Artnotes Italy Daily

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Artnotes: Now or Never

 Tree in the Tuileries 31 October   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/wood  SOLD
Institute and Pont des Arts  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/wood   13 x 7 inches
 Sketch Alexandre III and Grand Palais   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas panel  14 x 10  SOLD
 Fall Color in the Tuileries   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  12 x 12
Seine toward Ile de la Cite  Laurie Fox Pessemier  11 x 16 inches  Acrylic/linen


Artnotes:  Now or Never


“Do you think she’s going to the Frida Khalo show?” I asked my fellow painter.  A woman in a red embroidered skirt and gold-studded boots walked by, a bit heavy on the makeup.  In the next hour, I saw more and more women looking like this; some had wigs.    Did I spend too much time in the paint?  No, it was Halloween in the Tuilieries Garden.  

The line for the Khalo show must have been two hours long – a shame, I thought for those who just wanted to see Monet’s Waterlilies, normally a half-an-hour wait at the Orangerie.  I had considered a visit to the Waterlilies on this blustery day – I needed to warm up.  But the line was daunting.

My talented first time painter and I set up first along the Seine – near the foot of the Pont des Arts.  She painted her first ever work, and I made two.  We moved to the Tuileries after a hot chocolate (I had a wine), where she painted another, better one, and I painted two more.  Finally, we perched on the banks of the river near the Pont Alexandre III.  We each painted a canvas.  I was dog tired by the time I got home and climbed our six flights of stairs (our elevator is being updated).  Then I had to take the charming Harika dog out.  Two hundred stairs in an hour.  Sheesh.

Blair, meanwhile, was selling artwork at the Contemporary Art Fair at Bastille.  And sell he did:  three the first day, one on Friday, and interest by certain others/galleries.  It’s the best response we’ve had in a long time, which goes to show:  TRAFFIC MATTERS.   We have been getting as many people passing by our stand in an hour as we did on rue Servandoni (where our old gallery was), in a day.  And these are people looking for art.

I stop by at least once a day to encourage Blair and visit with whoever might be at our stand.  The atmosphere is quite remarkable: Parisian artists abound, from tricky sculptors to glittery graphists.  The women across from us are 40-ish French contemporary abstract painter and a 20- year-old Chinese girl painting “villages” in France.   Beside us are two maniacs with hundreds of piercings (you think I am kidding -- ok, 50), red plaid pants with buckles all over, offering weird bad-dream images of women with pointy breasts and no hands. 

The clientele is almost as good, dressed up in ultra-cool gallery garb.  Dramatic makeup and striking jewelry can be seen as people pass by, looking chic, pretending not to really see what’s on the wall.   I got a telephone call at home today from someone who walked by and snatched a card:  “I was there at two yesterday, can I come by your studio next week?”

I can’t believe we never did this before.  I suppose there’s a time and place for everything.  Maybe we wouldn’t have been ready, or as good, or as confident.  It’s now or never.

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