Thursday, December 31, 2009

A NEW DECADE time to change something... what?

Happy New Year


Monday, December 28, 2009


I spent a wonderful Christmas day at Iris'es house, just outside of Paris. We were twenty à table. Anne and Latecia, her daughters, did the preparation and many more were summoned to bring something. I, the only American, was marked for cranberry sauce.
I did some hunting and was warned that in Paris those wild Massachucettes berries are sold one by one.
I found two packets (origin USA) on la rue
des Abbesses at a small Morocan green grocer and prepared the sauce Christmas Eve before Mass and my Café visit. It seemed to be a hit, but everything was good and plentiful including the champagne.

I arrived home early evening and opened the windows to the courtyard right off so that Lucy and Miss Kitty could wander.
Then went back to work on a large abstract painting that I had started a couple of weeks ago.
I was startled when Miss Kitty arrived with my cadeau de Noel. No. not
a mouse, but a tinsel garland from the consierge's Christmas tree.
Six meters long.

I'm not afraid of my consierge. I am afraid to be on her bad side. I thought it was best to replace it in the dark. I stepped out and so did she. I wished her Merry Christmas, then confessed that Miss Kitty had stolen her decoration. She seemed not terribly upset. Perhaps she had had a nice Christmas Day also.


Thursday, December 24, 2009


T’was the night before Christmas

And all through the house,

Kiki was stirring

In search of a mouse.

My paintings were hung

On high walls white,

In hope that a buyer

Was somewhere in sight.

Nina slept soundly,

Curled in her bed,

A tennis ball schredded

Tucked ‘neath her head.

Piles of bills, threats, disconnection

Lay on a box of lemon confection.

Was there no man to take me away

In a big Rolls, on foot, metro or sleigh?

Felix sat upright, with a menaceing stare

“Do something please. The cupbord is bare.”

No hope. No hope. Then a tap on the door.

“Who is it? I asked;

“It’s Oysters Galore.”

I opened the door slowly,

And saw the man smile.

“Come in. Sit down.” I said, “Stay for awhile.”


Monsieur Galore entered with zest.

“I’ve brought 106 of my very best."

"Don’t worry," he said.

“I have shrimp for the cats.

And for you this cold night,

Two Afgan wool hats.”

The oysters were opened gentley,

so the juice wouldn’t spill

And in two christal glasses,

White wine he did fill.

We ate and we drank.

Then we sank and we sank

into conversation other

than landlord or bank.

“Your paintings are so happy.

You should be too.

It’s sad for your friends

To see you so blue."

Before he left,

He washed all the dishes

Then gave me two

Big salty kisses.

"Good night dear lady,

I’ll see you again,

when I’ve found my sleigh

And you’ve found your pen."

Saturday, December 19, 2009


"Bags and Scarves"(33x41 cm) acrylic on canvas 2008

Yesterday, my little street in Montmartre was as crowed as Fifth Avenue the day before Christmas.(or the day after Christmas - (Big return - not my size day ) Missing - a loud speaker with Bing Crosby crooning "Silver Bells". I don't think it would work on the accordon.

The plastic shop, with silly gadjets made in China was the biggest hit. Followed by a pretty boutique with scarves and bags. (above)

Safe in my peaceful coatyard, I had but one visitor, my friend Linette. She bought one of my left-handed water colors. "Broken Promises."

Friday, December 18, 2009


Bit into a tangerine today. Tasted like Christmas.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


It snowed in Paris this morning for fifteen and a half seconds. I saw it, because I had just opened my door ever so slightly so that Miss Kitty, now three and a half months old,would not slip out. She usually has freedom of passage to the courtyard, but, I had heard on the radio that there was an extreme drop in the temperature. She squeezed through anyway, but, stunned by the flakes came running back. " Meow! The snow is falling."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Staring at the rain,
I saw no more the rain, but
what appeared to be
a thousand silver threads
pulled so tightly,
that when God plucked them
only a fragment of their image appeared.
Beneath the silent earth
Mother Nature was weaving her masterpiece.
Thru the soil she would spin
Sewing up the seam of the dry root of the birch.

