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PaintfoxLaurie2010 (Read 11146 times)
Reply #12 - Dec 25th, 2010 at 2:07am

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One of the best things about Artnotes is that it inspires other people to write or to paint.  I receive wonderful examples of “non-painters” paintings – I find it funny people believe they can’t paint, then they pick up a brush and voila: terrific.  After reporting how I write 15 minutes every morning, I got many emails from friends saying “I am going to do that”.  These testimonials are one reason for going on with Artnotes, celebrating its 13th year in 2011.

I’ve been combing the archives to find many of my episodes.  They go back as far as 3-1/2” discs I am not sure I can still “play”.   Our trip to “le Piscine” in Roubaix, for example, which must have been January or February of 2006 (or was it 07?); or a description of a trip to Matisse’s museum in his home town near Cambrai (we saw a Chagall show there) are lost.  I guess it’s just impetus to visit those places once again.   These are trips I’d like to offer on my “not-just-Paris” tours.

Sunday, we had a wonderful surprise in Paris:  an American singer singing Christmas carols in the subway at St. Michel.  Leander,  a young, talented singer with a guitar (his girlfriend on bass) played a variety of carols – Blair and I heard Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer (first time this season!), Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bells…    He had a joy and passion rarely seen in a public performance.  It made me think of Jimi Hendrix, or Janis Joplin, who today would be told by their managers to subdue that fervor.   I could feel the sparks in the air.  It was such a contrast to the somber, dull Metro.  I borrowed a book from the library this week:  Debuffet,  whose best work (in my opinion) was paintings he did of people in the Metro.

We walked home among snowflakes, which have only stopped intermittently this month.  Harika has taken to barking ferociously at this cold, wet snow when she bursts out the front door of the building.  It sends passersby to the edge of the sidewalk, and even affects people across the street.  I am not sure what I can do about it, other than hope for sun and warmer weather.

Today is Christmas Eve, and I am cooking for two friends who will have dinner with us tonight (as I write one just canceled because of the snow. Darn!).  Blair made cookies and a pie yesterday.  We’re looking forward to friends stopping in over the holidays and beyond.

This is our first Christmas in France, having spent every Christmas for the past 56 years with my family.  It will be a big change for me.  I am trying to look forward to it, but get a little lump in my throat when I look at it too deeply.   I guess I’ll just sing JINGLE BELLS a little louder.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

Fall in Collioure    M. Blair PESSEMIER   Oil on canvas   18 x 22 inches   $295.00
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Reply #11 - Dec 22nd, 2010 at 7:47am

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Merry Christmas Laurie and Blair. You're both a pair of painters' painters.
And hi to Harika, I have a cat that stops by about 3 times a day for food, she's a nice little brake from whatever I'm doing.
Don
 
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Reply #10 - Dec 22nd, 2010 at 7:43am

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Glorious, beautiful snow is falling again in Paris.  I think I have seen more snow here in the past month than in the many years we’ve lived here.  It doesn’t “stick” because the streets aren’t cold enough:  the layers of wires, and metros, and sewers beneath Paris are as much as six or seven stories deep.  And in lots of areas those French ancestors are buried in catacombs.  It’s a part of the city I have yet to explore, but will wait for a hot day.

Meanwhile, I am seeking new “views” of Paris to paint and write about.  This past week we visited three wildly divergent galleries.  The first, on our way home from an appointment, was the new Gargosian in Paris.  Cy Twombly, one of my favorite painters, was featured.  We rang the bell, they let us in, and shortly afterward chased us out because staff was washing the floor.  I really questioned their sales technique, but maybe they are not there to sell.

On Tuesday evening (it was snowing then) we attended an opening  for a Korean painter, Sung Young Min, featured at a Japanese gallery “Grand E’terna” on the fashionable rue Miromesnil in Paris.   This is a gem of a gallery, as noteworthy for its architectural “shoehorning” as it is for its artwork.  It has a minimal entry hall with dramatic staircase leading to a vaulted downstairs hall.    Loosely abstracted Iris were the subject of these paintings in diptych and triptych format. 

