I realized how few people saw me, and how many people I could stare at from behind the glass.  Tall, short, light, dark, happy, sad:  great faces I could paint, unnoticed.

Anyway, 60 years is as good an excuse as any to celebrate, particularly in light of the turmoil which abounds in the land of Serendib.  Art is a great unifier.  Eating pappadums and drinking champagne in a tent just off the Seine in Paris is what life is all about.  And it made me think about Sri Lanka.

Attendees of the opening were dressed in the spirit of the evening.  Brown skin tones in dark suits talked with blonds in pearls.  Lush silk saris and colorful scarves abounded.  I breathed in the jasmine while absorbing the colors of contemporary art:  deep turquoise, brilliant magenta, saffron.  Mona Bismark would have been pleased.

Mona Bismark was voted the best dressed woman of the year in 1933.  She had visited Ceylon with her husband, on their yacht a few years before.  It would follow that her home in Paris serve as host to this exhibit.

I spent Saturday morning sitting in the car painting passers-by.  But I wished they were wearing better colors.


Laurie (paintings and text) and Blair PESSEMIER
Man at the Brocante (from the faces series)  Acrylic on canvas  12 x 12 inches
www.artnotesparis.blogspot.com
 
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Reply #5 - Mar 30th, 2008 at 11:20am

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While waiting in line at the art store this week, we met an American-speaker.  It was easy to be fooled -- she spoke French flawlessly.  "I've lived here forty years," she confessed.

Waiting in line is particular to every country.  The Italians cut in, the Germans are orderly and serious.  The English are polite, and the Chinese don't know the meaning of the word "line".  The French wait, wait, wait.  There are certain people who cut in, but there are more people who thwart their efforts.

The thing about waiting in line here is that the goal could become altered at any time.  It isn't unusual for a Post Office window to shut just as you get to it.  Conversations at the window go on for several minutes, oblivious to the needs of those queued up.

At the Carrefour the other day (yes, in the suburbs we shop at the supermarket), we mistakenly got into the handicapped line.  It was nearly impossible to tell, with only a small wheelchair emblem on a blade sign hanging perpendicular to all other lines, but invisible to us.  "Sorry," the fellow told us.  His line lay empty, while the rest of the world stood behind people buying enough food for a year.  "Don't you work?" the more outspoken of customers harangued, to no avail.  Witty banter was honed into serious jabs.  The checker counted the money in the drawer.

Our life is about waiting these days.  We are waiting to hear about jobs we've applied for, we're waiting to sell paintings, and we're waiting for this apartment to sell. forcing our next step.  It turned out the company I was interviewing with was recently charged with fraud.  Good things come to those who wait.

B, the lady in the art store line, invited us to an exposition of her work done in Africa.  She is a super artist, grinding the earth of the area where she is working into pigment for her paint.  We were delighted with her work, and the inspiration it gave us.

Harika waits for us on a regular basis.  She is an expert attendant, sitting quietly, often dozing as we go about our business.  If it's an unusually long wait, we bring her a treat.

We were in line behind a man with no money to pay for the gas he pumped into his car.  At least ten cars behind us honked mercilessly.

We waited for the hotdog stand in the park to open on Thursday.  "I'm never later than 1", the fellow told us.  On Saturday we brought our own picnic, ensuring we weren't disappointed twice.  We're not waiting for spring, but sit on damp picnic benches with our chicken and wine.

Waiting is my most difficult trick.  I drink too much waiting for guests to arrive, I get to the airport way too early.  I can't wait.  I want to be where I am going, and can overlook all to be learned on the way.

Laurie (painting and text) and Blair PESSEMIER
In Blossom    LFP   Acrylic on canvas  8 x 16 inches
 
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Reply #4 - Mar 26th, 2008 at 12:55am

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This is a great painting Laurie, cyan and yellow for green and the green to the yellow side, magenta and green for the darks, magenta to the yellow side for the reds and oranges, red and green for the browns. Cyan and red opposition for the sky. I think you will like the country life. Don
 
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Reply #3 - Mar 25th, 2008 at 6:49pm

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Some time ago, a friend came to our downtown apartment at 28, rue d'Assas in Paris.  We had coffee at a nearby cafe.  "I just couldn't live in this neighborhood," she said.  I honestly couldn't imagine why she would say that.

