Artnotes Italy Daily

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Artnotes: the Everyday

Grand Palais, Petit Palais   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  10.5 x 16"  27 x 41 cm
 Sunny day beach March 2015   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/linen  13 x 16  33 x 41 cm

Kids at the Beach  Laurie Fox Pessemier on wood/panel/acrylic   larges 13 x 15; smallest 10.5 x 9"

 View from the Chateau  Ecouen    Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/wood    6.5 x 20 inches    17 x 50cm
Chateau Ecouen   Blair Pessemier    Acrylic/linen  13 x 16   33 x 41cm

Artnotes:  the Everyday

We’re back to the everyday life in Paris.  Everyone thinks, “oh gosh, living in Paris, incredible”  but it gets boring just like any other place.   So yesterday we decided to go for a little escapade outside the city walls.  

“ A walk through the forest leads to the fairy-tale setting of the chateau of Ecouen, with its collection of Renaissance treasures,” the book read.   Off we went.  We took the subway to Gare de Nord to board the line H train.   The approach to Ecouen, twenty three minutes from its half hourly departure from Paris was less than bucolic.  But it is March after all.

We alighted at Ecoen-Ezanville.   We immediately recognized the map as “iffy”.  Fortunately, there were signs for the chateau. There’s a thrill to walking through the woods, dappled light, fresh air – exercise fanatics, some fellow doing pushups on a picnic table, kids balancing on branches.  I never felt I could fall into the hands of the fairy tale witch, like Hansel and Gretel.  Incredibly fit men dashed by: one guy made the 200 meter uphill dash in  19 seconds.   I wheeze.

This wasn’t our only foray this week – we also went to the beach --  in the car.  I needed to expand my lungs and clear my arteries.  

As time passed, I realize I left the house just after noon, and didn’t get to the door of the museum until almost two.  I had company coming for dinner.  Oh, well, we could always go out for pizza.   Harika would just have to cross her legs – I considered bringing her, but one never knows what it could be like.   As it turned out, once we got to the Chateau grounds (you passed through a little gate), no dogs allowed.

The Chateau was a little funky, but with certain fabulous collections.  They had the best Iznik ceramics (Turkish dishes) I have ever seen:  I love that sort of thing.  They had incredible tile floors from the Renaissance, and I particularly enjoyed a room full of  scenes painted on Italian wedding chests.   There were wall paintings from early days of the chateau.  This chateau, built in 1555 for the very wealthy Duke of Montmorency, made it unscathed through the Revolution.  Napoleon converted it into a girl’s school.  There were more guards than visitors.  At 3 o’clock there would be Renaissance music.  

 I opted to go outside to paint just before that.  I painted a quick panel – and made the trek back down the hill to liberate Harika hopefully before 5 and put the roast in the oven.

Our guest, Richard, of “eye prefer paris” fame, came early so we were able to get in three games of cards and enjoy dinner.  I folded early, not winning at all.  I explained how tired I was from the walk.  “Oh, I meant to tell you when you mentioned that book “an hour from Paris” – the times are notoriously underestimated.”

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