Finally, Blair and I walked over to rue Bourgogne to the Peinture Fraiche Galerie on Friday to see a show someone from my painting group invited me to.  While I never found her work there (150 Petits Formats – little pictures), I discovered a couple of marvelous artists working in a format nearer to my size.  One, Dominique Pochon, made images from scraps of colored metal  and wood, framing them likewise with recycled material (NOT wretched plastic, which seems to be the recyclage of choice these days).  These were little jewels of paintings one could fit into a bookcase, or on a narrow wall.   Another artist, Genevievre Greyfie, created small portraits and still life using just the oil paint colors of grey, shaded from blue to putty, and black and white.  They were “poetic” as the galleriste described them.    They were completely different from what I would do, but pleased me terrifically.

These forays made me think about my own artwork, which I am prone to do at this reflective time of the year (I am a resolutionist!).    I am trying to paint bigger, although my apartment (no atelier) limits the size of my expression.   So I am thinking of writing more articles about  art and architectural shows we see here in Paris, and  send those articles to newspapers and magazines.   It has been my experience that magazines and newspapers don’t pay for those kinds of things, but they will promote “us”, and were they to want a specific article,  they might hire us (for money) to write it.  I will become an expert, and maybe get to speak about art or architecture in Paris.  (this isn’t an entirely original idea, my girlfriend Y lent me a book suggesting this)   Meanwhile, I greatly expand my network of people interested in ART:  others’ art for sale, our art for sale, gallery shows in and around Paris or wherever we go, tours, workshops?  We are Art and Architecture experts, who happen to paint and run workshops themselves.     Please keep us in mind, and tell your associates!

My resolution for 2011 is to make my living with my art, whatever it takes, starting today!   There will be other resolutions made (walk Harika twice a week in a rural setting (Bois de Boulogne or Bois de Vincennes), for one), and some will stick.  I love the idea of wiping clean last year's slate and making a new picture for 2011.

Laurie (block print and text) and Blair PESSEMIER
 
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Reply #9 - Dec 2nd, 2010 at 6:08pm

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Spaghetti.  Tortellini.  Ravioli.  Taglietelli.  I ate all kinds of pasta in Italy, in Modena, Pistoia, Bologna…  Imagine gorgonzola tortellini with a big glass of fizzy red wine in a café at 11:30 Sunday morning.  Heaven.

We spent last week in Italy, with an American friend who just rented a large villa there.  We christened the house, built in 1524, with many dinners and cups of tea in a chilly kitchen.  It snowed more than six inches, and I painted the Leonardo da Vinci landscape with and without  snow.

A seven hour train ride from Paris, we arrived in Milan.  The speed of the TGV is finished at the Italian border, where we pick our way through the countryside.     The Milan railroad station is  an art deco mishmash of styles  -- still it is of a breathtaking scale and I feel as though I’ve “arrived” when I get there.  Harika is thrilled to bounce out of the crowded car.

We drove up to the mountains after a fortifying dish of ravioli “en brodo” and boiled beef with green relish and bread.  I felt like a new person as we made the 75 minute trek from Castelfranco to Vergato. 

We took a number of short jaunts from base to nearby attractions.   We traversed the mountain pass before the big snow to visit Pistoia, a Florence-like city in Tuscany.   I ate taglietelli with endive and orange peel.  The baptistery was of the famous dark green and white stripe marble motif.   The agriculture, the terrain, the architecture all changed from Emilio-Romagno to Tuscany.  Palm trees, and large building overhangs heralded our arrival in “sunny Italy”.  It was clear to me how Italy retained its sovereign “city-states” clear up until its unification in 1860. 

We decided to make a trek to the Adriatica:  what would vacation be without the ocean?  It was the deep blue-turquoise one associates with Venice.  We drove around Rimini seeking the Malatesta temple, but never found it.  We drove up the coast, Harika playing with a number of Italian dogs on the beach, to see St. Apollinaire in Classe, a Byzantine cathedral from 549 CE.  It was impeccably restored, with gold and glass mosaics of sheep and the sky:  happy motifs before the punishment phase of Christianity.    I could hardly believe someone stood and looked at the same marvelous art as I was,  1461 years earlier.   Before Columbus, before Ghengis Kahn, before Charlemagne,  before Mohammed; I might have looked like a giant, but would have been dead by 55 surely.

