Friday, January 07, 2011

 Jack Russell   Laurie Fox PESSEMIER   Acrylic on canvas  7.5 x 13 inches  SOLD
Trees in the Bois de Boulogne   Laurie Fox PESSEMIER   Acrylic on canvas  8 x 20 inches

ARTNOTES:  For love of Paris

After a visit to the American Library, I stand on Avenue Joseph Bouvard and wait for the 69 bus.  My heart leaps as the lights illume the Eiffel Tower just in front of me.  I am still in love with Paris. 
That thrill continues as we slip down rue St. Dominique (it’s often a tight squeeze here) toward  Invalides and Napoleon’s Tomb.  We pass Place Bourgogne before I press the button to get off at St. Germain and change for a 68 or 94 or 83 which will get me home.  Had I continued, I’d pass through the Louvre and by Chatelet, around the column at Bastille, out to the Pere LaChaise cemetery and Gambetta.
My favorite line is the 63, which runs from Gare de Lyon out to Port de la Muette, where the Bois de Boulogne is.  We take this line, with Harika, to go for an off-leash run.  On  the bus she must remain in her sack.  She kind of likes that, sitting in the seat with me.  Blair is taking pictures out the window.
My newest project has been to create a guide to monuments and attractions on the city bus lines of Paris.  The 63 passes some beauties, including Trocadero and the Tour Eiffel, the Musee Guimet, and the Statue of Liberty Flame.  On the other end, the Garden of Plants and Flowers,  the Arab Institute with its camera lens windows and  St. Sulpice await.  
But today we’re headed to Porte de la Muette, the very end, in front of the Musee Marmottan, full of wonderful Monet paintings.  A statue of Fontaine, the fable-writer, graces the park, but not really visible from the bus.  Day in and day out, the fox compliments the crow with the camembert in his beak. 
We cross the road and  Harika chases phantom rabbits as we walk across the plain to the woods.  Patches of ice dot the lake we walk around; terns and gulls, coots and moor hens flit from the ice to the water.   Just past the island, Harika spots a cottontail, dead, beside a crow, on the ice.  Our dog  jumps from the path, slipping and sliding as she hits the ice.  I stop myself before going after her:  this ice will never support me.  Blair and I hold our breath, willing her not to fall in the frigid water; I shout, “get back here, right NOW!”  She comes to her senses and arrives at our feet, dry.
We finish our walk before we head back to Avenue Henri Martin (historian and mayor) and rue Octave Feuillet (writer) to catch the 63 home.  We hop out by the Deux Magots and take the 95 to our house. 
My next trajet will be the route 95, which runs from Montparnasse to Montmartre, crossing the Seine and passing the Moulin Rouge.  I assemble pictures and stories and will bring them to the Paris Office of Tourism.
The Impressionists were in love with Paris, too, and Van Gogh, Monet, Whistler and Grant Wood painted images of the city.  In May, June, September and October, I will be leading a group of painters through Paris in a painting workshop:  visiting historic views, painting them (or not) and enjoying Paris “a la impressionism” .  Please join me, and suggest my tour to your friends.  Even if you are not a painter, we’ll look at paintings and drink wine in cafes, which is a lot of fun.

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