Sunday, September 29, 2013

Artnotes: On Friday

Reflections (waterlilies) at Giverny   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/line  9.5 x 13 inches

On Friday, we took a day for ourselves and drove, with an American friend, to Rouen.   Our goal was an art show at the Museum of Fine Arts there:  Eblouissants Reflets – Dazzling Reflections.   It was a very large show (100 pieces!) of Impressionist artwork depicting reflections on water.   It was a BLOCKBUSTER!

I love that in France, the humblest, most improbable place would have a show of such magnitude.   Rouen isn’t exactly Paris, but rather a working town situated around an active port, dealing mainly in cereals and fuel.   Rouen is where the locks are for the big boats on the Seine.  I’ve always liked its certain grittiness.  Rouen is home to a very good metalwork museum and a ceramics museum, in addition to the fine arts institution.

Red Berries   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/linen   13 x 16 inches

This isn’t the first time we’ve happened upon a super show off the beaten track.   We’ve seen stellar presentations in Roubaix and Lille, as well.

The work bore such famous signatures as Monet and Renoir, Cezanne and Sisley.   There were many works I had never seen before, and I was shocked by how wonderful they were.   There were many depictions of Amsterdam by Monet that were completely new to me – a pale green house on a canal; windmills at the Zaan.   There were even more pictures of Argenteuil,  a suburb of Paris, we pass every time we go to Auver-sur-Oise.    I was able to see how Monet treated water when it wasn’t sunny out, a condition we seem to experience more and more.

 Peniche on the Oise    Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas panel  12 x 12 inches

Paintings from the “boat studio” took up a single room.  It made me think how neat it would be to have a boat studio, set up for a couple of painters, with an anchor and life vests.   The expression “may day” unfortunately comes to mind – a French expression, in fact, from the words “venez m’aider”  m’aider, or may day -- meaning  ‘help me’.  

                Boat beneath the bridge  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  9.5 x 14 inches

There were two Berthe Morisot’s, of water and boats – she handled the boats more like I would, I hesitate to say “like a girl”.  There were two charming Fourian pictures by the river, which included dogs.  An artist I was unfamiliar with, Delattre, painted sailboats and their reflections that Blair liked, and a foggy day that I liked.   We saw Venice and Giverny, the Seine and the Thames.   There were even marvelous depictions of flood waters.

 The Bridge   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  12 x 20 inches

So as not to spoil the effect, we went to lunch at the Maison Blanche in La Bouille, overlooking the Seine.  Blair and our friend had oysters.  Harika and I stuck mostly to the turf.   We jumped back into the car and drove the 45 minutes to Trouville, where we basked in the sunshine by the sea until late afternoon.   We waded in the surf -- Harika even got wet.

 Painting at Giverny beneath the Umbrella   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  11 xx 16 inches
 Flower Giverny  Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/carton  11 x 16 inches
 Poplars along the Oise  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  11 x 14 inches
 At the Chateau   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  12 x 12 inches
 Turret Chateau   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas panel  9.5 x 14
 Chateau and Grounds Auvers   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/carton  9.5 x 11.5
 Trees along the Oise  Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  16 x 13

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