Saturday, May 21, 2011

Painting by the Seine   Laurie Fox PESSEMIER  Acrylic on canvas 12 x 16 inches
ARTNOTES:  Paris Painting Workshop
I have always theorized that children teach their parents, not the other way around.  And I think the same is for my painting students.  Today we had our first of this season’s painting sessions, and our two painters taught us a thing or two.  As Blair and I noodled out another depiction of the Pont des Arts, the woman I painted with created an abstract composition of quintessential Paris.  We started out a little nervously, but in no time at all, our paintings were complete.
Blair and his fellow occupied the other side of the river.  His associate painted in oil, the scene in front of him but oh, so far away.  It was like standing on the quai next to Milton Avery.  I was so impressed by them.  Remarkable.
Our week plus has been action packed, and these notes a little truncated.   While two students arrived a day early and left on Thursday, another arrived three days late, so the “week” of teaching is now ten days.  I’m pooped.
At Giverny, we visited the gardens and the house Monet lived in.  The highlight for me was the visit to the museum, where we saw Bonnard’s paintings of Normandy.  M and I studied the brush strokes and the colors:  Bonnard and I share a palette of turquoise, magenta and lemon yellow.  Fortified with inspiration from three corners, we retired to a nearby field to paint.
Another friend, M2, needed a day out of Paris and we gave him an easel and canvas so he could play along.  The four of us turned out radically different pictures.  Painting at Giverny was much more “public” than our earlier roosts.  People treated us as if we were yet another feature of the official visit, and we talked with folks from all over the world.
Blair has joined me in the “ham” department – we have come to accept and enjoy the banter and shutter-snapping.  I like to think it encourages other people to try their hand at expression.
We’ve been to the Luxembourg Gardens and will go to to the Eiffel Tower, Seine near Notre Dame, and the Bois de Boulogne before we call it a workshop.   Who knows what visual surprises tomorrow will have to offer?
Laurie (painting and text) and Blair PESSEMIER


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