Then up the slender trunk
and thru the myriad of twigs,
she weaved with the precision of a Japanese artist.

Upon reaching the highest leaf
She would pause,
Tie a knot, and thread her needle again.

mb 1966

Thursday, August 6, 2009


"In a tree, there is a spirit of life, a spirit of growth,
and a spirit of holding its head up."

I recently came across this quotation by artist-teacher-writer, Robert Henri author of The Art Spirit.
Yes. I thought. That's just one more reason why I love Paris.
It's not just "Chestnuts in blossom..." or
why "I miss you most of all my darling..."
Year round, the trees here soothe my soul.

Despite their chorus-line uniformity on some streets and military
symmetry on others, they still soften the stone and marble architecture and make urban life a pleasure. Drawing the trees of Paris became my next passion.

My debutant dip into tree art was in August 1976. I was asked to sculpt a tree au tour de a fat winding pipe on the lower level of Mother Earth's, an American bar-restaurant next to Les Halles when Les Halles was no longer the mother of all markets, but a huge hole in the ground.

 Dennis, the manager of Mother's made the request, I immediately thought that I'd sculpt the tree of life.  I was working on a series of water colors back then, on the creation of the universe - Genesis; one day at a time.

Dennis a beach boy Californian, said "No. We want a palm tree."
I'm a New Englander. I had seen "Gidget goes Hawaii.", but the closest I had ever come to this family of arbor was during Holy Week.

The following day, I began slabbing plaster of Paris all over the large winding pipe. When it dried, I sculpted the form and texture with a steak knife from their kitchen. Then, painted it with different shades of ochre and yellow and added a layer of clear varnish. The palms leaves or sprouts I painted generously on the ceiling.

The consensus was that I had done very well if a giant snake swallowing a parrot was my inspiration. I left on a trip to India a few days later, so was spared an excess of humiliation.

What does this have to do with Paris and trees? Now, I am not drawing the tree of life.
I am drawing the living. Each tree seems to have a unique form and personality despite the excess pruning. It's like what our schoolteachers did to us, and how we survived.

After a few days of rendering the local Montmartre trees, I scurried and schetched in the jardin Luxembourg and then went on to le Parc Monceau which could be called Picnic City. It was wonderful to see people lunching on the grass. 

I met a couple of fellows in the café across the street from me in Montmartre

who said les Buttes Chaumont has the best trees in Paris. They were right. I arrived on a Sunday afternoon; I thought that I had landed in
paradise. Them were treeze. Mammoth. And so peaceful.
I began drawing and decided it was time to get into bark. Texture. I noted more clearly that some branches had been cut so that others would grow. I thought of Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken".
Then, I thought of my life, a little out on a limb, but at least I chose it.
I hear the trees at Bagatelle are also grand.

Click on Paris Trees at top of side bar,
then click 'plein ecran' or 'full screen' to see the selection
of tree drawings.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I've never wished to change my address, but occasionally I like changing the subject that I paint and less frequently which painting hangs where. Recently, I replaced "pass over" for "blue fish." to the great pleasure of my dinner guests. They liked its new spot also.

I read in last Sunday's Times a drooling story about Maryland Crab. Remembering my degustation of their, better, my delight, I said,
"Today, I will paint a crab."
I had one white canvas smaller than what I would have preferred, but I decided it would do.

Asked by a friend, why I wasn't going to church, I said "gone crabbing."
and headed for the shell fish stand at the café La Mascotte on the rue des Abbesses.
I was examining my prey when the oyster man approached me.

"It's for painting not eating."
That got me off the hook.
I went into the café and chatted with friends.
On my way out, I again studied my models.
The assistant approached me and his boss ran up to my defense.
She just wants to paint them. and smiled.
Only in Paris could one get away with this story.

The shrimp seemed a more tempting subject.
The jumbos were gorgeous and chères.
I selected four and headed home imagining the lay-out for my canvass.
"Do shrimp have a gender?" I thought.
Will I need parental protection?
I stashed the gambas in the freezer and inquired on Google.
Shrimp often have sex changes, I learned, to adjust to the population.
That would work for Montmartre.
I took the gems out and placed them on a very pretty royal blue plate.
Could I eat just one?

