Harika Block Print Laurie Fox PESSEMIER Ink on paper 6 x 8 inches
Merry Christmas/Happy New Year Paris Laurie Fox PESSEMIER Ink on paper 8 x 10 inches
Snow on Boulevard Raspail M. Blair PESSEMIER Oil on canvas 14.5 x 13 inches
ARTNOTES: Reflection and Resolution
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.