Sunday, May 05, 2013

Artnotes: Who has all the Fun?

Laurie Fox Pessemier   Grand Allee, Luxembourg Gardens  Acrylic/linen   11 x 16"    

Blair Pessemier   Grand Allee in the Luxembourg Gardnes  Acrylic/linen  15 x 18"

We are looking to get out of town tomorrow – our days off are so few and far between at this time, the chance to BREATHE clean country air is compelling.  So, I research the trajectory to Reuil-Malmaison and Josephine’s house where we can satisfy Harika’s country needs and our cultural penchant.   By mistake, I go to the Google map feature instead of the Paris heavy-rail network, and find I could walk there from my house in three hours and four minutes, along the route de l’Empereur. Did Napoleon really march from our house to Josephine’s place that way?

We had a big walk on Wednesday, the first of May, at the Bois de Boulogne with Harika.   I love to go there on the 63 bus, passing the Assemble Nationale, Concorde,  Invalides, Pont Alexandre III, near the Eiffel  Tower, Trocadero, the statue of George Washington on his horse, and out to the edge of town.

In the Woods  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/panel  12 x 12 inches  

We descend at the end of the line and cross busy streets over the ring road (peripherique) to the woods.  The fields are populated with immigrants, mostly Philippinos making barbecue.  Little girls in frilly dresses, men playing volleyball, women with babies kibitzing around the picnic tables… in Paris, it is the immigrants who have all the fun.  I believe it is much that way everywhere – my grandmother and aunts and uncles would picnic throughout the summer, something we wouldn’t be caught dead doing now.

Eiffel Tower in the Distance  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/linen  11 x 14" 

Harika  goes off leash and we gambol down to the lake.   Ducks, baby ducks, coots and their tiny charges float in the water.  We sit by the shore and see a hundred shades of green.   I have a lump in my throat it is so lovely and I am here.   We continue our walk around as I notice small droplets on the lake.   They, too,  look beautiful to me, but as they get closer together (actually it looks even better), Harika starts to high tail it for cover.  We have to put her on the leash because she’s so much faster than us.

Along the Seine  Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/panel  12 x 12 inches  

We painted along the Seine on Tuesday, after a day in the Luxembourg Gardens on Monday.  I am in serious admiration of our participants’ paintings.  I try to remember how I painted, so fresh, so spontaneously, before I painted all the time.   I want to go back and paint like I once did, before I tried to paint the way a teacher told me.   I am careful as a “teacher” not to teach, but to help extract what is natural to the person I am painting with.

Girl in red coat   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  15 x 18 inches  

 Tree, Tuileries   Blair Pessemier   Acyrlic on linen  14 x 11

 Purple Tree   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic on linen  12 x 16 inches

Pont des Arts 30 April   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic on linen  12 x 16"

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