Artnotes Italy Daily

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

White bucks

 9.5 x 7 inches
 7 x 13 inches
 7 x10 inches
Red Laces  7 x 9.5 inches
No Strings 7 z 13 inches

All painted by Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic on wood

ARTNOTES:  Free Time

We had some time to ourselves this week – luckily.   I am not naturally an outgoing person (I know you can’t believe it, but I have to push myself to be with other people), and giving workshop/lessons/tours is a constant worry to me.  My stomach has been in a knot, and the last couple of days allowed it to unwind.

I don’t have a passion for teaching or even entertaining.  But I need a venue to work my art and something to do with the things I cook.  I wake up thinking of what to cook that day, and it is beyond effortless:  I cook to feel happy.

So what do we do on our days off?  Paint, of course.  Where and when we would like; carrying a minimum of supplies; sometimes we even paint at home.  I painted “shoes” on Monday (my lesson cancelled) and we went to the old carousel at the Luxembourg Gardens on Tuesday.  

It is a famous carousel – I have been unable to ascertain the date it was installed, but there are photos from 1902 showing some of same elements as today.   I read of a woman born in 1883 enjoying the carousel as a child.   It is the very carousel Rainer Maria Rilke wrote about:  the white elephant has taken on a greyer cast over the years.  

I have been reading the letters of Rainer Maria Rilke, who spent a good portion of his life in Paris, living just a few blocks from our house.  He wrote a book about Rodin, adored Cezanne and other contemporary artists.  I feel when I read the letters I am almost living in a parallel time.  He describes our physical Paris in another emotional era.  In the early 1900s people went slower, thought things through, wrote letters which took a week or more to get there, and had personal interactions over deep subjects.

I went to the library which is going to be closed for three months – they encouraged us patrons to take out 20 books each.  I only got 10 on account of the hour.  I checked out hurriedly with the deaf librarian.  The sign says to speak distinctly and look at her because she reads lips: but NOT American lips.  We both giggle.

We painted three paintings each with our workshop painter on Thursday:  all in the Luxembourg Gardens.  We tackled (the formerly) impossible Medici Fountain.  It’s the darkest place in the park.  A young boy commented to his dad that the water must be very, very deep.  In fact, it’s just a foot or so, but the shade makes it seem like it goes to the center of the earth.

Christine, one of our dog walking friends, is our biggest fan and she gushed over our work:  YOU painted that, Laurie?  NO!  And she encourages our colleague as well.  We’re going to have a painting day for the dog walkers in September.

On Saturday we rented a car and drove to the sea at Trouville.  I was surprised to see girls, half of them black, the other half white, speaking French and playing soccer (formerly the territory of boys only).   It was sunny and Harika and I waded in broad, warm pools left by the receding waters.   She dug holes in the sand and ran around with another dog.  At a sidewalk café, we ate sandwiches without crusts  before driving back to Paris in the setting sun.

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