Artnotes Italy Daily

Saturday, October 09, 2010

 Tulips 3   Laurie Fox PESSEMIER   Acrylic on wood   14 x 5.5"
 Tulips 2   Laurie Fox PESSEMIER   Acrylic on wood  7 x 7.5 inches
Tulips 1  Laurie Fox PESSEMIER   Acrylic on wood  14.5 x 7 inches

Artnotes: Out of Place

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.

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