Friday, June 12, 2009


rue Didot back in 1994

I was taken with a tiny kitten sleeping on a bar downstairs from where I lived in the 14th. arrondissement.
Auw. So cute.
Polo, an iconic local drunkard exclaimed, "Donne le à l'americaine".
I said " Non, non, non, non, non."
That's French for "NO!"
Everyone was pleading with me.
Six-weeks-old and the beast already had more stories than me.

One being that a lady friend of Polo's had dropped him in the street.
The 58 bus was rolling by. Kiki escaped the wheels.
This was one of three escapes with earthly life he had managed.
One-night-stand, I thought, as I picked Kiki up off the bar.
Kiki, you understand, was the no-name I gave him, because it was a one-night-stand.
The next evening I returned to the café and who appears? The husband of the lady who dropped Kiki in the street, shouting.
"You've stolen my kitty cat!" .
The guy was big and ugly enough to play a monster in a B movie.
The locals were all in arms.
Polo (very slight, but stern) stood on a stool swaying.
"The kitty stays with Marie."
Everyone fell silent.
It was High Noon at Happy Hour.
Well, Polo got his way.
Kiki, Felix, Ruby, and I moved to Montmartre that winter.
First to rue Ravignan, then to rue Berth. From one window, there, he could watch all the pigeons in the world stationed in an abandoned building. From the other window he could find passage to the ajoining apartment and where he took afternoon naps with a Dorbermin.
He liked the move to rue Tardieu.
He has reigned the courtyard for the last 13 years.
Last Thursday, I saw that he wasn't well.
I had appointments in the afternoon and couldn't find him on my return nor the day after.
By Saturday I was certain he had gone off to die.
I began to write this story-tears streaming down my face; Sunday morning, I had the courage to write another line when I heard a crackling meow behind me.
Kiki had returned. Got some grub, then returned to the courtyard to survey.
Perhaps it's time to give him a name.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Wake up Mary!
You are not the center of the universe!

After The Week-End Exhibition at The American Cathedral, I felt free to do silly things, like laundry, returning a stove top that didn't heat hot, and readjusting to not being so important. 
Starting with the easiest task, I headed off to Darty  with my two burner electric plate in its original box and bag. The ten minute walk was long enough to rehearse the confrontations I was anticipating.
Somehow, I thought it was my fault, but was  confident in Darty's "contract de confiance".
I had returned the same model two months before for a similar  under-heating problem.  It was an upstairs-downstairs-stand-in-line-procedure. 
Again, I was going to have to tell them that I couldn't boil water, which in some language, I can't remember which, means that you're an idiot. But, even an idiot knows that macaroni don't cook in luke-warm water. 
First step, was the return desk downstairs.
I waited fifteen minutes with that director on the phone with an irate customer. I could hear her voice blah-blah-blah from his phone. Loud and cranky. 
"Why doesn't he  just tell her that she's right and he's sorry?"  I thought and get on with it or me.
Finally, her time ran out. 
My turn.
I learned that it was "normale" that my hot plate didn't heat hot and I could replace it.
He gave me the necessary papers.

Upstairs, I was happy to see that the former aloof nineteen-year-old snobby salesgirl had been replaced. The new one, a very tall young woman with bad posture was in conversation with another customer. She was holding her hand on her chest.

I first took it as a sincerity gesture.

When my turn came, she smiled and said "Bon Jour."
She seemed refreshingly sweet - sort of with a smile and an ear of a pastor.

She continued to hold her hand on her chest during our conversation.
I asked her if she was in pain.
She said "Yes."
Next extraordinarily impolite question I asked was
"Are you pregnant?"
She said "no". 
So not heart-burn.
Her pain came from "une ulcère."
She then, encouraged me to buy an upscale model hot plate.
She said that they had had many returns with the one I had first chosen.
"Then, why don't they stop selling them?"
"I don't know." she said still holding her chest.
"Have you seen a doctor?" I asked.
She said, "Yes."
Then, I remembered my ulcer story and told her.

