One of Angie's paintings of the pastries of Paris...
Today's a very cool day for me...I'm getting together with my friend Angie for lunch and a catch-up visit. I first met her when I was in Florence on my first trip there. She's an exceptionally good artist and besides having a great visit and a cafe creme or two, we are also going to see her atelier where she creates complete magic with a canvas and a paintbrush.
It's a short walk to the Port Royal station just south of Luxembourg Jardin, where we are going to meet, and...trust me to get lost going there!
I turn onto the correct street...I think...and after walking for a few minutes, I say to myself, "You dummy! You are going in the wrong direction!"
So, I double-back, reach my original starting point and try again. I still don't feel comfortable with this route, I still feel like I'm on the wrong street, so in desperation, I ask a woman who is walking along the other side of the street.
"Excusez-moi, madame...où est Port Royal, s'il vous plait?"
"I don't speak French at all, do you speak English?" she replies.
"Do I ever!" I tell her.
"I think I'm lost and I have no idea how to get to that metro station. Can you help me, please?"
"Of course," she tells me.
"Just keep walking this direction for another 2 blocks and there you are!"
So, I'm not lost at all!
I just need to walk one more block past where I gave up last time.
It's all about perseverance, I tell myself.
As I approach the next intersection, I see Angie walking towards me on my side of the street! I'm so happy to see her again! We always have these conversations that seem to pick up right where we left off last time, and this visit is no different. It's like we just saw each other last week...the conversation just flows.
Stopping for lunch and a cafe creme at a sidewalk cafe near her home, we get caught up on each other's lives, where each of us is doing and what's been happening in our lives. I love these kinds of conversations...total comfort and complete ease with another person. There are no uncomfortable silences, no wondering what to say next or where to turn for something to talk about...it's so easy!
As we finish our lunch, we decide to take the metro to her atelier. An atelier is a studio or workshop area where artists can work uninterrupted by their daily lives. Angie's atelier is located just outside of Paris in a small suburb in a very cool older building that has been turned into studios for rent to artists in the area.
This is a fantastic idea...how many people who want to paint, sculpt, draw or write don't have private space to practice their craft, and so they don't actually create a lot of work because there's no dedicated space for them to work uninterrupted and surrounded by other creative artists like themselves. There is something about the amazing energy created when a group of artists get together...
We climb the stairs to her floor, and enter her studio.
The space is gorgeous!
The light pouring into the atelier from both banks of north and east facing windows washes golden colour over everything inside of those four walls. She is working on a new series of paintings from studies she's done of the Luxembourg Jardin...people and tables and chairs caught in a delicate balance of movement. Although they are in the preliminary stages, just umbre washes and a few basic colours laid on the canvases, I can see where she is going with this series. I've already fallen in love with a long, narrow piece that shows the edge of the pond and the miniature sailboats on the water in that pond in Luxembourg Jardin.
Angie has previously completed a delightful series of paintings showing scads of pastries from various patisseries in her neighbourhood. I've only seen these pieces on her website and now she hands me three that she has left from her last sale. They are such happy and cheerful pieces! I can see them framed and hanging in my kitchen and dining room already.
We talk about them for a few moments and the decision is made easy by how much I love them...and now, they are mine! She carefully wraps them in paper and a plastic bag to make it simpler for me to carry them back to my apartment. I will be able to take them with me when I go home next week, and I'll drop them off at my framer's on my way home from the airport after I arrive. In my home, I have some other pieces of Angie's stunning work, and those had to be shipped because they were too large to hand-carry on my flight home that time. This is much better, because I get to take them with me, now!
After sharing another cup of tea and of course, a few delicious pastries from the shop by her home, it's time for me to leave. This has been a stellar day for me, reconnecting with a good friend and hanging out with another artist, both at the same time...it's been wonderful! In fact, this was such a fantastic day that we're going to do it all over again on Tuesday, because we've made lunch plans for that day to cram in one more visit before she goes on a vacation and I go home to my everyday life.
On my way home, I stop at a small grocer's shop for some fresh fruit, at a patisserie for some totally calorie-free custard tartes and a couple of almond croissants. Then, walking through Lumembourg Jardin, I top up my camera's memory card with images of people and their comings and goings in the park this late Sunday afternoon.
This has been a delicious day...
Good friends, good food and good conversation is my definition of heaven!
"Friends are the sunshine of life." ~ John Hay
Here is Angie's website..you must take a look at her work...http://http://www.atelierfige.com/