Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Paris Papeterie map and Pets in Paris Portraits

This is an alert to lets those anxiously waiting for their Paris mail to arrive...
The September map has shipped out today enfin!
Who doesn't love Paris papeterie (stationary) shops?
You'd have to be mad not to
Right?
Filled with such colorful goodies too.
Color themes that can break your heart...so beautiful.
Be like Marie-Antoinette and write with a Paris plume
Or plume de ma tante. So you should have the latest Paris map in your letter box shortly. FYI they will stop after April-May 2017 by the way. They do seem to drive me crazy monthly. Map makers are organized people as I found out the hard way. So Carpe Diem.
On the other hand (one wants to say paw..) all the big dogs in Dieppe reminded me that I miss painting their portraits.
Little dogs too barked a few times.
Then a sign came to me enroute to the pool the other morning. OK I know a duck is coming out of the back of his neck but this looks alot
Like my darling Rudi...non?
And you have been sending requests.
Painting your pets in Paris has always been a delight
So why not do them again. You can order directly in my Etsy shop.
S'il vous plait include tails and paws in your reference photos. Most helpful. The more photos the better and tell me the name of your pet. It helps.
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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fantin-Latour - musee du Luxembourg

Tuesday I was thrilled to attend the preview of the new Fantin-Latour exhibit at musee du Luxembourg. A lot closer then trouping off to an F-L retrospective in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2007.
This exhibit, subtitled 'under the skin' shows all aspects and obssessions of Fantin-Latour. He did a great many self-portrait. Who else is around to pose endlessly than yourself. He seems to be intensely glowering but if you're looking up at the mirror and then down at your paper I suppose its bound to happen. He did have lots of hair to contend with.
Portraits were one of his mainstays.
His family took the honors till the public recognized his talents.
He also did monumental imaginary homages to Delacroix and Berlioz (note the background large painting).
But its his still lifes I'm mad for.
Here's an early one.
He painted 500 still lifes!
I would have been tickled pink just to see them but no one asked my opinion...ahem
In fact Whistler encouraged him to come to London and paint still lifes and they took off.
Unfortunately my take off of F-L's lovely apricots (see above) are not so hot.
I felt a bit like this portrait of a painter gazing forlornly at a delicate bouquet. Note the empty canvas.
I've been doing much better with watermelon! Cocomera or pastaque if you're Italian or French. Several are up on Etsy now.
Back to flower still lifes.
Breath taking no?
This glass water jug with roses is one of his finest.
And the piece de resistance was painted as an engagement gift to his fiancee. They did not marry until eight  years later, which speaks volumes about Fantin-Latour. Too busy painting I guess..
You'll find lovely floral patterned scarfs and floral scents in the Luxembourg museum gift shop. This is a painter worth discovering if you dont know his work. The exhibit is on until February 12, 2017.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Festival International de Cerf-Volant de Dieppe 2016

Last weekend I went to Dieppe.
For the bi-annual Festival International de Cerf-Volant. Maybe the biggest kite fete in the world.
You know how you always see those waving flags and banners in French paintings?
That's what you'll see plenty of at the kite festival. The French love their flags and banners.
It was perfect weather for kite flying. Each tent represents 35-45 of the countries taking part.
I arrived Saturday morning just a the weekly marché was getting going.
It winds through all the small streets of Dieppe, just up the Normandy coast from Etretat and Fecamp.
Of course there is Normand Neufchatel cheese in all sizes and so fresh.
Normands like their hounds big, unlike Parisians.
Inside the China tent spectacular kites.
Australian Aborigines were honored guests this year.
Sunday the grand parade starts at 10 sharp. A very lively band went all through Dieppe with all the represented countries following. The festival goes on all week. From the 10th through the 18th.
Canada too were honored this year waving their maple leafs like mad in the parade.
I was the honored guest of Sollie Kanani, who ferry boat company, DFDS runs trips between France and the UK. You can get your picture taken with their Lego boat by the way.
I saw the perfect setup for any plein aire watercolor painter for the beach including your own sea gull.
Plenty of kites are flown on the beach along with the fair grounds.
Some folks are still stitching up their kites.
Dozens of tents offered beautiful kites for sale. So tempting. Lots of kite-making demos too.
The Dieppe ladies who lunch were simply indulgin in glass of wine. No fussing with stings and paper kites. Or they could try one of these pin-wheels. Probably more my speed too.
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