The highlight of our trip however, was our visit to Bologna.    We parked the car in a no parking zone, and both painted the downtown tower in illuminated regalia.  With the windshield wipers on “mist” we painted lights of the town before us.  Our muses satisfied, we parked the car in earnest and continued on foot to the Christmas fair booths.   The NOUGAT booth was the most impressive, sugary delights in all colors and flavors from orange to limoncello to nuts.  The foaming cakes sparkled, as people lined up to purchase.   Blair and I went for the Christmas light stand.  While most strings were 3 to 5 Euros, the man quoted Blair 45 for the one we selected; it was just too much thievery to even approach a bargain.   We continued on, admiring the animated figures for the crèche, the pizza man perpetually inserting and extracting the pizza from the fiery oven.   We walked with Harika, eventually turning into the Café Accademia for pasta, wine and coffee before noon.

We returned next day, through Milan (in Lombardy), enjoying an Italian “cafeteria” dinner.  At midnight we pulled into Paris, where we will spend the remainder of the holidays.

We’ve had two sets of guests since our return three days ago.  From America, France and Iran, they bring us bits of culture we otherwise might miss.   Travel is good, but I equally like what travelers bring to me, a new outlook in the comfort of my own room.

Laurie (text) and Blair (painting) Pessemier
 
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Reply #8 - Nov 14th, 2010 at 7:38am

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This week I attended a lecture about “digital publishing”.  I have been working on making e-books of my artnotes, and our baseball book, and a half-dozen of our Christmas stories.   My girlfriend sent me a copy of the invitation for the event at Parsons’s school in Paris.   I took a direct subway train there.  On the street a girl stopped me to ask if she could photograph my palms.  “Do you go to the Parsons’ school?”  I asked.  “Oh, yes,” she replied, “it’s just down the street.”

The world of digital publishing is like the Wild West, with a vast playing field and spotty results.   I have managed to adapt two books to Kindle, but am adrift in the ibook, epub, and Barnes and Noble format.   I think I need a mentor, but there are no “mentors” of this field, as far as I can tell, it’s every man for himself.  This feeling was supported by one of the speakers, who, in fact, thought an open field  is a tremendous asset.

I was a bit disappointed with the lecture, which turned out to be not about publishing as I know it, but about producing online, interactive “games”.   The highly exhuberant “master” of an online game for 6-12 year olds, was very proud (and rightly so) of her accomplishments.  Before she was master of “Minimonos”, she adapted Curious George to the computer screen, and worked on Pink Panther cartoons.   

Actually, I was pleased to be part of the crowd who might understand how this new field of intellectual property worked (“property”  the word au courant referring to books, games, music and other media).  With these online games the master must conceptualize every bit of the “set”.  This means, if it is an island, what does every square inch of the island look like?  What will the homes of the characters be like?  Each time a chimp (were you to play this game, you’d be a chimp) went home, he would need to recognize the path to his distinctive tree house.  He has limited clothing he can purchase by earning “banana chips”, based on his performance in the green scheme of the game.  He can accumulate energy for his windmill by flying through the air and capturing clouds; he gets banana chips for recycling; or he can buy them.  Very few people in these games buy anything, but with so many million subscribers, the 1-3 percent who buy chips support the rest of the game.

I left a few minutes early, when the little chair in the little room, and the general sense of “is this art?” overwhelmed me.

Afterward, I reflected on what all this meant.  I believe Charles Dickens was equally involved with the surroundings of “the Pickwick Papers”.  He knew every square inch of his characters’ personalities.  He painted Mr. Pickwick in such a way I could pick him out of a crowd of holiday revelers in southern England today (especially if he were in the wheelbarrow).    How Dickens could so describe the layout of debtors’ prison, or the barn where the horses stayed, it’s hard to say.  As different as our world is today, it is amazing how much the same it is.

Someone asked about the decidedly primitive artwork in the online game – in fact, in so many of these games there is no artist.  “It’s about the bottom line,” was the response.

Later in the week, I sat in the luxury of a café,  painting my fellow customers.  I produced five small pictures, with no new art show in sight.  I know the turn of a smile, the twist of a wrist – a small but manageable world on my canvas, looking for a home.

Laurie (paintings and text) and Blair Pessemier
 
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Reply #7 - Nov 7th, 2010 at 1:49am

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Is it too early to get up?  It was just after 3AM.  Blair had an appointment, early afternoon,  in a town 7 hours away.  The town was just next door to Nohant.