About twenty-five years ago, I had an ulcer in the same place. 
I saw a specialist. Then a homeopath. I changed my diet then
my doctor. Late one night there was a knock at my door. 
I was living in New York at the time.
It was a former boyfriend that had up and left me to marry  "the perfect woman."
I told him that he couldn't come in. He pleaded and announced that his marriage was over.
I finally relented telling him only because it might be good for the ulcer pain and put my hand on my chest. He said,"You have a pain, too?"
She was nodding waiting for the outcome. 
The ulcer went away, but so did I and came back to Paris.

My new stove top is working well. Hot. Hot. Hot.

Painting from India water color series "Bombay" 1976
Fugi photo colors on Canson.

Friday, May 15, 2009


This is one event not to miss -
Sunday afternoon from 1 o'clock until 5:30, and Monday evening, from 6 until 9, artists from The American Cathedral reveal their talent exhibiting their recent works. There is a lot to be explored. We all know that living in Paris has a special effect on our artistic spirit. Here we can see it in many forms of expression.
I'm not promoting it just because I'm showing some recent canvases, water colors, and prints that are bound to dazzle; it is always a great event.
"PASSOVER" acrylic on canvas 38 x 46cm.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I had been grossly negligent about upgrading my eyeglasses having stupid priorities on my agenda instead.
Then one morning, while taking a bath, (the only waking moment that I don't have them on), I realized that there was a hugh difference between the vision from my left eye and the vision from the right one.
Worried for the worse, I sought medical assistance finally settling for an ophthalmologist on rue des Abbesses. His receptionist was a long time neighbor of mine so, my choice, wasn't completely out of the blue.
When I arrived at his office last Friday, there were three people already waiting to see him. The receptionist, my neighbor, had taken the day off to make the week-end longer and her week shorter. 
I had an image in my head of what a specialist looked like, so was surprised when a very cute, wiry young man, in Avery wrinkled shirt, emerged to call his next patient.
He  eyed me and announced that I was third in line. That was fine for me. It would give me time to run home and get my iron. His shirt definitely needed pressing. 
When my time came, he directed me into what I thought was his office,but, in fact, was a small elevator. I gasped when he enterd close behind me, then, laughed as we began to move slowly upward.
In his small office that looked down on the street was an enormous seeing eye machine.
He posed me in place then looked into the machine that looked into my eyes.  He told me that my pressure was fine and also announced that I had the beginning of cataracts, but, not to worry.
He then began to slide a great number of lenses in front of each eye. 
"Better or worse?" Over and over again. He made a notation, then told me that I should get new glasses. That I knew.  He also suggested that I wear them less.

"Really?" I replied.
"Your right eye has nearly corrected itself." he said as I handed him my carte securite sociale
"It's nearly perfect."
So, after twenty years of limited vision, I can see all around me. It's a wonderful sensation.
" Groovy." I thought crossing La Place Etoile at The Arc de Triophe.
Trees all around me.
More incredible is that I needed a specialist to see that I saw.

Drawings from unpublished storybook SPENCER TREETOP LEARNS TO DANCE

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


A gentleman I met while painting Le Théâtre de L'Atelier urged me to consider the view of Sacre Coeur from rue de la Bonne on the other side of Montmartre

He said that the perspective from that corner was magnifique. He added that no one would bother me there. I guess he assumed that the people interrupting my work to ask directions bothered me. I didn't tell him that what bothered me the most was ADVICE.   
He was  convincing all the same. 

I took my equipment up the hill and half way down rue Lemarck without even a pre-view. At least no one was going to ask me how to get to La Moulin Rouge, I hoped.

The view was not extraordinary.  He must have had a sentimental experience here, I thought, as I set up my easel between two motor cycles. I blocked out the composition with  some blue paint, still wondering why. 

