Yesterday was what most people would call, full!
Most of the time I am working and don't get a chance to meetup with people, view Paris or chin wag with others but yesterday was different.
It started with a meeting in an amazing cafe/shop/library on the Champs-Élysées at 12.30. It's called the Publicis Drugstore. The meeting was about portraits which I will be drawing in the hotel George V this coming Monday evening. It will be a dinner with 70 guests and for those who want their portrait drawn I am to be the artist.
This shop is really interesting. On the ground floor it's a very posh restaurant with lovely decor. Lots of security guards etc but they are friendly and the atmosphere is welcoming. We met there and went downstairs to a lesser known tea room where they serve extremely unusual teas for free. Sounds good. The problem is that they are really good and also very expensive. I had a very interesting cuppa made from the flower of La Petite Amarante. The closed flower is placed in the hot water and it's petals open to reveal a red flower inside. You wait a while and then when the flower has completely opened you have your tea. Delicious but I have to admit that the flavour is extremely subtle. It's looks extraordinary. Best served in a transparent glass teapot to get the visual effect.
So they sell the glass teapots and the tea (EU20) for a bag. I bought one for this weekend.
Beside the teashop is a wine, whiskey and cigar shop all rolled into one. Facinating place and the staff are very free with their information regarding the wines and cigars (I don't smoke but find cigars facinating). They only have Scotch and American whiskey, I like Irish whiskey too much to capitulate and don't like American whiskeys.
After the meeting I went to my French class. One hour of French lessons and then the teacher (Valerie) and I went off to view the Portes Ouvertes d' artistes de Belleville. Valerie is an artist in glass as well as an French teacher. We saw parts of Belleville that I never knew existed. I met a lot of artists and saw their work. You see inside their ateliers and view the works in progress. Few of the artists work in the same building so you have a map with which you find them and their studios. It leads you down little alleyways and through streets that have no cars and the names are interesting.
Nowadays streets are named after intellecutals, musicians and scientists but originally the names of streets were loaded with personal information and each name is a key to the original history of each street. Facinating!
Unfortunately I could only be there for 2 hours. but I have the address's of most of the artists now and can come back again. It will be necessary to make an appointment as the portes ouvertes happens only once a year.
At 5pm I went to les Jardins de Luxembourg. Beatrice and Sabine were waiting. We had been students in an atelier here in Paris for 6 months studying painting techniques. Beatrice works (for the moment) in a creperie in the gardens and she force fed us crepes and coca cola. Very enjoyable. She will be working with me on a Trompe L'oeil in June for a month so we needed to talk through a few details.
Sabine is going out with the guy who administers the school where we studied. Great to see them together. There is something that changes when they just stand close to one another. She is tiny and he is over 6 foot tall. It is his birthday today and we went to Thimy Leabs place for a Barbeque to celebrate in advance.
I designed Thimy's site and I don't think it will ever be finished because he never gives any information about himself other than to say that he is the son of the prince of cambodia and that he has never been back since the revolution. http://www.thimyleab.com none of that is on his site though.
Thimy has been very lucky in the place that he lives in. It is directly opposite his school and he has the ground floor and gardens. Finally he has somewhere to put his paintings. There are four rooms, a decent sized kitchen, a beautifully maintained garden in front and a lovely enclosed garden in the back. No windows, even in the upper floors of the house, look into the garden. It's extremely nice with well maintained plants and grass. There's a workshop and a red tiled roof to a storage area, which has no walls. That used to be for storing wood. It runs all the length of the garden and will be a good place to paint outdoors.
Mostly other artists and their friends came along. There was a barbeque and wine, naturally.
Tanguy, Thimy's brother, sells very impressive wine and caviar and he brought along a few bottles to celebrate Goathies birthday. We had a great time. I had to leave at about 12 as there is a lot to do today and I didn't want to be wrecked completely but it was a great day and interesting.
Today will be letters and painting. Lot's to clear out of the way for the coming weeks. Writing gives me a chance to reflect and stop for a while.