Nohant was home to George Sand.  Her house and gardens are still there, as she left them, bequeathed to the state by her granddaughter, the last of the "Sands".   I have wanted to go there ever since I discovered the house close to one of Blair’s clients; previous trips have found me there in off hours.

Like many traditional old places in France, they are closed from 12:30 until 2:00.  So, we had to arrive there before 11:30 to take the morning tour, or risk losing our window of opportunity until the next trip.

OK.  Up at 3-something and out of the house at 4 AM.  We were driving up from Collioure, a little village very close to the Spanish border, on the Mediterranean.  It was as dark as the inside of a dog.  There are very few streetlights once one is outside Metropolitan France.  We proceeded with caution, reading every directional sign.  We only made one false step, losing less than 2 kilometers en route.

It was just beginning to get light out, about 7, when we reached the new, beautiful 2.5 kilometer bridge at Millau.  I was a little sorry we were so early, but traffic was light, and I could see the lights of the little town far below.

George Sand is a particular hero of mine:  an independent woman in the first half of the 19th century.  She was raised by her grandmother at Nohant, and I searched for genius in the walls.  Many of Sand’s books were written here, and Chopin likewise composed music in the choicest room:  a giant affair looking out onto the gardens.  Sand often wrote in a tiny boudoir off the children’s room, late at night.

It was the most wonderful time to see the gardens:  yellow leaves created a soft, sunny carpet at our feet.  We took a quarter hour to stroll, before returning to the reception area, where I saw the marionettes.

Maurice Sand, the son of George was a great lover of the theatre and puppets.  On the first floor of the house, there is a marionette theatre (and a stage for human actors), where Maurice directed the 150 plays he wrote for his hand-made characters.   These marionettes are all on display in the reception building.  I had a marionette theatre, myself, in 1994, and have a great appreciation for the craft.

The visit was a bit structured, and I would plan some questions for the next time I go.  It would be nice to spend additional time around the other buildings and also to see where Flaubert spent time, just next door.

Halfway into the visit, Blair’s appointment was cancelled.  We decided to eat a leisurely lunch before proceeding.   Harika was in full agreement -- they were featuring “cannette” (duck).

Laurie (painting and text) and Blair PESSEMIER
 
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Reply #6 - Nov 2nd, 2010 at 8:17pm

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A thousand birds are perched on the edges of the airplanes parked at a large aeronautical manufacturing plant in Toulouse, France.  It is as if the planes are the “Buddha” and the birds are flocks of the faithful.  They want to be close to their leader, the BIG BIRD.   The birds (all breeds) jockey for position, atop the wing or mainframe, ultimately seeking that spot on the crest of the tail.

We jockey for another position ourselves:  we are at the wrong building, and must drive another few minutes to find the site of Blair’s appointment.   Luckily we started out  early.  We stayed overnight in a hotel near the airport – Toulouse is seven hours from Paris.  We will continue on later this day for a weekend at the Mediterranean, just two hours away.

Our friend Francois, in Paris, asks about what we do, our future.  He says we are just like birds on a twig, singing beautifully for a short time on that twig, but later all that remains is the trembling of the twig after our departure.  At first I think he is saying we are “fly by night”, but with greater consideration, I realize it describes our life.   We are just “us two”:  never really sinking our roots very deeply into the ground.  Like perpetual children, we are always seeing life for the first time.

A woman I met at a recent coffee klatch bemoaned her new life with her husband, in Paris.  She imagined, at 55, she would be enjoying her "established" life and home in Washington, DC, not having to adjust to new things.  "Look around", I told her, "we're all so young.  Change keeps you alert, vital."  We exchanged looks of wonderment.

We drive to Collioure on Thursday afternoon, arriving as the sun sets over the vineyards.   We rent a cheap house for the weekend, situated on three floors overlooking the city.  Blair paints (hooray!) from the window, and I walk downtown to paint the trees in the morning sunlight, the Moorish boats in the water.  Our house is cold, with terrazzo floors, and I am warmer outside than in.   We buy a chicken at the store to take to the waterfront at Port Vendres for picnic.  Harika revels in the sand and water of her ocean, the Mediterranean.

I see unusual birds as I am painting the vine-covered hills between Port Vendres and Collioure – there are about 10, flying like swallows, in formation, but substantially larger specimens.  They are black and white.  I long for a bird book, or an informational sign:   the town is scattered with “frames” through which one views a famous scene painted a century ago by Derain or Matisse, but no news about the fish in the sea or birds in the sky.   We get up super-early, and drink coffee in a café populated with old men telling hunting stories.   Harika joins in.  I am tempted to ask them about the birds.