Two male meter maids approached me. Just to spy.
Next came a woman looking for her car. She had parked it near a stairway. There are about ten that surround the great basilica on the hill. She forgot the name of the street, but remembered there were two words in it.
I looked down at her child and said.
"This is your mother?" 
"Oui." She sadly confirmed.
I returned to the famous spot the following day and the day after, still wondering what was going to set my work apart from other neighborhood paintings until the Paris haze sunk and  a shadow appeared which made all the difference.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


While painting Théâtre de l'Atelier, a passer-by stopped and stood behind me for an unusually long time. What was really unusual was that he didn't ask me for directions.
I finally turned and saw a middle-aged medium height tax inspector type eyeing my painting with some scrutiny. He was carrying a clip board, with notes already jotted down.
I wondered what was on his mind.
"Très Poetique", he finally sighed.
I was surprized.
"Oui, mais..." I winced.
"Mais, quoi?"
He seemed concerned.
"I have a problem." I confessed.  "I started the painting just as the leaves were sprouting tiny lime-green dots. Thousands of them. It was great.  Within the next couple of days the leaves opened. The shadows on the cobble stone looked like dancing butterflies."
"Then it rained for three days and was cloudy for three more. The leaves kept growing. It was terrible. Now they are a darker green and I can't see the theater. I would love to have those few days back." 

"They're right there." he said looking at my canvas and left making a small notation on his clipboard. 

Friday, April 17, 2009



I'm so happy to be back home - sleeping in my own bed, in a town that understands my accent and I understand theirs - where my cats roam freely about the courtyard and every face in my neighborhood is familiar in the morning and foreign in the afternoon.

I was finally able to finish         La Boucherie de la Paix 
on rue d'Orsel - a painting that I had started last winter. 
The butcher was quite pleased as was his charming assistant. It's probably the first time someone made a painting of his sadly isolated shop.
The lady from the dress shop behind me was not so pleased. She shook her door mat a few times so the wind blew the grit in my direction. I got the picture and moved my easel out of her aim and merrily painted on.  

See La Boucherie de la Paix - click on flashing box PARIS PAINTINGS on the side panel.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009



I don't ski or alpine, but my mountain experiences have given me a bird's eye view of beauty incarnate. 

Take the Himalayas.
Every morning  during a month-long-stay in Dharmasala, I'd open my door and watch a bird-of-paradise taking off swirling his tail feathers as he glided down the valley over the rhododendron trees. 

I began painting birds and continued for three years.
Eventually, I had to count on subway excursions to the Bronx Zoo to inspire my palette.

The night voyage crossing the Andes in a rattling bus from Lima to Santipo only taught me how to pray. 

The morning decent on a muddy road into the Amazon jungle was as lush as a Gauguin painting and as floral as Henri Rousseau could imagine.

I still remember the awe from discovering the iridescent crystal blue frost in Val d'Isere - the French Alps' luxury ski resort where I au paired thirty-five years ago.

As for the Pryrenees, I had only seen them on television following Lance Armsrong peddling LaTour de France. During my sejour in Orthez, I was told that if I went to Pau, (pronounced Po) I could see THE ENTIRE CHAIN OF MOUNTAINS. I was game.

I made a reservation at the train station and was surprized to see how near it was to Orthez which was only hilly at the most.  I imagined being taken up a ski lift type funiculair. The one for Sacre Coeur rises only about twelve stories. 

I brought along gloves and a scarf and regretted not having taken my boots down to Orthez.
I was assured that the mountains were still snow capped.  I arrived in Pau in less than a half an hour. The funicular was there and waiting. I was surprised to see it was even shorter than the one in Montmartre. I boarded it and up we went to Le boulevard des Pyrenees where I was told I could see THE ENTIRE MOUNTAIN CHAIN.

I reached the top hill in about a minute and a half, already a little suspicious.
Tout suite, I turned around on the balcony and beheld some hills.
It looked sort of like southern Pennsylvania in the winter - not alive with the sound of music.
The sun was out , but it was quite hazy.

I sadly surmised that THE ENTIRE MOUNTAIN CHAIN was  behind the hills behind the haze.
It didn't stop me from taking my grief to the Tourist Bureau in the center of town.
When the perky hostess greeted me and asked how she could help. I told her I was looking for les montagnes in the same tone someone would ask looking for le beureau de post.
She looked at me.
Yes, I told her that I had been told that if I came to Pau, I could see all of the Pyrenees.
She said, "No mountains today. Here is a guide of the town."
Perhaps I'd like to visit Le Chateau Henry IV ?
I thanked her.
So I saved the mountains for another day.
I visited the chateau and learned about the lusty life of a 16th century king.

