Monday, September 30, 2019

Artnotes: A Kiss in the Dark

Ship in the Night   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 12"  30 x 30cm   195.00

Under the Bridge  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  16 x 20"  40 x 50cm   230.00

At the Borghese   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  13 x 18"  33 x 41cm   275.00

Filagree  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas panel   14 x 10"  35 x 25cm  225.00
In Stimigliano, where we are this weekend, there is a little pathway called the Vicolo del Bacio:  the Way of the Kiss.  It’s a little secret shortcut street that might provide cover for a romantic tryst.  Currently, Mauro, an artist from Rome, has an art installation there – red and pink paper hearts lead the way to his little stand, and at night candles direct you.   He has paper and pencils and invites visitors to make a little poem for the street – the best poem will win a painting of his.  He really spruced up the alleyway, normally a hangout for the street cats. 

Of course, Blair and I always kiss when we go that way. Blair submitted a poem and I am thinking about it…  I am not such a poet, and contests don’t thrill me.  Blair loves contests, ever since he won the coloring contest on the back of the Post cereal box in the late 1950s.  He joins whatever competitions he can.  He got a t-shirt from la Poste’s poetry contest in Paris in 1994.   I hate losing.

It’s been a kissing week.  I have seen photos of (the recently passed) Jacques Chirac kissing many ladies’ hands.  I remember the first time a man every kissed my hand.  I was in the Frick museum, I was 18 or 19 years old, and a man who worked at the museum took my hand ever so gently and kissed it.  It was still the days when I could blush, and I did so, ferociously.   It made me smile then, and I smile as I write this.
Since then, I have had the pleasure of having my hand kissed, many times, in Paris, often by French men, but equally perhaps by men of Eastern European heritage.  Maybe by an Italian or two. It’s the greatest thing.  Most American guys just can’t do it.

We’ve been visiting with friends in Rome.  We took them on a painting foray in the Borghese Gardens yesterday.   I have absolutely loved painting there, and this Saturday was no exception.  We painted the “aviary” near the Villa Borghese, with its filigree bird cages on top. It was a challenge.  We drank prosecco to dampen the stress.

Then we walked (a little too far) over to the little pond and had lunch.  Now that I live in the country, seeing people from all nations, some beautiful dressed, is the most exciting thing I can think of.   I saw a woman, a bit heavy set, in the most beautiful blue patterned dress with a lacy shawl; another skinny girl in a white t-shirt that hung on her shoulders just like it was on a clothes hanger – somehow it looked great with the shiny little black skirt she wore.  I listened to a man from Iowa talking to a man from Chicago; a Chinese family took photos of one another.  The Bangladeshi selfie-stick sellers were everywhere.  I’ve developed a new tolerance for all this humanity, and in fact, I embrace it.

Today, we’re taking our guests for a drive in the Sabina countryside.  We’ll go to Farfa, one of my favorite spots and eat lunch.  And touch humanity.
Paris Cafe Birds   Blair Pessemier  Pen/paper  10 x 7"  100 each 175.00 pair

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