I spotted Piu Piu in the window of the Marais' Pylônes on 13 rue St Croix de la Bretonnerie and it was instant love. I fell for the one on the upper left because of his complementary coloring and he was damn cute. A cook book author, was wearing this baublely illustrated necklace at a James Beard House event 10 years ago - I was a house photographer there for 7+ years. Each epoxy resin globe has silly illustrations inside: numbers, dog muzzles, faces, star fish, monkey twins etc. Next trip over I went to their tiny closet-size shop in Galerie Vivienne and got the necklace, earings, bracelet. I passed on the ring...
When you bring home a new pet you should know something about him...
I didn't know this little guy was a working bird.
I didn't know he was a magnet for paperclips and straight pins until I wrote this post. I didn't know he would chirp non-stop once out of his box. See the white paper tab sticking out of the bird's bottom in the 2nd picture?
Pull the white tab -> the chirping begins.
I didn't know he was created by artist, Ionel Panaït a Romanian designer living in France.
Piu Piu is a chirping color wheel for me.
He's made up of 2 sets of complimentary colors.
RED + GREEN or/ RED + TURQUOISE a similar combo
YELLOW + PURPLE
The 3rd set BLUE + ORANGE is missing on this little guy but I can live with that. Here's a watercolor tip for those inclined - When you mix 2 complimentary colors together you'll get some very handsome GREYS..much better than using Paynes grey or Davy's grey straight out of the tube.
Piu Piu, watercolor, 12 x 10"
Painting Piu Piu is an ongoing project for me. Here he is next to my La Vaissellerie tea pot...
French customs stopped me leaving Charles de Gaulle airport for New York. I thought it was Piu Piu, chirping away in my purse like mad, but I'd forgotten to get rid of an AirFrance fork I'd snagged on the trip over. They didn't make much of a fuss and just giggled about Piu Piu. So he can be useful at customs too...a working bird.
The "Little Sparrow" or Petit Moineau has a new movie about her, LA VIE EN ROSE which means the sweet life). It's named after one of Piaf's most loved songs. The words in French are ( here. And in English as sung by Louis Armstrong are here.