As I climbed the grandiose spiral staircase, the view of no mountains got better.
Must have been wonderful back then - when the sun was shining. 

Leaving by the back door as probably most of his mistresses did, I walked into the middle of a demonstration by the locals seeking to preserve the very unique Bearn(Langaduc) language.
I decided to march with them clapping my hands  and trying to chant the slogans. Whatever they were saying, I did not know.
Reaching the Town Hall, we called for the mayor, who did not show his face, so we all booed.
It was great fun.
I stepped aside when they began to sing and returned to Le Boulevard des Pyrenees. The late afternoon light revealed an irregular line across the horizon. It looked like a cardiogram.
My cardiogram. My heart beat to know they were there.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Orthez is a small town in the southwest Bearn region of France. A female resident would be called une Bearnaise like the famous sauce which was not created here, but, by the chef of a regal Saint Cloud restaurant. He was un Bernais. This area has only been a part of France for the last four centuries.
I had gone to mass on Easter Sunday at the town's 12th century church, Saint Pierre d'Ortez, a couple of years ago. With a pronounced Bayonne accent, I wasn't at all sure what language the preacher was speaking. He was very convincing all the same.

The river, Le Gave, runs along the edge of town. Crossing Le Pont Neuf (built a century ago) you can view Le Vieux Pont which dates back to the 13th century. Water, water, under the bridge. Fantôms, love stories, family feuds, and religious wars all under the bridge. We're not counting the fish. Le Gave is renowne for its river trout and salmon. They are all upstream, sans doute.

Orthez was not spared la grande tempête that devastated the region in January. Walking up the hill to a nearby park, I saw giant oaks literallly uprooted. There were others that seemed untouched. And still others that had only been split at the top (I knew what that was all about) .
Work clearing up the debree was still in progress. I examined the rings of a fallen trunk that had been chain sawed for transport. I began counting the rings. First tediously, then, by groups of tens. It had stood for more than a hundred and fifty years.

La Fontaine's fable "The Oak and the Reed" Le Chêne et Le Roseau"came to mind. Then, Jean Anouilh's parody written three centurys later. raised my spirits.
parafrasedThe oak tells the sassy reed.
"Yes, it's true that I can not bend like you.. .And, if a great wind blows, I could be knocked to the ground, but, I am still an oak. Je suis toujours un chêne."
I spoke with the guardian of the grounds.
"You must have been heart broken."
He nodded . "Oui."
Futher up the hill I saw that three new trees had been planted attached to polls for support.
I went back down the hill now crossing Le Vieux Pont.
"Je suis toujour un chêne." I thought.

Monday, March 23, 2009


My neighbgorhood is always full of people visiting Paris, or Paris people looking for the Marché Saint Pierre. I have become a professional direction giver - one of the purist jestures one can offer.

Now, it was my turn to take a trip. I was off to The Southwest of France. Land of country ham (Bayonne) Nice Pigs. mountains, inimitable accents, body surfers and peace.

Leaving the Gare Montparnas, I felt a surge of happiness. The seat next to me was empty which was fine for my bags, but, a little boring for the, despite the lush of the bucolic flashes zooming by. Hills. Cows. Sheep. The max.

After three hours we arrived at la Gare Saint Jean Bordeaux. A young man boarded with a back pack and a skate board . A grown up with a skateboard and his place was next to me.

He arranged his gear in the overhead and took the window seat next to me. We gabbed about everything from art to Obama and why a skate board was a good means of transportation.

As the train began to roll through Les Landes my concentration became diverted. I was stunned by the the sight of the trees devistated by the of the violant storm that had hit the region in January. I moaned and gasped. He didn't turn to look out once once.

