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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

What's Your Poison?

Cézanne's effort to keep the museums of Paris rodent and bug free
I’m not writing about my favourite city these days as apparently I’m "somewhat obsessed by it".  So, I’m giving it a rest for a week or two.  On that note, I’m randomly picking a few things which I think are worth sharing.  You never know when you may need this sort of information for cocktail party conversation.

Paris Green

Paris Green, also called Emerald Green, was a popular paint pigment used by such artists as Turner, Monet, Renoir, Gauguin, Cézanne and Van Gogh.  Emerald Green is an OK name, but I prefer Paris Green.  Apparently it can also be used to kill bugs which is probably why there are no roaches in the Musée d’Orsay.  

As a little extra bit of info, in case the party is getting dull, you might mention that Paris Green was once used to kill rats in Parisian sewers, hence the name. Personally I'm against that sort of thing, but that's just me. 

At the turn of the century, the last century that is, it was also used as an insecticide for produce (blended with lead arsenate) and pretty much burned everything it touched, and Paris Green was heavily sprayed from airplanes in various places to control malaria.  I wonder who even thought of trying these things?  Maybe an artist who had bugs in his atelier and a touch of jaundice.

If you ask me, this is pretty good stuff.  You can paint with it, kill bugs and avoid disease.  It’s an all purpose product and every home should have a can or two. 

I’m also fond of Plaster of Paris.  You never know when you’ll get the urge to sculpt something or mold yourself a cast if necessary.  But that’s another topic for another day.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Not In Paris....Again

Three whole months since I’ve last posted!  This wasn’t intentional but the summer just flew by and here we are….almost at Labour Day.  And, to keep you totally up to date, I’m NOT in Paris and that’s not right because I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be there.  You know how it is when you’re sure you’re forgetting an appointment?  Well that’s how I feel.  
 Something is off kilter.  Askew, bizarre, weird and strange.

Fine.  No Paris until 2016 because we have a lot going on here and apparently there’s only so much a body can do.  (I don’t believe this for a second but I’m trying to be an adult).

There’s a few events that I’m ticked off about missing this Fall (besides the obvious everything).  For instance, AZNAVOUR will be performing this month.  AZNAVOUR!!  He’ll be looking for me and I won’t be there to cheer him on.  Not only do I feel weird but imagine how Aznavour will feel when I’m not front and center!  He'll think I've been kidnapped or worse!  FNAC better stop sending me emails about his upcoming shows. (By the way, did you know 'FNAC' stands for Fédération Nationale d’Achats des Cadres - National Shopping Federation for Managers?  I didn't).

Then, there’s FIAC, the contemporary art fair being held at the Grand Palais.  What kind of stupid is that?  How can I know what’s going on in the art world if I’m not IN the art world?  HUH?  

The Musée Rodin is reopening November 12 – well, partially anyway.  I have to say it was due for some work and now it’s going to reopen and who won’t be there?  Right.  My only consolation is there's a huge Rodin exhibition going on at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts which is pretty good. Apparently half the exhibition comes from the Rodin Museum in Paris so I guess I can't gripe about that one too much.  

'Metamorphoses features 300 works, half of which are from the Musée Rodin, but which also come from French, Canadian and American public and private collections. The show includes 171 sculptures, sketches, watercolours, as well as a selection of prints from the recently acquired collection of seventy photographs by Eugène Druet, a photographer who worked closely with Rodin.'

I’m going to have to unsubscribe to the zillion Paris sites that send me newsletters because they're driving me crazy.  I’m going to concentrate on other things until the New Year.  Not Paris, not Paris, not Paris…….

Monday, 1 June 2015

Computing Error! Oh Oh!

Brain to mouth!  Brain to mouth!  Error!  Error!  Not computing!!!!!

My latest "blip" happened when at the optometrist -

"Do you have any Victor Hugo frames?" I asked looking serious and somewhat snotty.

No response.

OK! OK! There was a mirror on the table with "HUGO" printed on the front in big letters and I like books, not suits.  HA HA HA.  I made myself laugh out loud.

Oh God.....she's mixing me up with the suit guy

I didn't get Victor's frames.  I chose a no-name style.  I'm NOT going through that  again in a few years.
Don't say it....I beg you.  Mais non!
I've never seen the Balmain glasses locally although I suppose they're out there.  Just as well, too close to 'Balzac' and once is funny, twice would be a bit disturbing!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Voyage Graphique, New Prints by Allen Hessler

The last day of May, and the first day of Allen Hessler's exhibition of prints at Galerie Crystal Racine. Allen's vernissage made my day. His prints are amazing.  The inspiration for his latest series "Life's a Beach" comes from his visits to the seaside in France and he captures the moments perfectly.  (Just another reminder for me to hop a plane). 

From the artist's Exhibition Statement:

.....The suite of prints that I have created reflects the particularities of this special environment of Fort Mahon, on the coast of Picardie, the effect that it has on its inhabitants. The beach provides endless space, which can accommodate the hundreds and hundreds of people that flock to the seaside in search of the vastness and the invigorating climate........I have tried to make visible in my prints the mystical nature and beauty of this superb place.....

If you're in Montréal this week stop by the gallery and treat yourself to a visual vacation.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Inner Voices

Spring has sprung and you know what that does to me?  RIGHT! Time for another discussion with that little voice in my head.....

VOICE:  Go to Paris!  You're missing  great exhibitions!  The flowers are in bloom!  Harry's has a new cocktail...

ME:  Get a grip!  I was just there. That's plain crazy.

VOICE:  Crazy?  What if you get hit by a bus tomorrow and missed your chance?  What if the WORLD comes to an end and you didn't get there one last time!  That would be totally nuts!

ME:  Really?  You may have a point!  I wouldn't want to spend my last days typing for God's sake!

VOICE:  You only live once!  Paris is your town!  You get inspired by the city and really, you need inspiration if you want to paint.

ME:  You're right!  How can I be creative if I don't go to Paris?  But I have to work you know! Trips like that aren't free!

Then I wait for her to give me
the answer because she always
knows best but.........nothing!  
What a bitch.

If I was about to hop on a plane to France, here are some places I'd be checking out:

Grand Palais American Icons

Musée Carnavalet

Musée de Montmartre, Renoir Gardens

And....Shakespeare and Company for a good book, Harry's Bar for one of those wonderful cocktails, the Champs Elysées just to be sure it's still there, the Left Bank galleries on the rue de get the idea!  Just......everything!