This last month we have been living in an outside-Paris apartment.  I never liked the trip out here for dinner, and wondered how anyone could be this close to Paris, yet so far away.

We are living in the "communist" neighborhood of Paris.  A statue of Lenin graces the corner.  There are two buildings here designed by Oscar Neimayer.  I have always spurned the communist theory.  When someone brought it up to me in Tunisia, I asked, "how could I possibly work at the same job all of my life?"

Paris is "Disneyland for adults," as a friend called it.  I never imagined living anyplace but in the finest quartier, even if it cost a little more.  Clean sidewalks, well mannered neighbors, and the best shops protected us from the bitter realities of life.  Our addiction to beautiful things was easily satisfied, an easy walk down rue Montagne.

One of the few things I've always missed about America, while living in Paris, was cultural diversity.  A piece on BBC radio about the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn touched my heart:  the former racist neighborhood is now home to people from a multitde of countries:  the typical worker speaks at least three languages, one the common English.  Tourists from many countries abound in Paris, but it is a rare breed that lives within walls.  Some Japanese, a few Americans, lots of old family French, but not a soul.

On Thursday last, shopping for Easter dinner, in this modest suburban neighborhood,  I realized that everyone in the store was shopping for:  Mohammed's birthday; Persian New Year; Passover, and of course, Easter.  The Halal meats were just an aisle away from Kosher foods -- the veiled, the  yamakah-ed and little old me were searching for the tastes befitting the rites of spring.  Chinese, Sikh, or French all paid at the same register.

Earlier that day, we were out walking Harika in the "parc departmental" in La Corneuvem just a mile or two from Bobigny.   This park has been a wonderful surprise to us -- it is a huge complex: "12 km" the sign reads, referring the the jogging trail around the lake and grounds.

We found the park as a large plot of green on a map, before our trip to the ethnically diverse supermarket.  We walked to the edge of the lake.  In the cold sunshine, raven- haired teenaged girls photographed one another on their cell phones, giggling.  Was I still in Tunisia?   On the way back to the car, we heard drums and horns.  The distinct sound of a North African woman "ululating" rang in my ears:  it must be a celebration.  In fact, a wedding was taking place during this brief sunny spell in the park.  Men and women danced joyously, as the bride and groom beamed at their entourage.  Bright dresses, lots of makeup and dressed up children brought a smile to my own lips.

I love Paris and it's beautiful store windows.  Right now, I can't afford a new outfit, but will put together my  belongings to look nearly that chic, thanks to the inspiration behind the glass.    Without the wealthy, central city, there wouldn't be the fine meats and cheeses, wines and desserts we can still find in the outskirts.  Without the temptation of the wealth of Paris, there would be nothing to strive for.

We won't give up our 70 square foot pied-a-terre in Paris right away nor permanently cast our lot with the folks who use a phone booth.  But I won't look at downtown as the only kind of Parisien riches any more.

Laurie (painting and text) and Blair PESSEMIER
"Spring Green" LFP  Acrylic on canvas  14 x 22 inches
 
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Reply #2 - Mar 17th, 2008 at 4:57am

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"I can never get people to understand that poetry is the expression of excited passion, and that there is no such thing as a life of passion any more than a continuous earthquake, or an eternal fever. Besides, who would ever shave themselves in such a state?"     Lord Byron

In line at la Poste, Harika started chatting up the lady in front of her.  "Harika!" I admonished.

The woman had long white ringlets, like an aged George Sand. "She's a lovely dog," Madame V. observed of our chienne.  We visited, in the king's English.  "I was an English professor," Mme. told us, "now I am president of the Byron society".

Blair and I try to lead of life sprinkled with passion, but elements (such as our finances) put a damper on our abandon.  We are in constant pursuit of inspiration, and often one which will pay off.  That is not romantic.  When Mme. V invited us to the meeting of the Byron society, we decided to take the chance.

