A few years ago a number of the True Colorists joined forces to teach at The Art Bar in Santa Ana California. I was still recovering from the worst of the ravages of the west nile virus, so I opted to pass on several all day classes and conduct a Pre-Workshop session. Over the years, I noticed that before people take classes (especially with high profile teachers) they become psyched to the point of being just a tad wacky. They stop breathing. They don't eat properly and don't drink. More importantly, they come to class with misconceptions and egos, often inflated or non-existent & self be-rating, and miss SO much of the experience. I've developed some tools and skills, having taught classes and run 2 art school venues, that assist everyone in retaining their authentic selves BEFORE walking into class. After that event, after time had passed and I started my Blog, I heard back from a woman who had been in that audience. She was a talented artist herself and just quietly observing and taking it all in. She dropped me a note of appreciation. We started to "chat" back and forth. I consider her a friend and invite you to look into her website.
Erin Perry lives in beautiful Morro Bay on the coast of California. There, she and partner Margot (talented shoe designer..I KNOW!) thrive in that lovely town "by the sea". Her website is called Altered by the Sea. I am honored to receive occasional photos of her morning walks. She KNOWS how much I miss the ocean here in Colorado. Erins story is a perfect start to the New Year. We get to accompany Erin and Margot to Paris. It's a story of travel and love. Travel and Love....sound good?.....I think so too.
Erin...it's all yours:
Paris. In the spring. And on our honeymoon no less. The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, and, best of all, the shopping! We found a delicious little stall at the Place Monge Market with gorgeous silk and chiffon scarves for a few Euro each. After the first purchase, Margot said to me “Let’s each buy a scarf everyday we’re here!” So we did; from outdoor markets in le quartier Latin, in the fabric district of Montmartre, at a chic little store under the Louvre, at the closet-sized shop of the Turkish trader on the Rue Mouffetard. We came home with an entire wardrobe of scarves, to wear, to share, to decorate our new house by the sea in Morro Bay, California.
Ah, yes! The upcoming decoration of our new house is what led us to our most amusing adventure in the City of Lights. Well, I think it’s amusing. My darling wife claims she still has sore feet from the experience. It started the day after we arrived – jetlag you say? No, I never pay attention to jetlag. Of course, I get it, but I just keep going. I’m in Paris and I’m going to waste time sleeping?
So, first we had breakfast, mmm… café au lait and warm croissants. Then, on our way to the Metro, we passed the market and that scarf stall, for what turned out to be our first of many purchases there. We took the Metro to the other side of the Seine way out to the 12th arrondissement to the Transportation Headquarters. For some unknown Parisian reason the museum passes that we had purchased on-line back home needed to be picked up there. After a lengthy wait – also for some unknown Parisian reason- we had the passes in hand.
A quick jambon et fromage crepe later we were back on the Metro and on our way to the Guimet Museum – full of glorious Asian art and wondrous Buddhas. Then a bateau trip down the Seine to the Musee d'Orsay to drool over the Impressionists, including my favourite - Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe
Well, after that Margot wanted to take a taxi to our next destination, the Bazaar Hotel de Ville (a fantastic department store that a friend had told us about, full of wonderful home decor) – but I said, “Are you kidding? We’re in Paris, we’ll cross back over the river on the Pont de la Concorde and walk down the Rue di Rivoli, it can’t be that far.” So, wanting to make me happy, tired as she was, she agreed and we started off. We stopped at Angelina’s for their famous hot chocolate – so thick and rich it’s like drinking a melted chocolate bar. Each cup is served with a bowl full of whipped crème – to help cut the richness! Thus revived, we began our trek.
Wonderful shop windows to look in; jewelry stores, paper stores, bookstores, shoe stores. As each block went by I’d say, “I’m sure it’s just ahead.” But no. Further we walked and no sight of the Bazaar Hotel de Ville. And further… finally there it was! Voila! All 5 glorious floors. Margot headed to the fabric section and found some lovely burgundy embossed material to make kitchen curtains. I found wonderful ceramic door handles and bought set after set in lime green, hot pink, blue and every other color to go with the Mexicolors we’d painted our new house. We indulged in several drawer pulls and cabinet handles as well - metal sculpted twigs and cunning mother of pearl shell shapes. It was amazing how shopping made us forget that we were exhausted!
On to the tile department. I collect several tiles wherever I go (which I have since collaged onto a 2x4 foot board that graces our back deck). Lots of lovelies here and added them to our stash. By now, dusk was falling and we were more than ready to wend our way back to our little hotel on the Rue Mouffetard.
The Metro was just across the street; with one transfer we could be a couple of blocks from the hotel. Down the steps, caught the first train and sank gratefully into our seats-it doesn’t take long for ceramic door handles, drawer pulls and tile to be very heavy to carry around. “Whew, I’m glad we’ll only have those two blocks to walk back to the hotel”, I said to Margot. “Me too, remember? I was tired three hours ago,” she chuckled.
We pulled into the transfer station and found out it was one with a long, long walk to the other train we needed - so long they had a moving sidewalk – that was out of order! But that’s not the punch line. When we got to the stair leading down to our train – it was blocked off. That line stopped running at 9:00 and it was now 9:15! So, we had to retrace our steps all that way back to the main part of the station and figure out a new route that eventually had us taking 2 trains and having a four block walk back to the hotel, carrying bags of heavy home decorating items! But that’s not the punch line either.
Back home, after four months, three locksmiths, and two handymen later, we were forced to give up on our dream of ceramic French door handles –apparently they take a completely different internal hardware system not available except in France and Sweden and couldn’t be re-tooled. C’est la vie!
I know someday they are going to appear in a wonderful piece of assemblage art and until then they make a great story around the bonfire. Au revoir.