Among the trees LFP Acrylic on wood 20 x 6 inches
Babysitting in the park LFP Acrylic on wood 6 x 14inches
Waiting for Spring LFP Acrylic on wood 6 x 20 inches
Chess in March LFP Acrylic on wood 12 x 6 inches
Tending the dogs LFP Acrylic on wood 6 x 20 inches
Visiting beneath the trees Laurie Fox PESSEMIER Acrylic on canvas 18 x 13 inches
March in the Park M. Blair PESSEMIER Oil on canvas 13 x18 inches
Chairs in the Alley Laurie Fox PESSEMIER Acrylic on wood 6 x 20 inches
Artnotes: "Foreign" Correspondent
Artnotes: "Foreign" Correspondent
As I prepare to go back to the US in a couple of weeks, I think about how much things have changed in the past six months. This has been perhaps my longest sojourn ever; I’ve not been back to see my family since early September 2010. The longer time I spend abroad the more developed my international point of view becomes. It is as though I am a piece of cloth in a dye vat: the longer you leave me here, the stronger my color becomes.
Last night we had a Tunisian man to dinner at our house – someone we had met in 2008 in Tunis. His family had been very kind to us, had us to dine with them, and shared aspects of their life. He moved to Paris two years ago and I was thrilled to be able to receive him in our home. He wishes to marry a woman like his mother, because “women in Paris are so complicated”.
In Paris, I can meet and see people from every corner of the world. Because I am outside my own society, and those non-officially-French people are also on the outside, we form a loose cloud around, but separate from, the nucleus of what goes on here. I am relieved not to be part of any society. I find “inclusion” restricting, so that after a while I can’t see clearly, but only through a societal veil.
On the bus, a mother and grown daughter of a Portuguese heritage enter and walk down the aisle. The mother takes a seat across from me, and the daughter hugs her, puts her head against mother. I can see the two of them really enjoy this sensation of closeness, not in the way of my observing it, but as a constant comfort over many years. I can imagine them knowing the other’s smell, not consciously, but there. It is how my mother was with her own mother. It is so different from what I know, and what I see of current relationships in America, or even in most of France.
I have been contacting universities with “semesters abroad”, hoping to entice further subscribers to my art workshops. A particularly eloquent professor expresses how once one has lived abroad, one never sees things quite the same again. It’s a jarring experience, to be free of all conventions, but the freedom gives one the chance to really learn.
We dine with a German friend, and we talk about everything from John Galliano to hearing aids (I thought it a good idea to make and sell hearing aids like glasses in the pharmacy 1x, 2x and 3x. Upon further research, hearing aids can only be sold by “specialists” in the US, protected by government regs). Over her table we roar with laughter and disagree about how to enjoy food.
It is not as if I want to be Tunisian or Portuguese, German or even French, but I love to see another way of being. I don’t want to be any nationality, so I can pick the values and ideals that seem right for the circumstances. Wasn't that what America was all about?
Garden M. Blair PESSEMIER Oil on canvas 24 x 20 inches