There was a time Blair and I considered moving here, to Collioure.  It is a painter’s paradise, with marvelous light, as you might see in our paintings.  These towns lack the depth of Paris, however, or maybe the residents are just not as profound.  Many branches quake from the changeover of weekly rentals on Saturday morning, to the jingle of coins. 

We will take our leave on Tuesday, stopping at Nohant to see George Sands’ house: Blair has an appointment nearby.   I am looking forward to lining my winter’s nest in Paris with beautiful colors.

PS.  I think the birds might have been migrating Mediterranean Puffins.

Laurie (text) and Blair (painting) PESSEMIER
 
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Reply #5 - Oct 27th, 2010 at 3:49am

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“What is all that smoke?” I asked Blair.  “Protesters.”  In fact, this entire strike was little more than a lot of smoke.  Honestly, not one French person I spoke with supported the efforts of CGT, the syndicate that organized all the strikers.   I speak to at least six different French people a day, while walking the small charge, Harika.    Several times I heard the word “honte” (shame) for France.   We all suffered a little:  Blair had to rent a car to get me to the airport on the 12th, for my trip to sell paintings in America, and then again on the 19th to pick me up.  Meanwhile, he drove to Toulouse for work, where he waited in long lines to buy gas.   The trains were uncertain, as were the buses.  It was cheaper to get a car than to pay a taxi, which might have had to bring me back if my plane hadn’t left.   Blair improved his time returning from the airport on the 19th:  2 hours instead of 3, for a trip that normally takes just less than one hour.

I believe a lot of people feel ashamed about the garbage at the side of the street – it’s impossible to pick up with so many streets closed for protesters.  My bus stopped today (Thursday) for more than five minutes for no reason; eventually it stopped for good four stops from my house and I walked home.  My metro, not officially on strike today, was closed due to “signal” problems.  It is the regular people who are suffering these inconveniences – do we think Sarkozy is experiencing delays?  No.  We all just feel tired and annoyed.

America was a delight, as ever.  There is something about going back to North Carolina in April and October that makes me feel all is right with the world.  Some of my best friends live there, and I have so much fun. I taught the second grade art class:  we painted a big grasshopper, bugs being one of the main topics of the second grade.    They were beautifully behaved, and full of questions:  why is that leg like that?  Maybe there is a little too much blue in the grass…    Thirty minutes later:  voila! A 16 x 20 inch painting of an insect, six legs.

I ate pizza, Thai food, shrimp and grits , chicken pot pie, spaghetti and on my last night:  antelope!   I made chutney and roast vegetables to accompany the incredibly tender antelope (shot while running 60 miles an hour, my host told me).    The art show had a dicey start, but ultimately I sold more paintings than I had since market 2007.

Coming home, I arrived at Terminal 1, which always makes me think of a 1970s Louis Bunuel movie – it has a bouncy rubber moving walkway.  As I stepped  on the walkway from the satellite, French music started playing – a Jaques Brel tune and then “Champs Elysees”…  I smiled (I could have laughed).  It is so corny and homey and welcoming here, I maintained my positive attitude as I sailed through passport control (a new system has been put in place).   Commandoes stood outside the customs area, deterring any terrorist threat – a reminder of the real world.  It is such a contrast of conditions: the best of times and the worst of times….

Harika and Blair came right into the terminal to meet me, Harika not understanding why Blair would have left me there for an entire week.  She sniffed everyone who came off my flight until she found me and the three of us were thrilled to be reunited.  

Laurie (painting and text) and Blair PESSEMIER
Dahlias   LFP   Acrylic on canvas  12 x 24 inches   $250.00
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Reply #4 - Oct 10th, 2010 at 6:35pm

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We walked Harika to the Louvre this morning, with a certain amount of dragging.  That girl is getting lazy, liking to sleep in, practically all day.  Blair and I love the walk between here and there, with dress shops, shoe stores, and antique galleries all along the way.   Harika stops to sniff and we stop to eye a contemporary light in an architect’s office:  a holographed Edison bulb lit from above.

