Sunday, July 25, 2021

Hotel de la Marine, Palais-Royal

 Yesterday was the perfect day to visit the newly renovated, Hotel de la Marine. Plus PBer Ga in Dekalb has been gently nudging me. Feel free to nudge me if there’s something in Paris you’d like to see. 

I didn't get there till 4:30. I chose the shorter visit (45 minutes for Salons & Loggia - 11€) so I could enter immediately. *Note you need printed proof of vaccination to enter. 

Here is the Hotel de la Marine viewed from across Place de la Concorde back in the day.

You receive a headset that talks to you as you enter each room. It reminds you to look up or here or there. No numbers or dials to fiddle with. Accompanying Baroque music was perfect.

Who knew Hot pink was hot 250 years ago?

So many exquisite chandeliers. My head was spinning. 

Interactive devices stationed hither and thither tell you stories and history through your headset. There are no lengthy explanatory wall labels with viewers bunched up trying to read every word 🤸🏾‍♀️Yay

Loads of Empire period decor! Memories of Napoleon come back. All those  neoclassical Roman and Egyptian details. 

The winged Sphinxes are my favorites. 

If you’re wondering what to wear to such a grand place. Not to worry. Overalls or anything else will do. C’est comme ça.

On the way home on ligne 7, I got off at Palais Royal park to come back down to earth after so much elegant grandeur. 

Just before the park gates, Cafe Nemours beckons. Love the oh so casual throwback to Audrey Hepburn - w
hite tailored man’s shirt + black fitted jeans + simple strappy leather sandals. What do you think of an Audrey in Paris map next? Tipoff - listen to today’s song!

Someone was surprised that citron tartes also come poofy or dome-shaped. In fact the lemon curd is poured into silicon molds to set. Then added to the sable cookie base. Easy as pie. This tarte was seen at Muscade inside the park. I resisted miraculously.
Look at our favorite Paris park chairs in Palais Royal. They are bonded together, facing each other, with snippets of poetry cut out of the backs, including Emily Dickinson lines: “Que c'est bon - d'être en vie!  Que c'est infini - d'être”.
"How good it is to live, how infinite it is to be".  
Bon Dimanche PBers 🌻🐝🍒🥮🐻

Friday, July 23, 2021

Take me to Paris


After my almost daily trips to la Poste, I walk along rue Saint Antoine in the Marais. Yesterday  I bought a bunch/boite of sunflowers🌻/Soleil.

“Where are they from?” I asked.
“The Midi”. 

“Oh Provence or the Riviera?” remembering my trip to Cannes 2 years ago. “No, the Midi” which basically means the South including Spain. There are some things you don’t argue about in France. I wanted only one sunflower 🌻 Not allowed. Buy a bunch or nada 👎 “Do you have any less open?” “No, these just came in today. And before I could ask,”They will last a week.”

It turns out all Parisian flower shops have AC. We had a high of 84 today, which is nothing compared to the West coast of course. If it gets hotter, there will be more flowers at PB. I wonder if I could sketch onsite all day? Or sleep with the flowers?

On rue Saint Antoine I get to see what people are wearing. Now that I recently discovered my entire life has been spent revolting against print dresses, I’m thinking its time for a change? I could test one out perhaps..

Remember that filmy sheer skirt? A PBer said she bought it and loves it.

I love this country goose sitting out in the street in front of the très elegant truffés and foie gras shop.

The Summer solde/sale T-shirts are always so attractive at this time of year, but you can’t buy them for neither for love nor money. I’ve tried. Do they appeal to you? Probably not.

All the Paris cafes look so enticing in Summer with their red umbrellas/parapluies and the sun splashing through leaves casting delicious shaddows.

I’m seriously in love ❤️ with these red Café Richard cups☕️ They go perfectly with the green rattan chairs. I tried painting🎨 some☕️. I may need to paint a few hundred more. You tell me.

Another long-standing, Paris ongoing love❤️ affair is with Sabre’s red checked tableware. If I’d bought just one piece when this whole thing started, by now I’d have enough for a banquet dinner party. Its on 4, rue Quatre Vents. Are you in love with a Paris spoon or fork or some other ridiculous little thing that makes your heart ❤️ go pitter, patter when you look in a shop window?

