Monday, May 26, 2008


December 16, 2007

Paris winter.  Hopelessly bleak.  

         A fellow American artist had dropped into my studio to survey my new work, exchange tales, and whine about her  difficulties.

When I could get a word in, my gripe  was that I needed a new computer. My antique Imac was compatible with nothing. At  times when I tried to download photos everything disappeared. Then I would pray.

I was certain that having a new IMac stood between me and fortune

We drank three pots of tea. I was on the

 wagon . I put her out around 4:30. Already night in mid December.

I opened my email box and started browsing my messages I saw one  titled

You don’t know me. Spam

! I opened it out of carlessness

Dear Mary,

You don’t know me but

Certain Spam …then  You met my father 10 years ago in a café in Montmartre and invited him back to your studio

I continued cautiously, with my mother. Phew!

They were visiting from Sweden and were very touched.

A year later they returned to Paris and Montmartre to visit me. I was a student here  at the time They found you painting in the street.

My mother bought the painting for my father for his 50th birthday.

I live in London now,  but am in Montmartre for the afternoon. I would like to come and visit your  studio. Here is my phone number-  It was a foreign  cell phone. I looked at the clock. 5:30.

My heart was beating.

Rats! I thought. I’ve missed him.

After many attempts, I heard a very gentle voice respond in good English. This is Christian.

He was now near The Opera on his way to The Latin Quarter.

but could stop by around nine, if that was Okay with me.

It sounded a little fishy, but I said  “Yes.”

He showed up at quarter to ten with a bo

ttle of wine and his friend Lucy.

I went off the wagon.

We chatted about everything from the virtues of tango dancing to endangered  birds. but, not much about my canvases surrounding us from floor to ceiling.

He did ask me if I would consider painting a courtyard where he used to live on rue Durantin. I knew the courtyard. It was a beauty – on two levels with a fountain. We made a rendez-vous for the next morning. Perhaps he’d like one of my Paris scenes also. I said “Great, but I don’t  like mixing wine and business.” We would talk about it in the morning.

We met for a café at Le Sancerre on the rue des Abbesses where I could show off a mural I had done there 10 years ago. “La fête de la musique.” We then walked over to rue Durantin with  my sketch pad. He showed me the window of the apartment where he had lived. He was sure about the size he want

ed, but said he would leave the rest up to me.

A smart decision. We agreed on a price which quelled my rent stress.

Back at my studio he was torn between three paintings.

I really felt bad about his anguish.

And finally suggested that he get all three and charge them.

He looked at me.

Not exactly “charge” them.

Buy me my new computer with a laser printer.

We worked out the numbers and he agreed.Whoopie





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