We meet a lady asking about rue Castiglione.  She’s on the wrong side of the Louvre.  “I’ve lived here all my life,” she says, “but we recently moved to America, and I’ve forgotten everything.”  She’s relocated with her husband and kids to Ohio. “ I love being in America,” she waxes, “people are so direct, so honest.”   This is identical to my friend Flo’s philosophy.    There is a big mystery and protocol around much that is French: that”je ne sais qua” that Americans love so much.    “I miss my dog,” she tells us, eyeing Harika.    She explains how when she sees movies with Paris in them, she gets homesick, but when she returns here for a visit she can’t wait to get back to Ohio.  I sympathize.

I am going to America in just four more days.   It is a trip to High Point Market, to sell my paintings.  Much is changed this year:  my parents are no longer in the house I always went to; Blair’s mother has moved from Charlottesville to Ohio; I am flying straight to North Carolina without my usual visit to Washington, DC and journey south.    I am looking forward to seeing all my friends in High Point.  When I get there, I love to be in America, but I know I will miss my husband and dog and Paris, too.

I have a few new paintings to bring along, with about 50 sent ahead.  I am painting again with my friend Y.  The sunflowers that made up the poster were from a session at her house.  She is a great cook, feeding us Turkish soup, grilled vegetables, and a fabulous Persian dessert with cardamom and rose water.  I paint her cat Nootcha; Harika is left at home.   We speak English together.

Harika doesn’t like the wet grass today. We’ve been experiencing surprisingly warm (almost hot) weather this October.  It’s cool at night and the early morning, but the days are a bit stifling.  She sees a rat and makes a slow run after it.  It’s rare to see one here in Paris.

We meet a lot of people walking Harika.  Light conversation, nothing personal, but often resulting in profound thoughts.   Rose, the miniature doberman’s mistress, visits with us in the Luxembourg Gardens.  She is Lebanese, her husband is Greek, and she struggles with language after 30 years.  We always understand one another and seem to be on a similar wavelength.  I complain about the lady in the market who tells me “I don’t speak English”, when I am speaking French.  Rose counsels me to be sympathetic to her, “you speak two languages, you are better than her, she feels badly”.  I put that into my pocket for the next time I feel out of place.

Laurie (paintings and text) and Blair PESSEMIER
 
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Reply #3 - Oct 4th, 2010 at 6:32am

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Perth, Australia, australia, 307, 303

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Great to read the recent paintfox post
I will try to obtain TWissters from Amazon and hope it will work on my iPad 
Cheers
 

Warm regards &&Bob &&Australia
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Reply #2 - Oct 3rd, 2010 at 11:28pm

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I am so impressed Laurie.
I'm putting your link to the new book right here.
I remember you painting that series years ago.

SUMMER BALL: a month with the Torrington Twisters - Kindle Edition - Kindle Book (Sept. 27, 2010) by Laurie PESSEMIER, M. Blair PESSEMIER, and Laurie PESSEMIER
Buy: $8.99
http://www.amazon.com/SUMMER-BALL-Torrington-Twisters-ebook/dp/B0044XV7W4/ref=sr...
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Reply #1 - Oct 3rd, 2010 at 11:19pm

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After a day at the beach in Normandy I am awash with inspiration, impressions, colors, and thoughts.  It was the perfect day, featuring driving rain, heavy mist, light sun and wind.  Every fifteen minutes the landscape changed:  clear, obscured, then a dash back to the car to remember how it looked best.   Like the bridge in the mist, my own ideas change, become obscured, then reappear  -- a little different.  What I thought was so, may not be.  I saw the bridge, where is it now?   The man paddling in the water is drying off on the shore.

Harika was thrilled to be in a beachside habitat:   she dug giant holes in the sand, and ran around in circles as fast as she could.   She met a young bulldog who she bossed into submission.   She rested and in the car slept the sleep of the very tired.

We went to Honfleur, where the big ships make their way in and out of a narrow but very deep channel.  As I observed  the bridge and cranes of le Havre obscured in mist, an enormous yellow ship pierced the scene.  It was so close I know I could swim to it, but it would suck me under in its wake.

I am reading Orhan Pahmuk’s writings.  He is from Istanbul and in my opinion, the best living writer in the world.  He started out as an artist, but decided to become a writer instead.  The way he writes inspires me, and I understand him perfectly:  I think he and I must see things the same way. 

