Monday, November 4, 2013

from the  
unless the roof is leaking
Kevin stopping traffic with a giant striped bass, Keegan's photo
 to my 
lots to see!
 prices extraordinaires!
tons of deals!

Buy some art 
 and help me get to my artist residency 
this February
where you'll find me:

painting en plein air on the Atlantic
exploring the fish mongers at the Marché
shivering while posting my WEATHER REPORTS in the unheated atelier
 and discovering all kinds of stuff in the Basque country 

in advance!

Breakfast at Michel's house

A bit more of my French histoire
Almost 1/2 my life ago, I went to live and paint in Paris.  I suppose, a lot of artists want to do that.  So I saved up some money, found a place to live, sharing a house with Michel Potier  (click on the names to see more) at 29 Rue de la Tour in Malakoff and a studio with Hélene Agofroy, a sculptor and painter and Olivier, a photographer. L'atelier was in a 19th century industrial building at 68 Quai du Seine on Canal St Martin in the 19th arrondissement. These two places were at absolute opposite ends of the city. It took about an hour to get there each day
I lived in Paris from August 1984 until the following March. 

I sketched whatever was on the table in Michel's living room: what we were eating, the masks on the wall, the view out the window, the pillows, ashtrays, plants
it was all, so, french

That winter was Europe's coldest in 50 years. Even Africa was cold. Canal St Martin completely froze and ice cutters were sent in so the barges could move.  I watched them from the studio window. The pipes froze so there was no heat or hot water, and the windows in Michel's house had frost....on the inside.  Heat was from those funny portable electric radiators.  My bedroom didn't have one....
The sun didn't come out from the middle of September until the middle of February.
I was depressed. 
My friend Hadad let me move into the maid's room studio across the courtyard from his house on Rue Daval, near the Bastille. It was tiny, but toasty, even though there was only cold water, no shower, and the bathroom was down the hall and shared.

In those winter months I made really large oil paintings, and drew with crayons in my little room, while listening to African music on the radio. One of my favorite's was Touré Kunda (click here, I was at this concert)

Je veux t'embrasser

Deuxieme tour mal au crain

La cure la deuxieme visite

I hung out with Hadad, Babeth, her husband Behnam and their 3 year old daughter Jenais and spent time with Bernard Cousinier, a painter I met at Hadad's birthday party, and Behnam's brother Abbas, a Magnum photographer. (more names to click on)
For fun there were vernissages, cous cous and vin rouge at Chez Omar
and every weekend, les marché aux puces at Porte de Vanves

I still went to the studio daily, wearing layers and more layers to paint in.  There was a tiny heater that blew tepid warmth onto my feet. 
Hélene and Olivier were nowhere to be seen.
I was alone in the giant icy studio!
  I went to the municipal swimming pool everyday to swim and take a hot shower.
I drank lots of café au lait.
I was miserably cold, got really sick, and in the thick of it, made some decent work. Looking back at it now, wearing my rose colored glasses

Coming from the studio (large building behind me)

Inside with one of my paintings

More painting on the other side

At the end of my stay, I left my paintings wrapped up in Jullian de la Fuente's (a protege of Le Corbusier, click on his name) studio down the hall, intending on moving back after closing things down in NYC.  Jullian told me that my painting was on the verge.... 
I did return the following January, but only to get my paintings, not to stay.  Alas...

And on the flight back to NYC, I met this blond french girl named Catou, sitting in the same row.  We started talking and by the end of the flight were friends.  

My Paris studio building now appears to be a green Holiday Inn Express, I guess the saying is true, you can never go back...

This year, Catou (Catherine Guillaud)  and Caroline de Otero (click on their names!) started an artist residency in their atelier in Biarritz.  They are filming each artist invited to come work. I'm the second one. (Click here for the french article)
 I'm looking forward to my return to France, to a new place, another chilly atelier, an old friend, and the opportunity to explore new terrain, both in the studio and out.

Hope to see you all next Sunday and if you can't make it in person and want something, check out my etsy shop SALE!


Smoked Blue Fish Stew
because it's freezing outside and I'm gearing up for the cold

In some olive oil sauté what's left of those tomatoes still hanging around
with some onions or shallots and a couple cloves of garlic 
toss in a big bunch of fresh spinach
let cook down
Add some of BLUE MOON's smoked blue fish and let stew for a bit

Eat hot, with a blanket thrown over your lap....if, like me, you haven't turned on the heat yet, imagine a real fire in a real fireplace with all that smoky perfume in the air

AND if you can,
go see Marc Chagall at the Jewish Museum

 and Magritte at MoMA

next up for me BALTHUS at the Met