Pastries are included merely for color coordination. I, like 20,000,000 or so other post-confinement folks out there, am trying out the 8/16 IF regime 🙏🤞Pastries are off-limits in the 8 hr window when you’re can stuff your face. The odd thing is you lose you’re appetite for the most part. But it def helps not to spend to much time window gazing in patisseries 🥮

Last Sunday I got on a near empty bus for a quickie ride and fell ❤️ for this spaniel, who looks ancient but is in fact only 2 years old (so theoretically he should not be sitting in the ‘oldie’ seats in the bus). Sweet as pie and no one minded. I’d love to dog-nap him but the owner being right there was not the best opp.
Yesterday, Parisians were doing their Renoir thing along the Seine as usual/comme d’habitude. My fav song this week is Take me to Paris. Stay cool dear PBers 🍒🤸🏾‍♀️🇫🇷🌻💋🐻❤️

Monday, July 19, 2021

Signac paints Clafoutis


                                       Photo by Jill Colonna
When you waste time on Instagram dreaming of Capri, you can also get ideas for the next Paris letterJill Colonna showed her easy cherry clafoutis

Jill made me want to paint it. And July is always cherry time 🍒 in France.

I was going to bake a clafouti but I ran out of eggs and had the wrong pan. Instead I mailed your letters💌📮

Luckily Gerard Mulot had individual clafoutis. I got 3 to paint, of course. 

Don’t they make you think of dots and Pointillism? And of Damien Hirst’s cherry blossoms?

It seemed like a good idea to go see the Pointillist Signac exhibition at Musee Jacquemart-Andre. And its been extended to July 26th🎉 🤸🏾‍♀️

Leçon/lesson time: We are going to have to talk about neo-Impressionnismes.

Signac was influenced by Impressionnists Monet (who wasn’t). But even more so by Seurat, who started Pointillism.  Here’s a nice simple video explaining DIY Pointillism. Why should you care? Because more than Impressionism, Pointillismes  took painting much further and influenced painters like Mondrian, Damien Hurst, Chuck Close, Alex Katz. Not to forget Matisse. 

Its all about Optical color. Instead of mixing 2 colors on your palette or on the canvas or paper, you put separate dots of color down next to each other. Your eye and brain will mix them together and INTENSIFY the color in a nutshell.

Granted this is a rather laborious way to paint. A lot of planning and science is involved…knowing the color wheel, color theory and planning ahead! The Neo-Impressionists did not go outside and paint ‘en pleine air’ like the outdoorsy Impressionists in their sunhats. They wasted away in their studios. But they got tremendous color effects and changed painting forever.

Later years Signac discovered the joy and ease of watercolor. He got to travel often every summer to Saint Tropez, plus visit Venice. 

He was sponsored by Monoprix’s owner, Gaston Levy to paint all the French ports. 

What was supposed to be a 3 month project, became 3 years. 

By the way if you want dotty glasses to get in the right frame of mind Galerie Lafayette has them.

I came home from the Signac show and thought I’d try my hand at a bit of cherry watercolor Pointillism. Easier than baking a cake. Please stay safe and cool Western and Canadian PBers🙏 Here’s a rainbow🌈  song I just discovered this weekend. If you’re not into art history 🎨 just play the song and go buy a letter ☺️❤️🍒🤸🏾‍♀️🐻🌸🌈🎨📮✏️🇫🇷💌💋🗺

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Damien Hirst « Cerisiers en Fleurs» Cartier Fondation

 A quick escape Wednesday from letters/💌 to visit the newly opened Damien Hurst exhibit at Cartier Fondation. If you’re in Paris before it closes Jan 2, 2022, you should visit too. 

An altogether uplifting pink experience. And who couldn’t use a little more pink 🌸in their lives right now? Along with bee 🐝 yellow of course.

On view are 30 large paintings on 2 floors. 

Selected from 107 painted during the pandemic sans assistants, painted all on his own in a huge unheated hangar. 

The 360 degree view of Hurst studio video is fascinating.

Its been a very long time since Hurst took to paint and canvas, but the results are rewarding, especially if you’re not so mad for skulls, floating sharks or cows in formaldehyde.

There are friendly bi-lingual staff to answer your all questions and daily guided tours.

One gallery aide was kind enough to hold up my April cherry blossom letter for a photo. Hurst was commissioned to do the show 3 years ago so he got to cherry blossoms first ☺️

Interesting that there are no labels/etiquettes by the paintings, so visitors can immerse themselves in the paintings. Its my observation the French are fond of reading lengthy labels before actually looking at the art. Sometimes it seems like they prefer it. Maybe that’s why many Paris museum curators like to place labels at ankle or toe-level? There is a Monet water lily feel to the paintings.
The Fondation Cartier offers evenings of interesting dance and music groups: Les Soirees Nomades. That’s how I found on youtube The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. I wished I’d seen that.

Leaving the museum,  it’s set in jungly surroundings. You can bring a snack and eat outside in the back. 

Outside I was surprised to see wild, hot pink Hollyhocks/
roses trémières growing by the side of the road. I couldn't not try painting them
🙏Please stay cool western PBers🙏
                            🎨🌸Bon Dimanche🌸🎨