Right now, I am editing past years of artnotes to publish as an ebook for Kindle, and with Barnes and Noble.  I am surprised how I looked at things ten years ago:  with brighter, fresher eyes, but likewise with a certaintly I am not sure I still possess.  Like my eyes that need ever stronger lenses, my perception of the world isn’t always so distinct.

I lie in my bed scratching these notes in pencil on paper.  Our apartment is too small:  I hear Blair talking to his sister, his mother, on the telephone.  I can’t write or paint with this conversation transpiring, words bombarding me.  It occurs to me it is why my French language skills are only moderately developed:  I can paint or write oblivious to the world around me.

Laurie (painting and text) and Blair PESSEMIER
View at Honfleur     Laurie Fox PESSEMIER   Acrylc on canvas  20 x 8 inches   $200.00

www.paintfox.com

SUMMER BALL, a month with the Torrington Twisters   is now available  as an electronic book at Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=sum...
 
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Sep 27th, 2010 at 8:10pm

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Color is Everything!
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Rather than writing this artnotes, I should be reviewing old artnotes for their publication as an ebook.  I have been hot on the trail of electronic publishing these days:  for our baseball book,  many children’s books (a compilation of 6 Christmas stories),  a sort of art catalog, as well as artnotes’ books.  To read or watch the process on youtube seems like a monkey could do it, but this chimpette is stymied by the art and pictures.  I seem to have gotten one epub book going with “Summerball” our baseball production: now to market it.  Facebook invitations loom.

Blair has been in the USA all week, and Harika has taken to the bed.  She waits for him at home each day:  I have to drag her away from our building for her immediate needs.   She is not “off her food” however, and I have continued to make her various meat/spinach/rice dishes that she might keep up her strength until Blair returns with “call of the wild” venison kibble.  This dog is not spoiled.  In fact, when people insinuate such at the park,  I make a mental note.

I’ve been getting out a bit with Blair not here.  My very close girlfriend, who moved back to Tunisia, came to visit and we drank tea and ate toast on Tuesday.  I tried to convince her champagne was in order, but 10 AM was just too early.   We talk about my donation to SOS Animals in Tunisia -- it is not possible to send money there, so she takes my cash directly to the organization in La Nabeul.  "Animals are everywhere in that office," she quips.

Today I went to an American women’s coffee klatch.  It was kind of wonderful – rather exceptional American women  (or married to exceptional men, and  we know who is behind every great man), all together for visiting and pastry.  How can you go wrong?

It was a charming visit from the start.   My friend forgot the digicode to get into the building, and there was another woman there in the same boat.  We three all tried different telephone numbers:  “we’re downstairs what’s the code?  You mean this isn’t D?”  I laughed at our silliness.  Finally another attendee appeared, in control , and we all dashed up to the apartment.

People were surprised I’d been in Paris so long but never attended a coffee with them.  “I was just too fascinated with the French, “ I said, “but this time I am myself.”  When I read back to review my artnotes from 1999, I see just how fascinated I was.  I hung on every nuance, every little difference.  Many of those nuances and differences don’t carry over to the younger generations.  I don’t think anyone is changing the service and glasses between each dinner course anymore.  And NOBODY is offering cigarettes after the meal.   

It was most apparent when my friend H asked if I’d been to the Carrefour (supermarket) yet.  “No,” I confessed, “I am trying to support our little merchants.”  There is nary a butcher  left in my neighborhood  when there used to be two.  Meanwhile, we’ve seen the addition of two “supermarkets” .   I visit Christian of the “Neveux Triperie”  on Tuesdays and Fridays and he cuts meat he knows Blair, Harika and I will like.  In Paris, we all have larger refrigerators than we used to, to accommodate the less frequent shopping.

I visited with a former French teacher, several women whose husbands were posted here, a Khazakstani trying to find a home for a cat, a Hungarian, a hotel student, and several others.  My favorite was a conversation with a former Texan with a penchant for saving the suffering girls in Afghanistan – it had a certain mother-in-Mary-Poppins- movie feeling, with issues outside being more important than issues within the house.   Sometimes the sheer human-ness of life makes me feel glad.

As I explained to the head of the group, “…just today I made a “faux pas” with an invitation to tea – I couldn’t go, but in France there is a certain protocol to follow -- but hey, sooner or later the jig would be up anyway.”   I reached for another cookie.
 
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