Monday, August 21, 2017

Grace, do not read this.

After dropping off our bags off at Jerome’s apartment in the Latin Quarter, we checked Phil into his hotel room around the corner (where a ‘Love Box,” containing various and sundry interesting facilitators for an enjoyable evening for two, was displayed on the front desk and could be purchased for an additional 39 euros). We were told that Phil would have rose petals on his bed. We shall find out tomorrow if that's true. The photos below of Phil in the red room are taken in the dining room of his hotel; he seems to be waiting for someone to share the box with.

We then drove to Clignancourt Flea Market and spent a couple of hours shopping; we saw probably 1/10 of the entire flea market. Ann, Judith and I left with our hands full of new possessions. If I had a sweet little Paris apartment, I could have furnished the whole thing in one shopping trip at Clignancourt. If I didn’t have to worry about the weight of my suitcase on my flight back home on Thursday, I could have filled it several times over. If I had all the money in the world, I could have purchased beautiful paintings for every wall in my Paris apartment. I could have loaded my French country cupboard with silver and china and I could have had dazzling lamps and crystal chandeliers glowing in every corner of my cozy little Parisian apartment. If I had an apartment in Paris I could have had a closet full of vintage Chanel and a table set with colorful porcelain. I could have had a jewelry box full of...oh well. But I was able to find some vintage posters of art openings, which I hope daughters and grandchildren and sisters and brother will appreciate.

We ended the day at this restaurant across the street from our apartment. Durning dinner, Phil said, "Look at this...we are eating Vietnamese food in the Latin Quarter in Paris."

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Routier, vernissage, soirée finale ensemble

Yesterday we rolled up the carpets, slid tables and tabourets to the back of the room, vacuumed the floor, pinned our best work onto large foamcore boards and placed the boards on easels around the perimeter of the studio. 

We took a break for lunch at a nearby truck stop, a routier, unlike any truck stop in the U.S., then returned ‘home’ to clean ourselves up for the vernissage.

A vernissage (from French, originally meaning ‘varnishing’) is a term used for a preview of an art exhibition before the formal opening. In the 19th century, artists at the Royal Academy exhibitions would give a finishing touch to their works by varnishing them at the exhibition before the official opening. It became a custom for patrons and the elites to visit the exhibition during the varnishing.

Our final night together: we had a late dinner after the vernissage with some invited guests; we sang (or some of us sang) show tunes with piano accompaniment.

We all got up at 7:30 this morning to see Barry off to the airport; he's returning to his home in West Virginia with his promises to visit the 4 of us who live in Atlanta. We expect to see him. We missed his laugh at the breakfast table.

Deanna departs for Atlanta tomorrow morning. Phil, Judith, Kippy and I will spend 3 days in Paris. Ann will join us the first day but her husband Dimitri will fly into Paris to join her on a bike trip around France.

Right now we are trying to plan what to do in Paris--sketch or paint on the streets, join a figure drawing sketch group at La l'acadamie de la Grande Chaumiere, visit vintage'll know when we know.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Thought you'd like to meet the artists.

It rained today so we cancelled plans to go to the market or to the medieval city of Troyes; instead we finished up some pieces in the studio, getting ready for the vernissage tomorrow night. The relaxed afternoon gave use time to see what everyone else was doing, Barry even found a new model to work with,

Thought you'd like to meet the artists: Judith Krone, Ann Pease Dodys, Deanna Fleenor, Barry Whitebook and Phil Yeh. Tomorrow is our last day of class. At 4:00 we will clean the studio, drape a tablecloth onto one of the tables we've been using for pastels, pick flowers from the garden for a centerpiece, set up a bar of champagne and munchies, then rush to our rooms to scrub the pastel off of our faces and change out clothes. Guests arrive around 6:00.

I can't believe it's almost over. We've spent 2 weeks together, eating, drinking, working, exploring. We've gotten to know each other pretty well. It will be sad when people start departing for the airport. Four of us are in Atlanta and we are making plans to try to meet monthly for a French dinner at each others' homes. I hope it happens.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Little Bunny Foo Foo

Dinner tonight was duck with wine sauce and braised peaches. And of course the plate of very ripe, almost oozing onto the plate Brie and Comte cheese. Dessert: cheese cake with strawberry sauce. Oy veh.

Usually there are 2 conversations going on at the dinner table: one on Kippy’s end, the other at Jerome’s. Tonight I heard Barry, Judith and Deanna at Kippy’s end singing “Little Bunny Foo Foo went hopping through the forest…” On my right, Ann was seated between Phil and Jerome. “Hmm…” she mused as she heard the conversation down at the other end of the table, “Little Bunny Foo Foo or two PhD’s (gesticulating toward Jerome and Phil)…” weighing which conversation she would like to be a part of…”Little Bunny Foo Foo or two PhD’s…” again, as if it might be a difficult choice between the two, “I think I’ll stay here,” she decided. Sitting at the center of the table, I got distracted by the animated rendition of Little Bunny Foo Foo” on my left. I don’t remember ever having heard the poem and everyone on my left seemed intimately familiar with it. I had to hear the entire piece. A few minutes later I was distracted by the intellectual conversation on my right between the two PhD’s and Ann… “How can you have your cake and eat it too? That doesn’t make any sense at all,” I heard. There was heated discussion among them; each of them trying to figure out what it meant.

Sorry, no pictures today; I was so busy painting I forgot to take any.

For those of you who, like I, have never heard “Little Bunny Foo Foo,” here it is, animated: 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How many artists does it take to load a van...

We loaded up the van this morning to paint en plain air. Barry was assigned the task of loading the van because of his attention to detail. He painstakingly took on the job, only to have it all undone by Kippy who had a bit more experience loading vans for multitudes of artists. Several of us stood back and watched as the van was emptied and reorganized, and reorganized and reorganized. I took pictures.

We painted on the river bank at Moret sur Loing, the charming village on the Loing River, where Impressionist Alfred Sisly once painted.

After our picnic by the river, we drove to Fontainebleau and spent several hours wandering through its opulent rooms. Records dating back to 1137 talk of a fortified castle there. Catherine de' Medici designed a garden there between the late 1500's and early 1600s. Louis XIII was born there. Louis XIV hunted there. Russian Czar Peter the Great was a guest there in 1717. Marie Antoinette's Turkish style boudoir was a gift from her husband, Louis XVI. Napoleon spent the last days of his reign at Fontainebleau. The place is spectacular.