L'arriveé Ortez, my destination, panicked me. Time to shake a tail feather. A short stop, for this small 12th century town. I didn't even have time to give The Happy Traveler my blog address.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


I'm beginning to get the picture. My precious fans following this blog think paintingparis is my site. (my store)

I don't like the word blog, but that's what it is. I delight in putting words together as much as color. I'm presenting a glimpse of ma vie artiste. And mind you. every artist's life is different. Most of them difficult. As with my painting, I show the more amusing side. For me, that's art. Or, that me.

There is a place where I sell my paintings, aside from exhibitions, word of mouth, and bribery. . It has a collection of my abstract water colors dating back from 1974 to present. Abstract canvasses. And a selection of my recent Paris paintings. I hate to sound vulgar but, the prices are noted under "tariffs".

I had a client here last week who wanted a certain painting. I think she was standing on her head when she read the price. When I told her it was 1,200 €, she ran out the door. I had another woman contact me interested in the canvas "l'eau de vie". She decided that it was more important to send her son to college. It's true the economy is bad. It showed at Christies' last week. 375 million Euros for the late designer Yves Saint Laurent's collectin of art - dresses not included.

This is just to let you know that my door is open at
and my studio.

The weather is mild in Paris. I'm I'm my way out to finish a painting of a butcher shop on rue d'Orsel. Visit me sometime.

Monday, February 16, 2009


There was a snow in Paris last week. 
Walking down rue Steinerque  on my way to Chez Ed, I saw a white speck falling from above. 
"Must be a pigeon feather." I thought. 
Then, again, it was a bit too white to be pigeon and, believe me, there are no swans in Montmartre.
A few more floated down (or a few more down floated)
Having obtained my groceries, and hoping I had chosen the right flavor for my cats, I headed up to my house, now realizing it was snow.
Within seconds the flakes turned to confetti.
The glib marché Saint Pierre shopkeepers came out amazed  all looking up and smiling.
A young American tourist said, "It's snowing in Paris."
A monumental statement.
For a second, I thought about the opening scene from Fellini's Amacord with milkweed filling the air and everyone yelling "Primavera, Primavera."
Then,  I thought about the Democratic Convention.
It was an event.
I grew up in Connecticut. I know about snow.  These flakes were the biggest and most beautiful
I had ever seen.
I passed by the crepe maker at Café Kakoo who was also gawking.
Everyone except Peter Pigeon, who took advantage of the event. He swept down and stole the topping off the crepe.
Seconds later, it was over. The snow. The crepe. But not for Peter.
Happy he had outwitted all of us.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Saint Valentine's Day Mass Cure 2009

I'm sending all of you a copy of my famous "kiss drawing" with permission to copy (not sell)
and to offer it to someone.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Nina was born  next to Chez Camille, the hot spouse pour la nuit or singles' bar on rue Ravignon in Montmartre. It was puppy love. Warren, an eight-month old eager beagle-terrier had swooned Lola a ten month old Pyrenees-bearded collie unknown to Céleste their mistress,  who owned yet another dog, three cats, and a pet mouse. I had been six months without Ruby. The stars guided me to her store-front studio when I heard the news.

 I got Waren's and Lola's  approval - lick- lick...lick-lick-lick. Four weeks later, Céleste called to tell me that Lola had run out of milk. Celeste had run out of patience. It was time. With a mop in one hand, she bent down and handed me Nina Suprema. I took her down the street to The Café Saint Jean and presented her to my friends. Then we went home and I explained what a newspaper is for. She understood. She ate and drank, then sank into her new bed. There was a little weeping so I slept downstairs next to her bed the first night.  

Nina became the cherie of the neighborhood.
 Tourists loved her also. The name, "Nina" works in almost every language. So when I heard, "Bella carni." It was surfice to say, "Nina."
I'd hear back, "O Nina. Bella carni."

The Japanese would cry out, "Benji, Benji." Thousands took photos.

With some regret, I taught Nina to fetch.  A thousand and one tennis balls later, she learned how to pitch. A south paw. And she was good. 

Nina leapt in the air when Olivia de Havilland came to visit my studio,  and gave her a kiss without touching her pretty dress. 
"This dog is made for the cinema." Miss de Haviland announced.
"No." I told her.
She was made for me. 



Ruby chez la princess from