On Saturday we found ourselves in a lecture about Byron and Baudelaire.  At a round table of about 25 people, we heard how Byron influenced a long line of Romantics, including Poe, Tennyson and Baudelaire.  This romantic period (the early 19th century, in Western civilization) was the time in history that poetry, music and art thrived, and were most close to one another. Both Byron and Baudelaire wrote about Beauty, one of the very reasons for Blair's and my being.  Manet painted a picture of the wife of Baudelaire.

The followers of Byron were considered "dandy-s" -- sensitive men who dressed with style, cared about beauty and wallowed in melancholy.  The women, like George Sand, were stronger and bolder.      Rejecting the conventions of the day, tje whole lot of romantics indulged in pleasure.  In that spirit, we retired to the Hotel Lutetia at 12:30 for cocktails.

I had boned up a bit on the subject of Byron before the meeting, but it was clear Blair and I were the least familiar with the subject.  The talk was in French, but the speaker was clear and direct:  I only missed a couple of words.

I asked the man next to me what the word "see-aghe (sillage)" meant.    He drew me a picture of a boat, with lines behind it.  About a painting of Delacroix's, Baudelaire wrote:  "Look at the wake, and that says it all".  I left feeling much more empassioned than when I arrived.
Laurie (painting and text) and Blair PESSEMIER
"Dandy"  Acrylic on canvas  9 x 12 inches (archives)
 
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Reply #1 - Mar 11th, 2008 at 6:54pm

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I'm so happy that things are back to normal for my two favorite Parisian artists. Life is good, God is great. So are your paintings.

Up here in Makawao 'tis the season of the Jacaranda and they are starting to bloom. They will be in their full glory by the end of the month.

Aloha from another great city, one with the best weather on earth, sorry about your rain Smiley
 
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Mar 11th, 2008 at 6:49pm

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*****
 
"What kind of dog IS she?" Voltaire's mother asks.

"Tunisian.  She's one of a kind," I reply, as Harika gives her friend a sound poke in the nose.  Yipping with glee, Canaille, Voltaire and Harika run around the trees in the Luxembourg Gardens.
To be a dog in Paris has its advantages.  Yesterday, Harika sat on the plush booth of the new Petit Lux while Blair, I and a friend ate lunch.  People stop to pet her, and she is welcome in almost any store.  Together, we walk miles through the streets of the city.

It hasn't been as easy a transition for us humans.  We are at a bit of a loss of what to do.  We've been cleaning, rearranging, and refurnishing Q's apartment in hopes of its sale.  We are staying in his three bedroom flat with a view of the Eiffel Tower.  It's the ideal apartment for the American who wants a place in Paris for less than 175,000 Euros.

This interlude gives us time to figure out what is next.  I have applied for some jobs in America, Blair for a project here.  We're looking for a way to make our next ten years of earnings count.

Harika shows no fear of cars, motorcyles or garbage trucks that roar past.  We reign her in closely on the narrower sidewalks.    As we slow down for Harika to sniff a pole, I inspect a window full of handmade textiles from Finland.  Lately, we've discovered lots of marvelous shops and restaurants on formerly overlooked routes.

Blair is restyling the dining chairs to accompany a large low dining table (Tunisian style!) we built from square teak speakers and a laminate top.  We bought upholstery fabric at IKEA, along with a large (inexpensive) rug.   We're dolling up the joint.

"Clochard!" the wine merchant squeals as he enounters our Tunisian beauty.  Joel, the wine guy owns Lili Marlene, a brindle French bulldog.  Harika is the veritable "tramp", in search of Lady (in her case, Lord).  She meets Kiki, a cairn, on the rue Cherche Midi, and the two are smitten.  Kiki's owner is delighted, and tells us what a nice dog Harika is.

The fact it has rained at least a little, every day since we arrived hasn't helped our attitude.  Harika hates the rain, too, and sidles up to buildings, walking in the narrow strip inside the drip of the overhang.

The sound of sawing comes from the next room.  Blair is chopping the legs of one chair.  "I think it will be great with the low table," he assures.

Laurie (painting and text) and Blair PESSEMIER
"The View"  LFP  Acrylic on canvas  14 x 22 inches
www.artnotesparis.blogspot.com
 
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