Bridge morning Laurie Fox PESSEMIER Acrylic on wood 7 x 19.5 inches
Louvre Blair PESSEMIER Acrylic on linen 15 x 18 inches SOLD
Louvre and Seine Laurie Fox PESSEMIER Acrylic on wood 7 x 13 inches SOLD
Artnotes: a wink and a strut
Artnotes: a wink and a strut
Even though Paris is thought of as a dog-friendly place, it is very difficult to find a park which accepts dogs. The little corner parks have a sign sporting a dog on leash, with a big red “x” on it. In our neighborhood, only one corner of the Luxembourg Gardens is designated dog-friendly, and then all canines must be on leash.
Don’t get me wrong , Harika isn’t suffering. Yesterday she went to three cafes. For breakfast, at the Tourne-Bouchon, where Omar greets her in Tunisian. For afternoon “tea” we go to the Fleurus where Pierre plies our little beast with cookies and a bowl of water. And this Friday evening, we went to the Hippocampus to hear a new combo – Harika only goes for a bit of the last set, on her last walk of the evening.
Things have really perked up at the Hippocampus (not to be confused with the Hippopotamus all-you-can-eat restaurant chain – honestly, wouldn’t you feel a little bad about a turning into a hippo? Maybe that’s the strategy…). Our “Hippo” is a jazz club.
It is my idea of a perfect jazz club, that is: imperfect. It is accessible, yet with professional musicians. The food is mediocre, at best. But I can go there, be a regular, and enjoy the crowd as much as the music. A middle-aged French woman with red hair wears a blue flare-skirted dancing dress, with red and white piping; I know she hopes to dance, but the men are glued to their seats. I encourage two Americans to leave a good tip for JB, the waiter. He’s the only waitstaff left, and now he has more than a dozen tables to serve. The lights are a little too bright, and the interior has the sense of a designer who never saw New Orleans (neither have I, so maybe IT IS authentic?). There are pictures of Jazz musicians in 3-D, plantation shutters, a neon saxophone, and the ceiling looks like the night sky with sparkling stars. The music is still playing when we leave at midnight and walk around the block – it’s still warm enough to be wearing a sleeveless dress. I think of New Orleans.
I never think “perfect” things are perfect. A Louis Vuitton handbag may be perfectly turned out, but does it have any character? I never like those showdogs at Westminster – give me a mutt with a wink and a strut any old day.
Impressionist painting made painting “imperfect”. John Singer Sargent’s portraits tell a more interesting story than Gainsborough’s. One wonders what goes on in the mind of an “imperfect” Toulouse Lautrec painted performer. Imperfection leaves room for interpretation and hypothesis.
I paint the Seine, and the hideous Bateaux Mouche (tour boat) floats by: worse yet, at night, its spotlights blinding passers-by. But it is Paris: a perfect city riddled with crazy French ideas. A homeless man gave me two hot pink Eiffel Tower key chains the other day – the idea of a beggar giving me something, much less the icon of the city we live in was, well, imperfectly perfect.