Sunday, March 09, 2014

Artnotes: Observer

THE GALLERY AT 102 rue de Cherche Midi  75006

Colorful Clothes   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  16 x 11.5 inches
Selling Daffodils   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/linen  12 x 24 inches
Waiting for the Bus   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/linen  11.5 x 16 inches
Lady next door   Blair Pessemier  Pencil/paper  8.5 x 11
Neighborhood   Blair Pessemier  Pencil/paper  8.5 x 11 

Artnotes:  Observer

Spring has tumbled down like a ton of bricks here in Paris.  Suddenly, people are back on the street:  flower sellers, babies in carriages, lovers hand-in-hand.  We are eating outside whenever possible.  It is predicted to be 20C/68F degrees today.

There is a steady stream of “flaneurs” passing by our gallery at 102, rue de Cherche-Midi.  Many come in to buy:  the picture from the poster, Blair’s boat builders, his boats, my oranges…ten paintings have been sold in the first three days.   It is so encouraging to know people like our work.   “You are selling it too cheap,” a friend scolds.  But I am happy to be selling my paintings in these economic times.

Blair has been in the gallery most of the time.  I shuttle back and forth, the kilometer between the two, bringing new pictures, carrying lunch, walking Harika (she’s not so good at the gallery, her welcoming bark is a bit off-putting).

I love this new neighborhood, full of restaurants and small stores.  Young and old people frequent all the establishments, from the hardware store to the “salon de the” next door.   

On my walks, I see the gypsies are back in Paris.  I know most people don’t like gypsies but I love them for their look, and for their difference.  Amidst the dull back plumage of the Paris girl (constantly preening), the gypsy sports pattern and color.  Big skirts, shiny black hair in a bun, scarves, high cheekbones – thrown together in a most interesting array.  Their patterns have a way of blending into the urban scene, providing fodder for my paintbrush.

One can’t make any eye contact, or the mystique is finished:  the demand for money ensues.  I have to be careful as I paint the girl on the corner.  I am backed into a table at one of the cafes, pretending to paint the building across the street.  Ten minutes into the picture, the lovely girl’s crabby husband uproots her -- he looks like a mean dog.   I finish up, using my memory.  I wanted to give her a little something, but not her husband.

I give all my favorite fixtures on the street a small coin, welcoming them back.  They protect the neighborhood from more serious menaces.    It is one of the advantages of a busy street: there are many observers.

No comments: